By Kelly Byrd
Can B2B social media drive ROI? I was recently asked this question by leaders of a PR firm with many B2B clients.
In the past, I may have struggled to answer because social media ROI was harder to prove for non-consumer brands. But now, the answer is clear.
Here are three key ways to prove the value of social media marketing for B2B companies:
1. Determine ROI, at the Speed of Like
Social media marketing data is gathered nearly as quickly as social content spreads. Before you start gathering, begin with a conversation, "What does ROI mean for your organization or client when it comes to social media? Are you focused on web traffic, email acquisition, or raising awareness for a product launch?" Answer these questions and determine how - and for how long - you'll measure them, then set realistic KPIs. Develop your strategy including associated conversion tracking for leads, sign-ups, subscriptions, downloads, and transactions. You can track the level of conversion from social media regardless of whether you sell a product or a service.
2. Gather In-Depth Content Data, Quickly
Use the information available from your active social marketing strategy to identify content categories, types, and times that are most and least successful - not in terms of engagement (although you should still be actively measuring that) but in terms of conversion - to fine tune your messaging.
3. Reach Niche Target Audiences
Ensuring that your branded content is reaching the ideal business decision makers is not only an option, but a necessity. Yes, it always was, but now that we're all (non-social savvy BDMs included) being flooded with information each day, one irrelevant Facebook post, tweet or email may get your company or brand on the blacklist. Make sure that you're taking advantage of the advanced targeting options available on social media networks and review and optimize them often.
There are still a surprising amount of B2B professionals who are skeptical about the value of social media marketing. Share this with someone to help get a conversation started or resurfaced using the social media icons below or to the left.