Distributors that shy away from social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are missing out on an increasingly important business-to-business opportunity, says Bob DeStefano in Making the Case for Social Media in B2B. Not participating in social media can make it more difficult for potential customers to find you.
“A company’s social media engagement is directly impacting their search-engine ranking on Google,” says DeStefano, president of SVM E-Marketing Solutions and author of The B-to-B Online Marketing Toolkit. “If people are engaged and they’re sharing it with their connections and followers and friends, each one of those shares, each one of those likes, represents a new reference to that company and new link back to that company, so it really impacts their search-engine ranking in a positive way.”
The most recent social media stats show that Twitter has 284 million monthly active users and sees 500 million tweets per day, Facebook has 864 million daily active users on average and 1.35 billion monthly active users, LinkedIn has 300 million members worldwide, and Google+ has 300 million monthly active users. And according to Social Media Today, YouTube has become the second largest search engine – bigger than Bing, Yahoo, Ask and AOL combined.
“Social media is extremely important,” says Sharif Renno, social media manager at Grainger, Chicago, IL. “Customers now have a bigger, more public voice than they ever did before, and they are shifting the way they communicate. Brands that wish to stay relevant and connected to customers must be willing to adopt social channels, add value through a service or smart content and listen, really listen, to what customers are saying.”
Companies that become active on social media can develop a business voice and engage their audience by promoting their brand, announcing news, commending manufacturer partners, marketing products and even recruiting millennials. Even smaller companies that don’t have the personnel or financial resources of large companies can begin developing a social media strategy with the right commitment from the top and the right focus.
Read more about finding your company's voice on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in Making the Case for Social Media in B2B.