Jay Baer Exposes 4 Common B2B Social Media Mistakes

by Michelle McGinnis on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 in Social Media

“But we’re in B2B marketing…”

Ah, the common excuse you hear from those in the B2B marketing industry on why social media isn’t right for their company. Jay Baer, the co-author of The Now Revolution, has heard it all before. And this week, at the MarketingSherpa B2B Summit 2011, he set out to destroy seven of the most common B2B social media myths.

In the process, Baer exposed 4 B2B social media mistakes far too many marketers make.

1. Assuming Too Much About Your Customers

“You are not your customer,” Baer noted. Sounds obvious, but it needs to be said. Too many B2B marketers assume their customers don’t use social media, or don’t use it to gather intelligence.

In reality, a B2B social media strategy is actually more important than it is for B2C brands, Baer said. He quoted a study that found 81% of Americans with an Internet connection use social media in their daily lives. Don’t assume you know everything about your customers.

2. Failing to Understand the Balance Between Chatter and Content

Here’s something B2B brands tell themselves too often: “If no one is tweeting about us, we don’t need social media.”

Actually, the inverse is true, Baer said. If people are already chatting away about your brand on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, there’s less need to spark conversation.

He went to quote a study that found 79% of brands are using social media while only 51% have a blog strategy. That shows a disproportionate ratio of content to publishing. If your B2B social media plans don’t center around creating great content marketing, it’s time to re-think your strategy.

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3. Thinking Too Big

Too many in B2B marketing assume that until they have produced a whopping amount of content – or the next jaw dropping ebook – that they can’t start pursuing social media. Baer said brands shouldn’t try to be everything at once. Instead, he said, be a digital dandelion, chopping up, re-imagining and re-distrubiting your content through social channels.

Yes, you need content to truly succeed in social media. But that doesn’t mean you need all your content created at once.

4. Believing the Decision to Participate is Yours to Make

Here’s the scoop: you might believe that taking your brand to the social Web is your call, but if your customers and prospects are talking about you, the decision has already been made.

If your company makes a mistake, or something goes wrong, you face the possibility of getting lit up in social media. That negativity will chip away at your brand with time – even if you choose to ignore it. Baer suggested brands choose a proactive strategy now so they’re not just doing clean up later.

What mistakes do you think B2B marketers make when it comes to social media? How do you think they can be avoided?

 

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