Why Most B2B Social Media Marketing Fails (And How To Fix It)


Posted: December 21, 2010 | B2B Marketing, Social Media

A staggering 86% of B2B firms use social media, according to BizReport . Further, B2B marketing spending on social networking sites is predicted to rise 43.3% in 2010 according to eMarketer.  Based on these statistics, the use of B2B social media for marketers is not only advised, it’s a requirement.

The problem with this is most B2B firms misunderstand social or end up implementing tactics without any strategy. To fully utilize the power of social media, these firms need to understand some of the basic reasons why they fail and how to solve their problems.  Once they comprehend what strategies work and why others don’t, only then will they get on the right path for success.

To get a full grasp of why most B2B social media marketing fails and what it takes to resolve it, let’s look at some of the problems and solutions below:

Lack of Engagement Strategy

Many B2B companies understand creating content, syndicating content from places like B2B blogs and following up with prospects, but many lack an engagement strategy. To become successful with B2B social media, you must engage with prospects and customers from day one or they may be drawn to a competitor who does understand the value of engagement. It takes more than opening accounts on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook.  It takes an overall strategy to listen and build relationships with prospects and customers – and not just for the sale.

Solution Build an engagement strategy; listen to conversations going online; interact and create personal conversations with customers. Instead of always pushing out content, ask questions or comment on others comments on places customers and prospects live.

Misunderstanding Time Requirements

B2B social media success isn’t achieved overnight and those who expect this will likely fail. Even for fully optimized campaigns, it may take many months to see a positive return.

SolutionDon’t just create an optimized B2B social media plan; allow it ample time to achieve its goals. Set expectations at the start by forecasting realistic results – and provide an updated analytics report to key stakeholders monthly to evaluate progress.

Relying Purely on Social

Social media isn’t everything – it’s part of a holistic B2B marketing plan. No matter the amount of planning or engagement, a mix of both traditional and social media marketing will produce the greatest returns.

SolutionConsider combining approaches for traditional and new media and break down the silos of your marketing. Share data in both directions, maintain consistency across communications efforts and ensure marketing teams work together.

By fully engaging with prospects, allowing ample time for results and combining traditional with social strategies in B2B marketing, B2B business will find success with their social media initiatives.

To learn more about B2B social media and how it helps business move forward, subscribe to the Modern B2B marketing Blog, follow @Marketo on Twitter or like us on Facebook.


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  • http://twitter.com/speakology Tamsen Browne Reed

    Maria, very nice and concise turnaround steps for B2B in the social media world. I would like to invite you to check out http://www.sobevent.com. Founders are @lizstrauss and @starbucker with an amazing cast of social media influencers including the infamous @chrisbrogan. This year’s program is focused on Loyalty Business and Leadership- a great reinforcement to your message. You can contact me by dm at @speakology. Hope you will make the introduction!!

  • Anonymous

    I totally agree, particularly when it comes to needing an engagement strategy!!

  • http://www.marketo.com Maria Pergolino

    Thanks Nancy. I appreciate the comment- especially from such a pro.

  • http://www.marketo.com Maria Pergolino

    This looks like a great event with start packed line-up. I will definately check it out.

  • http://www.ronratliffcpa.com Ron

    Thank you Maria. Engagement is the “holy grail” with Social Media…and certainly one of the most difficult things to get right. (And I have probably done everything wrong – at least once!).

Maria specializes in Inbound Marketing for Marketo, leading efforts in adoption of social media channels for brand awareness and demand generation. She has worked in marketing for over ten years, and specifically in online marketing including social media, search marketing, and lead generation and nurturing for the past six.

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Why Most B2B Social Media Marketing Fails (And How To Fix It)

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