The Importance Of Social Media Marketing In The B2B Sales Process

Is your B2B company properly exposing itself on social media? What tactics are marketing teams using to generate leads for their sales team, and where are they going to do so?

The Social Media Examiner recently released their 2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, containing 50 pages of insights into how 2,887 marketers are currently using social media and how they plan to use it in the future.

According to the report, B2B marketers are beginning to put an even higher value on social media: 92% believing that it is essential for their business, up from 86% in 2013.

Most marketers are using social media to increase exposure and drive traffic in order to develop loyal fans (72%) and gain marketplace intelligence (71%). While blogging holds the top spot for future emphasis and plans, Facebook and LinkedIn are the two most important social networks for marketers.

Although Facebook dominates the B2C space, B2B marketers are significantly more likely to plan on increasing their use of LinkedIn (77% of B2B vs. 54% of B2C). Facebook, however, is still the #1 used source for paid search for 82% of B2B marketers.

What does the future of B2B social media marketing look like?

While B2B marketers have increasingly recognized the value in social media marketing, it is also important to realize that simply being present on social media isn’t enough. If you are looking to raise awareness of your company or brand, it is crucial to do so in a manner that will initiate relationships.

People everywhere are using sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to not only interact with others, but also showcase their expertise in order to offer pre-awareness of their product or service.

It is getting essential for B2B marketers to promote their business and listen to what their industry, customers, and competitors are talking about through these social media channels. Listening in on and contributing to real conversations is vital to gathering information and creating an image that marketers can then use to influence their sales targets.

Social media marketing can also help with goals such as generating website traffic, and creating brand identity with key audiences.

According to the 2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, B2B marketers have learned that investing time and money in social media is paying off, and will continue to do so. This being said, social media marketing success doesn’t happen overnight. As a marketer, spending time finding the online influencers in your industry who have quality audiences and are likely to be interested in your products, services and business is essential to generating leads.

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