5 Ridiculous B2B Social Media Marketing Myths

B2B social media is gaining wider adoption. We are past arguing if B2B companies can use social media like we did in the early days of this blog. With the gradual adoption of social media marketing for B2B companies, some misconceptions and myths about B2B social media have been born. That’s okay, because myths are a part of change in any aspect of life. Heck, when people started using microwaves one of the big myths was that they leaked electromagnetic radiation. Change and myths go hand-in-hand.

Let’s squash some of the most ridiculous B2B social myths now before they spread any further!

5 Ridiculous Myths About B2B Social Media Marketing

1.  B2B Social Media Isn’t About Selling
This is likely the most common myth. Since social media marketing started to emerge there has always been a misperception that selling is off limits. This is wrong. Spaming people in social media is always off limits. Giving someone what they want when they want it is always a great thing. This is what selling in social media is about. It isn’t about endless product tweets. As we cover in The B2B Social Media Book, it is about providing relevant content and conversion opportunities through the buying cycle using social media.

2.  B2B Social Media Doesn’t Have a Clear ROI
In the world of social media, some purists, or “treehuggers” as I call them, will say things like “B2B social media doesn’t have an ROI. It has a return on emotion.” That is absolute crap. As marketers we are in business to generate revenue. Social media can be a valuable part of B2B lead generation. When B2B social media has a lead generation component calculating ROI is a simple math problem. You simply look at the revenue from the leads generated from social media and the cost it took to acquire that revenue. B2B social media has a clear ROI. Don’t listen to the treehuggers.

3.  B2B Social Media Can Replace Offline Marketing
Social media is only one piece of an integrated marketing effort. It is unlikely that social media can replace all of your current traditional marketing efforts. The truth is that to go cold turkey from traditional marketing is stupid. Instead, social media and traditional marketing efforts should be combined to amplify each other. Doing a direct mail campaign? Why not try testing including your LinkedIn Company Page URL? Don’t ignore offline. Figure out strategies for online and offline marketing to work together.

4.  B2B Social Media Is About Narrow Targeting
This might be the myth that bothers me the most! In B2B marketing it has always been thought that it is all about extremely focused and targeted marketing. The problem is that in a world of social media marketing is no longer linear. Everyone has the potential to influence another person or spread your content. For the first time a non-customer can actually have monetary value to your business. While someone may never buy your product or service, they can easily refer someone else that will. In the world of B2B marketing building an ever growing social media reach has never been more important. Forget targeted! Take a cue from the B2C folks and work on pumping up your social media reach.

5.  B2B Social Media Is Only About Lead Generation
Yes, Jeff and I wrote an entire book about social media lead generation, but that isn’t the only application of social media for B2B companies. In fact social media has applications across most aspects of a B2B business. For example, Lead management, is a post lead marketing process where social media can be extremely valuable. You might want to use data from social media to help better sales qualify a leads. You might want to send a custom product focused email to anyone who is an existing lead and mentions your product on Twitter. This is a simple example, but social medi can be a valuable source of data to determine which of your leads are sales-ready.

Did a miss any B2B social media myths? Which B2B social media myth do you think is the most widespread?

Photo credit: Flickr

10 Chronic B2B Social Media Myths Busted

B2B marketers who are looking to start social media programs at their companies have to fight many battles. They fight the budget battle. They fight the resource battle. They fight the “but it’s free” battle. But the biggest battle is one of perception. Bosses, colleagues and even prospects have their own deep-seeded ideas about social media for B2B companies. Not only are many of their commonly-held beliefs wrong, but they are not even based in fact. The best way to describe them are as B2B social media myths.

And we are about to bust them!

1. Myth: B2B companies don’t benefit from social media.
62% of businesses rated social media as a means to generate leads as being more important. (source) Tweet This Myth

2. Myth: B2B companies are too traditional and conservative to adopt social media and digital marketing.
67% of B2B marketers use search marketing, and 75% have an integrated approach with tactics in five or more channels. (source) Tweet This Myth

3. Myth: Blogging is only for thought leadership and doesn’t drive leads or revenue.
57% of companies with a corporate blog have acquired a customer through blogging. (source) Tweet This Myth

4. Myth: Social media is only important for online activities and is not relevant to offline activities.
B2B marketers spend more on trade shows than any other tactic. (source) Tweet This Myth

5. Myth: Mobile doesn’t matter for B2B companies.
59% of B2B purchase decision makers have used their smartphone to research products and services when they are considering purchases. (source) Tweet This Myth

6. Myth: Email Is Dead
84% of B2B Marketers focus on email as part of their marketing efforts. (source) Tweet This Myth

7. Myth: My competitors aren’t investing in social media.
Social media spending will increase 3% in the next 12 months and 9% over the next five years for B2B companies. (source) Tweet This Myth

8. Myth: Mobile Doesn’t Reach Decision Makers.
64% of B2B decision makers currently read their email via mobile devices. (source) Tweet This Myth

9. Myth: Traditional advertising will continue to work in the future.
US online display to reach nearly $15 billion in 2012. (source) Tweet This Myth

10. Myth: LinkedIn is not for companies. It’s for people to find jobs.
61% of B2B companies acquired a customer through LinkedIn. (source) Tweet This Myth

What other myths about B2B social media have you encountered and busted?