The Biggest Question When Using B2B Social Media


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Sometimes I become a bit skeptical when I see the huge uptake in social media by B2B marketers. In fact, recent research by Junta42 and Marketing Profs finds that use of social media is the top B2B tactic in use as identified by 79% of 985 marketers. Unfortunately, only 31% of those marketers said they found it effective.

In a recent Harvard Business Review Analytic Services study, only 12% of 2,100 executives say that their companies are using social media effectively.

So what’s the biggest question to ask when using B2B social media in marketing?

It’s this disconnect that needs to be corrected before B2B marketers will begin to generate the results that social media–used well–can help them to achieve.

Social Media is Content Marketing.

It’s not some offshoot that sits in a silo like a toy to be brought out and used when it suddenly occurs to you:

Oh, I should go Tweet that!

Or post it on Facebook or share it with a LinkedIn group, etc.

Just as there is art and science in creating contagious content that your prospects’ value, the same should be applied—in parallel—to social media.

When you create an article or a blog post or any content asset worth sharing, you should also create Tweets and snippets for sharing via your social media accounts. Do it intentionally and during the development of your content.

Look at how it flows from your outward-facing profiles. After all, that’s how many people will evaluate whether or not they want to follow you. The click through and scan what you’re posting to see if you’re—wait for it—interesting and relevant to them.

It’s a solid practice to Tweet things more than once as the common theory is that Tweets have a shelf life of about an hour to drive response. However, considering it from a profile perspective, which leaves a better impression:

The Biggest Question When Using B2B Social Media + link [posted 6 hours ago]

The Biggest Question When Using B2B Social Media + link [posted 4 hours ago]

The Biggest Question When Using B2B Social Media + link [posted 2 hours ago]


The Biggest Question When Using B2B Social Media + link [posted 6 hours ago]

Will your social media blend? + link [posted 4 hours ago]

Only 12% of executives say social media is effective – Here’s how to change that. + link #HBR [posted 2 hours ago]

You’d be surprised how many profiles look like the first version. Even with a few other RTs and original Tweets, when someone scrolls your profile to evaluate your potential value to them as a news filter, the first version is immediately recognizable and smacks of self-interest.

Imagine what it looks like on your Facebook page if you have your Tweets sync’d to post in both places. Yikes! Facebook is different than Twitter. It deserves a different posting treatment. In fact, be very careful that you don’t take the lazy way out and automate all your social media accounts to broadcast the same stuff simultaneously. It’s obvious and lazy.

Each destination should have a unique twist, style and presentation. And this can work even if you’re posting links to the same content on several platforms. It just requires a bit of thought and planning rather than executing social media as a fait accompli each time you publish new content.

Social media will drive results if you treat it with respect rather than as just another megaphone. Really, no one cares. You need to show them why they should. And that means your social media participation needs to be an inclusive component of your content marketing strategy.

How do your audiences differ from one platform to another?

Or even within the same platform? Are you posting the exact same thing to all 18 groups you belong to on LinkedIn, for example? Some people likely belong to more than one of the groups you do. Have you thought about the impression that makes?

Twitter restricts what you can say to 140 characters. Facebook doesn’t. Each group in LinkedIn is created around a specific topic. Establishing the right context is important on all of them.

Oh, and social media is definitely content marketing. Now that marketers are becoming publishers working without a net and outside of our “controlled” web environments, everything we post online is content, leads to more content and is responsible for having an impact on the perception of our company’s reputation, credibility, intentions and humanness.

Go take a look at how you’re using social media just as others will. Does it blend?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Ardath Albee

Ardath Albee is a B2B Marketing Strategist and the CEO of her firm, Marketing Interactions, Inc. She helps B2B companies with complex sales create and use persona-driven content marketing strategies to turn prospects into buyers and convince customers to stay. Ardath is the author of Digital Relevance: Developing Marketing Content and Strategies that Drive Results and eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale. She's also an in-demand industry speaker.


  1. As I read your article, I just keep nodding my head. Yes. Yes. That’s right. Well said. You make very good points about social media and content marketing. Without good content, social media doesn’t stand a chance to succeed. Your concepts here are similar to my own that I have titled “Social Media & The Web as a Content Ecosystem.” That blog posting never made it over here to Customer Think, but I will send you the link directly on Twitter. There’s an illustrative graphic I’ve been working on, and I’d like your thoughts on how it could be improved. Great article! Raelin

  2. Hi Raelin,

    Thanks for your comment. I’m happy to know my post connected and I’d look forward to reading your post and the graphic.



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