I was waffling away earlier this month at the B2B Marketing conference. Amongst the bla, bla, bla I touched on a killer point about social media that seemed to resonate with the audience.
Social media is a struggle for 90% of all B2B companies.
This is the harsh truth and it needs to be top of mind for all marketing folks, otherwise your social adventure could quickly become a nightmare.
The reason is this; 90% of all B2B brands are nothing more than average. I don’t mean to throw stones here, I’m just pointing out a simple fact. Most of us work for companies who have a fairly average product or service; it’s wrapped up with fairly average customer experience and delivered by people who don’t have any true passion for working for the company.
Average in the social world = crap. And therein lies the critical problem.
For 90% of the worlds ‘average’ b2b brands the social world is a graveyard.
It’s why so many of us find it painful to make social work, even though we know it has the potential to revolutionise our business.
Average brands lack interesting stories to tell. They struggle to find engaging content. They fear being creative or adventurous. Need I go on?
The problem goes back to the core of the business and the fact that in most cases 90% of B2B brands lack a true sense of purpose as to WHY they exist. If anybody reading this is thinking they exist to ‘make a profit’, then think again, profit is an action of doing business and should never be the reason to go into business in the first place.
Without a true sense of purpose most companies become obsessed with sales performance as the only success factor. They fail to connect with their customers and employees and lack any meaningful differentiation in their sector.
By jumping on the social media bandwagon many of them risk alienation.
Their only salvation is entrusting their social journey to the people in their company who have interesting lives and interesting points of view on the world.
Getting back to brand basics and business strategy is the only way these 90% of brands will ever truly embrace and realise the potential of social.
Conversely, the ‘10% club’ of brands who have a clearly defined sense of purpose find social media to be their playground. They have the brand basics in place, they have interesting stories to tell and engaged employees and customers who want to tell and share them.
In a world where we are turning more and more to ‘people in the know’ for advice and recommendations on everything from printers to data centers then it’s imperative that we create products and services that delight and amaze. This is what being a REMARKABLE company is all about.
In summary, the problem is NOT social media. Social is a brilliant tool for many of us in our personal lives, because we are who we are i.e. we don’t have to fake it. The problem lies in the fact that most companies are just plain dull and try to hard to pretend to be something they are not.
It’s not the job of marketing anymore to be a plaster on mediocrity, it just doesn’t cut it with savvy customers. Buyers today seek out trust, integrity and authenticity. This is how reputations are built.
The only option is to get serious about your brand, the race is on…
Find out more in my book http://tinyurl.com/bb5r8o7