Is social media relevant for B2B marketers?

by Stratton Craig

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Social media is increasingly being used by B2B marketers, but our own experiences and just a few clicks online tell us that there is still some caution being taken when it comes to using sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Finding a place for social media in a B2B marketing strategy may well be easier than you think. It’s important that before you engage with social media you are clear on what your current marketing activity is, what it’s trying to achieve and how well it is doing it. Once that’s established, consider how social media can support your existing offline efforts.
For example, according to a survey by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) in the US, in 2011 nearly 40% of B2B marketers’ budgets were spent on trade shows or exhibitions. Social media is the perfect complement to activity like this – create an event online, tweet about the preparations, offer information about what  guests can expect – background and bios on speakers, product launch teasers. Actions like these will help build a community and encourages others to share ideas with their network too – and so your social network is exponential in size.
As with B2C marketing, social media shouldn’t be seen as a replacement strategy but more as a complement to traditional methods. There is a huge online audience at your fingertips, so view social media as a conversation starter at the very least and build your strategy from there.
In coming blogs we will be discussing the place that social media has in B2B marketing – please let us know your thoughts too, we’d love to hear them!

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