The days of being happy with mentions and followers on social media are over. To take your social marketing to the next level, it's time to build relationships.

The Social Media Ecosystem Report "Rise of Users, Intelligence, and Operating Systems" (pdf) was put together by the folks at Jordan Edmiston Group, an investment bank focused on media and marketing services, with support from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

Before I go further, a quick shout-out to the Salorix team for getting lots of great coverage in the recent report. They were talked about, quoted and got to submit a chart, too … all in the section: Big Data Enables Enhanced Business Intelligence.

But why did this early-stage company get covered in this report -- alongside IBM, Google and Adobe no less?

Well, it turns out the “big data meets social media” thing is hard. Or as the report says:

Scaling social with intelligence is extremely challenging

And this is what Salorix is looking to solve with their technology platform.

Brand Mentions are no Longer Enough

You see, we can no longer be happy simply responding to brand mentions and boasting about our likes, retweets and followers.

We need to also:

  • Identify relevant and influential brand-related conversations
  • Engage the consumers doing the talking
  • Get them to amplify our brand message to their social network.

That does sound hard, especially since 90 percent of those conversations are happening outside of brand-controlled properties (this is what Salorix says). Makes me long for the days when ad banners still worked. (When was that exactly?)

Future of B2B Social Marketing


Learning Opportunities

As B2B marketers, we've done a good job embracing the role of influencers as a way to sway the moods and minds of our prospects. Well that's no longer enough, either.

Instead, we now need to engage our prospects directly, using what we learn from finding and listening to them on the social web. What platforms they use, how active they are and what they're talking about, sharing and creating. This then informs our content marketing strategy and how we look to convert these prospects into leads.

Remember, it's not about quantity and growing audience, it's about quality and building relationships. Why? Because we're B2B not B2C.

With this in mind, here's what you should focus your social media activities on:

  • Developing detailed buyer personas that take into account how your prospects behave on social media.
  • Creating content based on what your prospects are saying and sharing across the social web.
  • Optimizing your content for social engagement and social distribution.
  • Tracking and measuring how your social content converts into shares, clicks and leads.

This is the future of B2B social marketing, and how you'll scale social with intelligence.

So, how are you adapting your social media practices to connect with prospects, customers and influencers? Let us know in the comments section below, let’s keep the conversation going!

Image courtesy of Cienpies Design (Shutterstock)

Editor's Note: To read more of Carter's B2B marketing advice, check out Struggling with B2B Social Marketing? Here's What to Do Now