When Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook (then named “thefacebook”) in his Harvard University dorm, he couldn’t have imagined how it would shape the future. He certainly could not have foreseen the benefits that social media would one day play in the marketing of companies and services, especially B2B companies.Five Predictions For The Future Of B2B Social Media Marketing
Social media has followed the same rules that were set out by Moore so many years ago. It has proliferated into niche networks, each providing its own benefit to B2B marketers. From Twitter to Facebook to LinkedIn, each social network has its own benefits.
Given the exponential growth in social media we have seen thus far, where will it be in a few years from now? The truth is, no one can predict the future. But we can try.
Here are a few predictions of what the future holds for B2B social media marketing:
1. LinkedIn to remain number one for B2B
LinkedIn has become the go-to social network for B2B companies. With an engaged and professional audience, it has all the elements for successful engagement and lead generation for B2B. The future of B2B remains with LinkedIn. With a vastly growing user base, B2B marketers will increasingly move to LinkedIn as their primary source of social media marketing.
That is not to say that other social networks will fall to the wayside. Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and other networks (even ones that don’t exist yet) will all serve to increase ROI and engagement with current and potential customers in the future.
2. Social media will become more professional
Although many B2B companies already have “Social Media Manager” and “Community Manager” positions, most companies still delegate responsibility to the overall marketing department.
As social media becomes more and more respected a marketing tool for B2B, entire departments will increasingly be created to carry out social media activities, as opposed to delegating this responsibility to already over-burdened marketing directors and managers.
3. ROI will be more important
One of the main complaints, and often the reason B2B companies don’t put effort towards social media is that measuring actual ROI in numbers of dollars is a difficult, and often inaccurate endeavor. More and more marketing tools geared towards social media are becoming an integral part of social media campaigns. However, many of these tools do not offer the ability to accurately measure conversions from campaigns to dollars.
With Oktopost, the social media tools made specifically for B2B, companies can accurately see the conversion from social media activities to sales. Oktopost enables users to track closed sales back to the originating social media interaction – whether this is a Tweet, LinkedIn post or Facebook update.
4. Even more players
After Facebook, a slew of social networks entered the market, mostly focusing on carving out their own niche. From Pinterest and Instagram, to Quora and Slideshare, the world of social media is expanding. Based on current trends, it is reasonable to assume that the world of social media will continue to proliferate.
What does this mean for B2B?
Facebook was never intended to be a tool for B2B marketing (or any marketing for that matter), however marketers thought outside the box and came up with ways to turn it into a viable marketing tool for B2B. So to with the new social networks that will sprout up. Once a large network of people are gathered in a single place, the opportunity to use that as a tool for marketing exists.
5. Moore’s law will continue
As mentioned earlier, the rate of change and growth in the digital age is exponential. Just as we have seen huge growth in the field of social media marketing for B2B, we will continue to see growth at increasing rates. According to Moore’s law, in ten years social media should expand by a factor of 20!
We are not prophets, but judging by what we are seeing right now, it is safe to say that the above predictions are a reasonably accurate assessment of where B2B social media marketing is headed.
What are your predictions for the future of social media marketing for B2B?
This content originally appeared at Oktopost Blog.
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