Why Are B2B Marketers Craving the Adrenaline Rush of Social Media?

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There’s More to be Gained from ENGAGEMENT than there is from DISTRIBUTION!

The smell of hot wheels, the rubber hits the road; crowds are cheering, flags waving wildly—adrenaline highs all around. That was the scene at the recent Honda Indy Toronto 2012. It’s what one expects to see at a car race.

Strangely, it’s the same frenzy on the social media track. B2B marketers are chasing a fuzzy, blurred target with a set of tools they are not quite sure how to use. Because a vast majority is using social media and raving about the results in the B2C world, marketers in the B2B space are following like headless chickens! I can’t help but feel sorry and disgusted at the fact that most of these organizations and individuals have no strategy on how to integrate social media into their umbrella of marketing activities. So they have a race car and want to drive it full-throttle; but they are on a commuter highway, not the race track. They end up craving an adrenaline rush which obviously, leaves them disappointed.

If you think of social media marketing being similar to attending a conference, you’ll agree with me that having five meaningful, engaging conversations is more valuable than handing out fifty or more business cards. I wrote in an earlier post about social broadcasting versus social conversations. Yes, I agree, it is good to share links on social media channels if you really think the recipients will benefit from them, but you also need to engage your contacts in social conversations at some point. I regularly see links flying back and forth on social networks and wonder why it’s so rare to see an opinion, a comment, or explanation of what the link means to the person who shared it. And this is only one of my pet peeves…there are many more.

Social Media and B2B—My Top Five Pet Peeves

  1. Social media becomes a dedicated business promotion vehicle. This just irks me completely. For heaven’s sake, there is a difference between point-of-sale display marketing and social media. The former is intended to sell to someone who has come to buy; the latter is meant to build a relationship with someone who may in the future be engaged suitably to become a buyer.
  2. A social media platform becomes a bragging post. People don’t necessarily doubt that there are only good things to say about an individual or an organization. But when all they see and hear is self-proclaimed greatness on social media channels, they get put off with the non-stop bragging.
  3. The unending vote-gathering is a no-no. I have seen marketers constantly begging to be “liked” and “followed” on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Why this intense urge for surge (in popularity)? I really don’t see what a thousand likes can do for you or your business. People forget that this is not a political campaign or rally where you win or lose depending on whether or not you have more votes than your rival candidate.
  4. Nothing to do today? Let’s tweet. Give me a break! This is not Hollywood. And you are a B2B marketer, not Steve Martin (who incidentally has published a collection of his tweets). Steve Martin is a comedian and a great one at that. His tweets are crazy and funny just as he is on screen. So it makes sense for him to engage his target audience on Twitter. As a senior executive in a B2B organization, what can you possibly tweet about every day or even every week? And if you do, does your prospective buyer or customer care? Something to think about.
  5. Leaving a comment on someone’s blog because you’ve been told it’s a “best practice”. You should leave a comment if you have something pertinent to say AND after you have carefully read the blog post you are commenting on. Many of us race through a blog post to catch the gist of it and there’s nothing wrong with doing that. But if you plan to comment on it, make sure you read the post again to ensure you are not jumping to conclusions or making assumptions based on a hurried interpretation of the author’s opinion.

Do you find yourself frustrated at the way some organizations and individuals use social media? Any pet peeves to share?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Louis Foong
Louis Foong is the founder and CEO of The ALEA Group Inc., one of North America's most innovative B2B demand generation specialists. With more than three decades of experience in the field, Louis is a thought leader on trends, best practices and issues concerning marketing and lead generation. Louis' astute sense of marketing and sales along with a clear vision of the evolving lead generation landscape has proved beneficial to numerous organizations, both small and large.

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