When I walk into meeting with B2B clients and suggest social media strategies, I seem to be evoking similar responses: A curious interest in exploring it, but a healthy skepticism of what benefit it will bring them. It would be stupid to ignore that feedback.
The truth is that while we are engaged with social media on many levels, introducing and sometimes managing efforts for clients, it’s still very tough giving B2B companies tangible reasons to spend time and money. This challenge, along with their reluctance to dedicate internal resources, have led me to a few conclusions, which I am very open to suggestions about:
- Social media strategies for many B2B operations will have little or no results for some time. It takes time to get connected on LinkedIn and gain followers on Twitter, so while there may be some business opportunities that arise, they will be few at first.
- It’s okay to introduce social media strategies to B2B companies, but stick to LinkedIn and Twitter, and limit the budget and expectations. If you are expecting someone to allocate marketing budget dollars, they will expect results, and we all know that measurement is tough at best.
- Some PR/ad/marketing agencies are pushing social media analysis or strategies to clients just to make a buck. Those agencies will lose credibility long-term.
There are opportunities with B2B social media strategies, but best to take small steps and set realistic expectations.