As I’m reading the “Fall 2010 Social Business Report” from NetProspex, I find that my biggest assumption about social media in the B2B space is entirely true. We can all agree that social media is still an emerging multi-channel, multi-faceted medium for marketing communications. We can further agree that while there are experts out there, we are all still learning what works and what doesn’t.
Currently working in the B2B social space myself, I have come to believe that many (or most) B2B companies have not grasped the relevance nor the value of social media usage as it pertains to their business.
This diagram is visually represents the top 25 industries currently utilizing social media practices. Not surprising that Search Engines & Online Portals is the largest, then Advertising & Marketing and Banking. The next level's not so surprising either: Media (TV, Radio, etc.), Toys & Games, Info Technology, and HR & Recruiting are also big industry players in the social media space. At the bottom of the list were industries that included medical care and funeral services.
The lower left quadrant of the image represents B2B and Technology industries. From the looks of it, the HR Industry (perhaps in the technology and B2B space) is using social media to recruit. It’s only a matter of time before this trend changes. I’ll be very interested to see this report again in 6 and 12 months. I predict that marketing technology in the B2B space will shift entirely.
If you are a B2B-Technology firm, why are you not using social? Do you think it's not relevant to your products and services? Do you think your business customers are not online using social networks? Remember that LinkedIn is the largest social network out there for professionals and there are many ways to leverage your connections. That may not seem like social media usage to you, but it certainly is.
I challenge any B2B-minded organizations to do some digging about who is using social media among their competitors. Then ask yourself: What are they doing well? What aren't they doing well? After you've asked and answered those two questions, you should boldly state "I can do better."
In my next post, we’ll take a peek at which roles or jobs are utilizing social media more or less, and where we can or should expect changes in the coming year. Speaking as a B2B social media marketer, working the the marketing technology space myself, I find one of the biggest challenges is to get company personnel on-board with social media usage that will boost brand awareness and, in the end, hopefully increase the sales funnel.
Infographics and Reports are available for download at Oxfordcomm.com/socialreport.