Come on B2B marketers, just face it: you don’t know what you’re doing with social media.

Sure your company has a Facebook and LinkedIn page, and someone on your team tweets every day (maybe you). But, to quote Dr. Phil, “How’s that working out for you?” Or to quote every Sales VP I’ve ever met, “Where are the leads?” 

Differences between B2B and B2C Social Marketing 

But don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many B2B marketers are struggling to see measurable results from their social media marketing efforts. So what’s the secret to making it work? First of all, stop acting as if B2B social marketing is the same as B2C. It isn’t.

Here are 6 reasons why:

1. You’re a B2B company not Starbucks.

You don’t need a hundred thousand Facebook fans or Twitter followers. Instead, you probably need only a few hundred or couple thousand customers, prospects and influencers to build relationships with using social media. So find and engage your target audience instead of trying to attract the consumer masses.

2. Forget coupons, it’s all about helpful content.

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Offering coupons to get consumers to like your company’s Facebook page? Didn’t think so. But you do care about getting prospects to download your whitepaper, sign up for a free trial and register for your webinar. That means you need to create helpful, engaging content that prospects will gladly give up personal info for (and maybe share with others, too!).

3. Let Zappos focus on customer support, you want to acquire customers.

Of course you care about responding to customer support needs. That’s why you have an account management team. But your company isn’t Zappo’s responding to a customer tweet about a wrong shoe order. Focus your social media on developing relationships with current customers and “warming-up” prospects for your sales team.

4. Knowing brand sentiment is nice … but what are prospects talking about?

What “pain” are they discussing that your solution was built to solve? What questions are they asking that your new whitepaper can answer? Which topics are they interested in that your upcoming webinar will cover? Who’s in their social network that can do an introduction for your sales team? Now we’re listening!

5. The marketing funnel trumps brand awareness.

Don’t get me wrong. Brand awareness is important. It can get your company into the consideration set and maybe shorten the sales cycle. But it isn’t everything. You need to use social media to connect with and engage prospects to register for your latest webinar, subscribe to your newsletter and watch your new product video. All are conversion actions that can result in another qualified lead in your marketing automation or CRM system.