Social Media for B2B

The golden rule when promoting a product or service is to get in front of the consumer’s eyeballs in a manner that is thought-provoking and innovative. This is Marketing 101: have product, advertise product, sell product.

Although this may sound wonderfully simple, it can be difficult to achieve. Striking a balance within the marketing mix while juggling platforms and budgets is no modest feat – it demands a combination of dexterity and intelligence the likes of which one might only find in the offspring of a Russian contortionist and a Harvard mathematics professor.

The emergence of the social web as a powerful promotional tool has made it more challenging to find that happy medium. Although online marketing cannot be ignored, many organisations are still wary of dipping their toes into the raging torrent sometimes referred to as social media.

Unfortunately, this apprehension seems to be more apparent in organisations focusing on business to business transactions. It makes sense – why should an enterprise-level multinational market to customers on platforms they don’t use? Social media is better suited to consumer brands aiming to reach large numbers in an environment that encourages conversation, right? Not necessarily.

Social Media for B2B - Clockwork Media


Bad rap

The conclusion that social spaces are better suited to the brands we might find in Woolworths or Clicks, rather than on a product badge in a dimly lit server room, is neither illogical nor entirely correct.

Marketing success on these platforms is entirely dependent on correctly identifying the audience, creating content that is unique and memorable, and choosing a delivery method best suited to the target market.

Social marketing directly to business often gets a bad rap because it can, in some ways, be more challenging than consumer-focused efforts of a similar nature. Despite this, the hardest things to achieve are often the most worthwhile – just because it may be complex doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

Full circle

The use of LinkedIn in a business to business context is a good example of how an organisation might market itself to potential corporate customers using social channels. With some 1.6 million local members (172 000 of whom are high-level decision-makers), finance and tech as leading employment sectors and a primary age bracket of 25 to 54, it’s a great platform for B2B marketers to reach their target audience.

This brings us full circle – effective promotion requires innovative thinking. There’s little value in having a corporate social account simply for the show of it. To cut through the deluge of content consumers are faced with every day, organisations need to be strategic about how they interact online.

Tom Manners – Managing Director, Clockwork Media

(Brainstorm Magazine – February 2013)

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