Social media is not a panacea for businesses! It seems as if each day another expert/guru is jumping on the Social Media Marketing bandwagon or VCs are funding some new wizz bang technology company that will save the world through social media.
Don’t get us wrong, we love Social Media Marketing and believe it is an effective marketing tool. But, this marketing methodology serves business to consumers much better than business to business companies, especially if the former is a larger size business.
Most Social Media traffic hitting a B2B focused site coming in from a Social Media Platform (Twitter or Facebook) is typically going to visit the Blog, as opposed to firing off an inquiry via a Contact Form.
Why? There is no no simple answer. But, if you contrast Search Engine Traffic as an example versus Social Media Traffic you’ll find search driven visitors are moving around a site, visiting key pages (Technology, Services, About Us, etc.) and some percentage are filling out inquiry forms; i.e. converting in marketing terms.
This is not usually the case with Social Media traffic - these visitors will click through to a Blog to read more about the company and then click away into the digital ether. They may register for a Newsletter or Blog (engagement) but the vast majority don’t make a request for sales assistance.
So, is Social Media Marketing beneficial for B2B companies. Yes, but should be done in tandem with Search Engine Optimization, Blogging, PR and other marketing methodologies to drive reinforcing brand awareness and lead generation.
Where or how is Social Media Marketing most effective for B2B companies? It can be extremely valuable for engaging with customers (Customer Service comes to mind), driving broad brand awareness that compliments other forms of marketing (again SEO, PR, Blogging). But, at the end of the day B2B companies are not going to drive lots of leads via Social Media.
For those of us in the SEO biz, one maxim we’ve used for years is that not all traffic is created equal. When you apply analytics to inbound traffic the source will vary often determine the quality of the traffic. This same maxim holds true for Social Media Traffic versus other types. We’ll talk about B2C and Social Media at a later date - come back for an update.