Does Social Marketing Work In B2B?

In Uncategorized on November 19, 2010 at 12:20 pm

by Mark from Gentle Rain Marketing LLC

Interesting article in the latest edition of BtoB Magazine about social marketing and Twitter specifically, as a marketing channel. According to their survey of nearly 400 marketers four of five said they could not directly attribute revenue to the Twitter micro-blogging platform.

The whole area of social media is one I’ve been discussing with many clients, colleagues and other marketers. While Twitter and Facebook have obviously received a lot of press, the more important question is-how does social media fit into the overall marketing strategy?

Here’s my view.

I think the benefit from social media comes when you move people from Twitter and Facebook onto your main website AND when they opt-in to become a member of your list.

Then (and only then) have they become a true “prospect” since you now can communicate with them via your newsletter, blog posts and ongoing email messages.

However it is a HUGE funnel from being on your Twitter or Facebook list and opting in on your house email list and only a very (very) small percentage of people will travel down the path.

(It’s my belief-and that of a lot of other marketers-that until you get people to opt in to your main website list, the odds of them actually becoming paying clients is somewhere between the proverbial slim and none.)

Let me share some statistics with you from a couple of clients whose names I must keep confidential.

Internet services provider. 25,000 people on his Twitter list. 86 people opted-in on his website. Zero sales. (This is over a 11 month period.)

Coaching services to executives. 38,000 people on Facebook. 127 opted-in on her website. One client. (Over 14 months.)

As the article in BtoB points out, whether you decide to do anything on Twitter and Facebook or not, you need to think of them as a channel, not a marketing strategy. (Other “channels” would include advertising, direct mail, article marketing, direct sales, ect.)

What about the “other” social marketing tool-LinkedIn? Actually that turns out to be far more effective. I’ve been sharing with a few coaching clients (and I’m doing this myself) on a specific strategy that moves people to your list. As a non-scientific statistic, I have 750 people on linked in-and a whopping 227 have opted in to my Gentle Rain subscriber list after they first joined me on Linked In.

I’ll be interested in your thoughts on social media and how it is working for you. For readers who operate in the B2C space, are you getting different results?

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