We all know that Social Media Marketing is nothing new but for international B2B business.
In the year of 2018, social media marketing is a notable powerful way for businesses of all sizes to reach prospects and customers. Most social media platforms have built-in data analytics tools, which enable all B2B, C2C and B2C companies to track the progress, success, and engagement of campaigns. Companies address a range of stakeholders through social media marketing, including current and potential customers, current and potential employees, journalists, bloggers, and the general public.
It’s true that B2B may have a smaller audience to cater to on social media, but SSM is still a good choice for taking prospective customers and converting them into clients. It is especially important in international B2B business, because when we do international deal, we actually face all clients in the world. The social network marketing create a prefect de-centralized platform to get the company stick with their clients.
Be more specific, B2B purchasing behaviors are different from B2C in following dimensions:
- Time: B2B purchases require a long and complex process, it may take several months rather than a quick buying decision in B2C market ing. (On social media platform, the supplier could maintain its communications with its clients for long time.)
- Decision Making: The nature of B2B business requires a multiple influencer and decision maker involved. (From this aspect, the social Media platform is also a good place for showing products to multiple audiences.)
- Cost: The nature of B2B business will occur a high transaction cost and a long term commitment to the supply in most case. When asked “do you see a real difference between suppliers and value the difference enough to pay for it?” just 14% of B2B businesses answered yes (suggesting the shift cost is high comparing to supplier’s small differentiation. )
- Customer: In international B2B marketing, each player can potentially impact a brand’s reputation an brand image. In B2C business, the transaction only involves few people, which have a weaker impacts than B2B.
- Characters: B2B player are generally recognized as logic, results seeking, and emphasize in their own business value. In B2C transaction, buyer are defined as emotional in most cases. Therefore, comparing emotionally-driven brand marketing in B2C with its equivalent in B2B is like trying to compare apples with pears.
Generally speaking, the key lead to a successful social media marketing is to destroy the old printer video contest and showcased user-generated content. In International B2B business, there are few potential clients who have a in depth understanding on its market and specialization. Therefore, a well designed activities, industry contest would create a perfect opportunity for demanders and suppliers. In order to adopt today's business environment, it is important to consider Social media marketing in international B2B business.
Useful extend readings:
In addition, according to the “Content Queen” Dorothea Volpe, the following are 7 top platform for B2B international marketing.
Strength: Great opportunity for follower growth, segmentation starting, creating nuanced messaging, highly search engine optimized.
Weakness (IMHO): Make sure your audience is there. There’s been a lot of hype about G+, but make sure you don’t spread yourself too thin, especially if you only have a few SoMe folks on your team. Test and compare it to your Facebook presence.
Strengths: Huge audience, 161M people, 2 new members every second, Members did nearly 4.2 billion searches on the platform. There’s a lot of targeted advertising opportunities which can be highly successful. Ideal for Job openings, big announcements (at the company level). Extremely useful for appending information to your contact database.
Weakness (IMHO): Advertising opportunities are available on LinkedIn, but social media opportunities (earned) are elusive for marketers. I.e., it’s a private network; people have complete control over your ability to reach out them. Try creating a “Group” as a way to get started.
Strengths: Also huge audience, 500 million active users, 340 M tweets daily, 55% of all Twitter users user the service to share links to new stories, 53% retweet, 182% Increase in number of mobile users, 34% of marketers have generated leads using Twitter, 20% have closed deals.
From personal experience, Twitter is a fantastic way to promote, amplify and syndicate other content such as blogs as well as build an audience. Great way to reach an audience fast.
•Scott Monty, example of an executive who loves social media and understands the brand
Weaknesses (IMHO): Lots of spam, sales folks and other marketers following your account which doesn’t really count as audience reach. Difficult to segment, you don’t have a lot of information about who is actually following you.
Strengths: Enormous growth, 1.36M daily users – grew 4733% since May 2011, 3rd most popular, April 2012 Board “Covers” were launched. If your audience is female, Pinterest is the place to be. Great opportunity if your products have a visual appeal.
Weaknesses (IMHO): Not ideal if your audience is male and /or you have non-visual products. I’ve seen marketers post whitepapers on Pinterest, but it seems a bit out of place. Consider Slideshare (the anti-Pinterest) for this.
Strengths: 106.7M UVM – over 3B hours uploaded, 60+ hours of new videos are uploaded to the site every minute, 70% of YT traffic outside US, more than 1 trillion views in 2011. THE place to be if you have video content. Good data on metrics (thanks Google).
Weaknesses (IMHO): If you’ve got video content, it’s ideal. But don’t try to pin your hopes on creating a “viral” video. I’ve tried viral videos in the past when it was trendy. It’s really hit or miss and has the potential of going WAY off if your brand doesn’t naturally lend itself to the stuff that people like on YouTube (funny, raunchy, or entertaining). Just do what you do and make it useful.
Strengths: Huge reach 955 M monthly active users in June. Over ½ of these users are active on a daily basis. (based on TechCrunch, 2012 stats), Facebook is ideal for engaging directly with your audience, allowing them to share their experiences, content. There is a wide range of applications including contests, customer service, and promotions. Facebook also offers strong advertising opportunities and targeting (as you may have heard in the news).
Intuit does a nice job on their Facebook page for quick books. It’s a combination of product updates, helpful tips and Q&A. They’re very responsive to customer questions as well.
Weaknesses: In the B2B space, you may have audiences that are not inclined to share their activities (eg Governments, financial services). Therefore, isn’t ideal for every B2B use case.
Strengths: In B2B, many companies think in PowerPoint presentations. SlideShare has proven itself not only as a home for your slideware, but an effective way to drive leads.
•You can “gate” your content so that people need to register to download your slides, thus driving leads.
•Great way to syndicate your customer presentations.
•In SlideShare, you can also do a voice over and slideshow mode.
•Women use fewer slides on average (22 per slideshow) than men (26).
•Popular presentations contain more images (37, on average) than other presentations (which contain 21).
•The most popular tech companies mentioned in presentations are Facebook (39.9%), Twitter (28.6%), Google (19.1%), Microsoft (5.7%), and Apple (3.8%)
•Only 1.7% of all presentations are done in Apple’s Keynote software, but Keynote makes up 8.2% of the most popular presentations.
•The Japanese and Chinese use more slides on average than slideshows in any other language.