Social Media – Why It’s Important to Think Beyond FaceBook & Twitter for B2B
As a small business owner, we’re consistently encouraged to set up a Facebook and Twitter profile, and given these social media sites are two of the most widely used social media networks, we don’t disagree. With 61% of respondents from a PEW Research Center 2010 study confirming they conduct some form of social networking online, business owners are wise to incorporate social media, a relatively cost-effective marketing tool, into their arsenal. However, ‘some form of social networking’ is a key phrase when looking at this stat as it implies there are different forms of social networking to choose from beyond Facebook and Twitter.
It’s easy to get caught up in the term ‘social media’ and link it primarily to sites such as FaceBook and Twitter. However, as a business owner, it’s important to realize there’s a lot more to social media than just these two interfaces. In fact, a June 2010 study by Leadforce1 showed that LinkedIn drives the most referrals to B2B sites with 17,618 leads. Many likely haven’t even heard of the #2 and #3 rankings with Reddit driving 11,968 and Dzone 8478 leads respectively. Twitter and Facebook came in a distant #4 and #5 with 6170 and 4465 B2B leads respectively. Stubleupon, Squidoo and Delicious (in order of ranking) were also included in the survey with a total B2B lead generation of 5,328.
In addition to leading the way with inbound leads, LinkedIn was also found to generate the most conversions for B2Bs at 61% in the Hub Spot State of Inbound Marketing 2011 Report, with the company blog coming in at 55%, Facebook at 41% and Twitter at 39%.
What can be deducted from these statistics? It proves a business should consider the best social media networks that will have the most impact for their business based on results vs. general audience popularity, which means it might not be Facebook or Twitter. That’s not to say sites such as Facebook and Twitter shouldn’t be used to generate B2B leads and conversions, because, after all, they do still bring in a fair number of both (and Facebook is a leader in B2C lead conversions), but they’re not the only, nor necessarily the best, social media networks to use across the board for all businesses.Continued on the next page