B2B Companies STILL Ignore Social Media

A new survey from Satmetrix, revealed today that the majority of B2B companies are still not tracking their social media activity and are ignoring customers who interact with brand pages online.

The global survey shows:

  • 51 percent of B2B companies have no social media tracking in place, in comparison to 22 percent of their B2C counterparts
  • 69 percent of B2B respondents ignored customers who provided feedback via social media because they had no process in place to respond

For those companies that did measure effectiveness of social media:

  • only four percent performed sentiment analysis
  • while 56 percent simply counted comments and followers

Chief executive officer at Satmetrix, Richard Owen said, “Whilst 77 percent of consumers post about products, 67 percent of businesses have no means of measuring what is being said and less than one in 20 have any insight into the sentiment of what is being said. This is both a huge threat and a massive lost opportunity.”

Converting Content to Conversation is the Key to Thought Leadership

It really does blow my mind that in 2012, we are having the same discussion we’ve been having for the past five years about the value of converting content to conversation online.

I’ve talked to many B2B companies throughout my career and every time we discuss social media, they insist their customers aren’t on Facebook. There are so many things wrong with that statement, it makes my head spin. First of all, Facebook is not social media; it is merely one channel within the social media space. LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo, G+, the blogosphere – anything peer-to-peer related is social media. (Come on, now, folks, it’s 2012 – surely y’all recognize this, right?!)

Secondly, your B2B customers may be “business buyers” and not “consumers,” but they are still human beings and human beings engage with their peers online to discuss their interests. I assure you, no matter how obscure your trade, no matter how small your niche B2B audience is, your customers are talking to each other and seeking out advice, guidance, case studies and recommendations.

It goes back to the old saying I first coined in 2008 that social media is like the high school cafeteria in that everyone gathers together around their shared interests. For every industry, there is a cafeteria – maybe it isn’t Facebook, maybe it’s Twitter or LinkedIn – but there is a cafeteria and a lunch table within it where your customers are talking. And, if you aren’t listening, you aren’t leading.

As I said in 2011, content creates thought leadership and every B2B company I know wants, nay, needs to be seen as the smartest kid in the class. And, content disseminated through Twitter, LinkedIn, G+ and other social channels equals SEO, something, again, we’ve been talking about here since 2009 and even in 2008 and SEO equals thought leadership.

So, I gotta say, seeing the results of studies like this just makes me crazy because it really is so simple and the opportunities have only grown over the years. Please, y’all, if you are a B2B company, step up to the plate and embrace the conversations happening around you every single day. And, if you don’t know how, connect with me on LinkedIn and I will show you because reports like this just drive me to the brink.

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