Is there room for social media in B2B marketing? Everyone seems to be on the bandwagon, but bottom line is that there is no true line of site to revenue growth. Now as a consumer business, I get it… You’re creating a consumer touch point, gathering insight & feedback, and creating customer advocates. But as a B2B marketer, whats my motivation? Note: Let me say this is more from the perspective of larger companies. Small to medium enterprises are obviously (usually) more nimble and risk seeking.
Consider the facts…
- Twitter has a 60% abandonment rate.
- The B2B sales cycle is generally too complex to trace back social media efforts, making it difficult to demonstrate financial impact.
- Big corporations take on added liability if they blog or twitter. And when companies do twitter, its generally a blatant self-promotion of how great you are, and the tweets end up only being followed by employees (a lot of good that does).
- And even if you succeed in getting your messaging out there, if your customers are 50 y/o white male executives, how many of them do you think are out there (the exception of course being linked in)?
I’m not saying Social Media is not the way to go… but I think there is a long way to go before I become a social media evangelist in B2B marketing. These vehicles need to prove themselves as revenue drivers before companies will take on the added risk of exposing themselves in an uncontrolled social environment.
So some questions for my readers (however few you might be)…
- When will that happen and what will it take for this to happen?
- Is it just a matter of waiting for a younger, technically savvy generation to move further up the corporate ladder?
- Will folks seeking this sort of digital interaction even work for large companies? Or are large companies doomed to be the dinasaurs that some of us already see them as?