When asked to describe the state of business-to-business social media marketing, I see two camps. There are the “haves”: companies that have committed to developing a strategy, implementing it, adapting upon seeing results and reaping rewards. And then there are the “have-nots”: companies that continue to wrestle with the return-on-investment question, reading case studies and risking missing possibly the biggest marketing opportunity in years.
The good news for “have-nots” is that business-to-business companies still have time to get started, and much can be learned from “haves.” If you fall into the “have-not” camp, here are four common characteristics of “haves.”
- Social media are integrated into their overall marketing plan, with specific goals that are tracked and measured.
- Good listening is in their nature. When their brand is mentioned on the social Web, they adopt tools to enable them to hear it. Social media monitoring is a vital component of their strategy.
- They have a consistent message and are capable storytellers. Their content addresses customers’ pain points, and they readily interact and participate with customers on the social Web.
- They’re prepared for the worst of the social Web. Whether it is a major crisis or a single customer complaining, operational plans and company policies exist to guide employees and set customer expectations.
With these characteristics in mind, start your transformation, as “have-nots” will soon find it harder to attract customers.