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Importance of social media in B2B PR

One conversation I find myself having with clients and prospects frequently revolves around the importance of social media in the B2B marketplace.

Our most popular platforms, the Facebooks and Twitters of the world, were certainly created with the intent of social sharing in a personal space but with this came the ability for B2C companies to market, remarket, target and retarget a variety of their customers in mass quantities.

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So what does this mean for the B2B players?

A lot. The social media world has expanded to reach a variety of individuals and is no longer just a tool for interpersonal communication.  According to our research, social media produces almost double the marketing leads of trade shows, telemarketing, direct mail or pay-per-click campaigns. Additionally, social media lead conversion rates are 13 percent higher than the average lead conversion rate. With these types of results, this evolving platform is becoming impossible to ignore.

Understanding the differences between each social media source will generate the best outcome for your B2B campaign. For instance, while Facebook might be the best platform to increase traffic, it is not as reliable as LinkedIn when it comes to building credibility. Having the tools to build credibility though thought leadership and activating pull-though marketing (the targeting of your clients' clients) techniques will deliver the best results.

Take ThreatMetrix, for example. They began implementing a social media program in early 2013 with the goals of increasing traffic to social sites, elevating referral traffic to the company’s website from social activities and increasing followers on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Due to a proactive approach, results were not far behind. To date they have seen overall social traffic to the company website increase 181 percent from 2012 with their LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter accounts increased well into an average of 280 percent.

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It’s no secret that we’re experiencing a technology boom, especially in the startup industry. This generation of 20 something’s have turned entrepreneurship into the career path of the future. And where do the 20 somethings live? In general terms, on social media. Suzie down the street is now Suzie CEO and she is probably using her social media platforms as a way of leveraging all types of relationships, including professional. With a proactive social media plan, Suzie will begin associating your brand with its deserved credibility.

Our world is learning to adapt on a social platform, and everyone is invited. What’s your plan to stay relevant?