You can't ignore the importance of social media for B2B marketing

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“I’m pretty sure that our target markets aren’t using social media, so let’s not spend any time on that.” That’s a phrase I’ve heard over and over again from our B2B clients and prospects. And for a while, I believed it. What they meant was that, in the course of doing business, their company’s target audience wasn’t going to Twitter or Facebook with the sole purpose of looking to buy a B2B service. And there is a good chance they were right.

But I’m really beginning to believe this is a short-sighted approach. Their target audience IS going to Facebook, and Twitter, and LinkedIn and Pinterest and Vine and YouTube and Tumbler and Instagram. Over and over and over. Every day.

Maybe they aren’t going specifically looking for B2B services. But think for a moment: no one turns on a television looking for guidance as to which car insurance to buy. And yet Allstate spends millions every year buying TV commercials for insurance.

The truth is, if you watch TV, you’ll see a commercial. And maybe make a purchase. And if you use social media — as nearly 3 billion people do every day, you’ll encounter brands interacting with you. And maybe getting you to make a purchase.

This infographic shows some startling statistics about daily social media interactions — such as one out of every seven minutes online is spent on Facebook. Or 15.6 million searches are done on LinkedIn every day, much during business hours. Or 45 million photos are uploaded to Instagram daily, garnering 1 billion likes.

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No matter how you look at it, that’s a lot of traffic — some of which could be seeing your B2B content if you’re active in social media.

As I see it, B2B firms CAN’T ignore social media, just like insurance companies can’t ignore television. Yes, it’s possible that some channels will be more effective than others for your B2B company. But you can’t know that by summarily dismissing all channels as irrelevant. Go where the people are. Test. Measure. Reallocate. Your investment will pay off.

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