Insights on Marketing & Technology

Why Social Media is a waste of time in B2B marketing

Social media always seems to create a lot of buzz, what’s trending, what’s not; everyone seems to be involved. But, if you are in B2B marketing, is there actually a positive ROI to be found from using social media? We often hear success stories – but how many of these are actually from the B2B side? Take a moment to consider this. My guess is that you will come up with… Zero! But, is that really so surprising? B2B marketers should not forget that they are not interacting for social reasons, but in the hope of securing new leads, and ultimately sales.

Bo Ekkelund
  • By: Bo Ekkelund
  • Published: 21-09-2015

If a business is looking to enlist your services, are they really going to be seeking you out on Twitter or Facebook? The truth is that while many businesses use social media because it has grown a reputation as the thing to do; very few actually notice any positive effect on their ROI as a result. Almost all of the business leads that are made from social media are in the B2C realm, as individual consumers are more likely to interact with a brand via social media than businesses are.

Why is this the case?

One big reason why you aren’t going to see a great return for all of your social media efforts is that most of your posts never reach your intended audience. According to marketing professional Nate Elliott posts only reach approximately 2% of fans and followers, and only approximately 0.1% actually interact with posts.

A lot of this lack of interaction is due to the fact that businesses aren’t generally in purchasing mode when they are interacting on social media; as the name suggests it’s a social activity. It’s also a time to catch up with their own customer base and check out what is going on in the world; not really a time when they are looking to spend money.

Is it really a problem to market via social media though?

The problem is that if you are spending a lot of time and resources on social media marketing campaigns, with little to no return, why stick with it? Your marketing team is likely to spend hours of hard work, including making many updates of varying levels of relevance, on social media activity that doesn’t work. They could invest that time in more traditional marketing activities such as outbound marketing, event marketing and online marketing (your web presence). At the Inside Sales Virtual Summit of 2013 Inside Sales President Ken Krogue addressed the fact that statistically all of these activities outrank social media for lead generation, in terms of success. Many businesses stick with social media because they believe it’s the way to go, and that other businesses see considerable success as a result of their social media campaigns. The reality is that this is not the case.

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Bo Ekkelund

Bo is Head of Marketing at Excitor. Bo has over 15 years’ experience in SaaS and enterprise technology, working in both the UK, US as well as Denmark. He is an entrepreneur and strategist at heart who have started two internet businesses on the side and lead the opening of a country office.

Based in Copenhagen, Bo was voted one of Denmark’s top talents by Berlingske Nyhedsmagasin. He has worked for companies ranging from 20 to 6.000 employees. Roles have included regional and global marketing, channel marketing and development as well as sales management. 

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Rine Søgaard and Kasper Simonsen likes this.

MVF Global, Senior Biddable Media Executive, Mikael Hansen writes:

This is a great subject and always heavily debated in the lead gen community. On the unpaid social market I tend to agree, that the chance of finding new leads is often a lost battle. On the other hand, if the online presence is joined by a paid social media strategy, then there are plenty of opportunities to generate cheap leads. A few lead gen companies have developed paid social media strategies that can deliver leads to most B2B companies. The lead gen business is thriving for this reason, as most B2B companies are given up on these channels.

MarketCommunity, Editor, Carsten Bjerregaard writes:

Hi Mikael, very interesting points you are making. You're welcome to contact me, if you would like to do an article on that perspective.


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