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Don’t delude yourself: social media needs to be strategic

Given the level of hype, you would be forgiven for thinking that social media is a mainstream marketing activity in the B2B sector. You’d be wrong – so says B2B Marketing’s first Social Media Benchmarking Report, which shows that only 25 per cent side business-to-business marketers actually have a social media strategy in place. Furthermore, only one in five B2B brands allocate a specific portion of their budget to social media.

All this suggests that the majority of B2B brands are still just ‘playing’ with social media – they’ve not yet made a significant or meaningful commitment to really embedding the various tools, channels and techniques into their marketing. And consequently, pretty obviously, they are missing opportunities.

Personally I find this very worrying. Two years ago, there probably were a few isolated individuals still clinging stubbornly to the illusion that social media was a fad, and if they continued ignoring it for long enough, it might just go away. Today, however, the power and potency of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and (increasingly) Google etc. has surely swept the last shreds of credibility for this argument. There is no going back: the world has changed, and the pace of that change is only going to accelerate as demographics change and these technologies become deeper and deeper embedded into our social lives.

Even if you’re a B2B brand, operating in an ultra-traditional industry, if you’ve not got a social media strategy, you need to start planning it now. Even if that’s only very cautious at first, you simply cannot afford to get left behind, and you need to understand the opportunities and the implications for your brand.

Our Social Media Benchmarking Report can help you do this, by providing key information on trends and attitudes from B2B brands in many different sectors, which you can use to help form your strategy and guide your thinking. If there ever was a time to sit on the fence regarding social media, it has long gone. B2B brands need to act now, or they risk putting the future viability of their organisation at risk.