If it is indisputable that social networks are essential to B2C, skeptics still wonder if it is interesting for B2B companies to embark on the Social Media adventure. The answer is clear: it’s a big yes! Generating new leads and increasing sales, precise audience analysis: social networks are a complete and innovative marketing tool, essential in the world of B2B. Focus on their strengths and the trends to watch in 2016 …
Always convince more through social networks
Social networks are crucial tools for generating leads. Your competitors are certainly already present on it, maybe even they are already part of 92% of social sellers who expect an increase in their sales figure in the next 12 months. According to an independent study conducted by Feedback System, 62.4% of them report an increase in their sales, while marketers who ignore social media are only 41.2% who have seen their sales increase.
It is then a question of establishing an editorial charter for these social networks in order to harmonize the publication of rich and educational content, to choose where to focus its efforts and to make sure that your salespeople master good practices. An infographic published by Oktopost indicates that more than 80% of B2B leads generated by Social Media come from LinkedIn. We could only recommend you to invest in this professional social network, both in the discussion groups related to your industry and in your official company page. Do not neglect the latter: on average, the posts published on these pages have a conversion ratio 17 times higher than that of groups!
Big data and social networks: a 2.0 analysis laboratory
If you know the basics of inbound marketing and digital prospecting, you know that one of its fundamental is to know its prospects on the fingertips, in order to anticipate their questions and answer them with the greatest efficiency. . From this perspective, social networks are huge observation and analysis laboratories: you will find there plethora of very precise data on your prospects (name, position, sector, location, etc.) and current trends, which will allow you to focus your efforts on best possible practices.
In fact, in 2011, humans created around 2 Zo of data on the web, or 2 million TB: an incredible number that is increasing every day, exponentially. In 2016, to approach the era of Big Data, we therefore use social monitoring services to listen to its prospects, and we are developing a Social Scoring strategy that does not stop at pure data collection. B2B companies will do this more precise segmentation of their potential customers, mapping their communities.
The trend is moving towards predictive analytics : Crimson Hexagon, a powerful Big Data research player also offering reporting services, has for example proved that it was capable of predicting the turnover generated by a film to within 15%, by analyzing what is happening says on Facebook and Twitter. From a B2B perspective, we can therefore already use this data to analyze the purchasing intentions of its prospects, identify its competitors, and thus keep a constant head start.
The new Social Media waves to surf in 2016
There are three new features that will undoubtedly revolutionize your Social Media B2B practices:
- LinkedIn Pulse : previously reserved for influencers, this LinkedIn application, open to all users since last September, promises to be an essential tool for your inbound campaigns. It publishes its own articles, taking advantage of increased visibility, precise configuration of the target audience, and a data collection system. One more marketing wealth to exploit on this great social network!
- Periscope : The new Twitter video streaming app promises to spark sparks among marketing teams who aren’t afraid of the immediacy of social media. Live conferences, live streaming interviews or demonstration of products and solutions, it’s up to you to see how to use this brand new social technology, also soon available for everyone on Facebook;
- Employee promotion campaigns (or employee advocacy campaign): new tools, new marketing strategies. Who can speak better about your company and share its content than… your employees? The new trend makes them your force of diffusion: after having homogenized their speech, they will become lawyers of your firm, promoters of its services or products, on their personal accounts. This is what a hundred IBM employees worked to do last year: we made available to them every day six IBM publications that they could choose to relay or not on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, following particularly careful rules.
In 2016, keep a close eye on social networks and their new features which could be the new bow to your B2B success !