2017.2.22 Report

Latest Cases of Social Media Use in America’s B2B Industry!

Seminar Report: “Latest Cases of Social Media Use in America’s B2B Industry!”

Bigbeat held a B2B Social Marketing Seminar some days ago. The lecturer was American social media consultant Neal Schaffer, himself an influencer in the industry and having appeared in Forbes Magazine’s “Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers.” We received advice and heard about the latest cases of social media use in the foremost of America’s B2B market. 

More and More Success Stories of America’s Accelerating Social Media Marketing

Social media use, such as Facebook and Twitter, as a marketing communication channel is spreading. B2C is a given, however, for companies engaged in B2B business, social media use is now becoming an obvious choice as well. So, what should we do to maximize its effectiveness in that case? To answer that question, we held a “B2B Social Marketing Seminar” on December 1st, 2016 and invited Mr. Neal Schaffer, representing PDCA Social, to give a lecture titled, “Latest Cases of Social Media Use in America’s B2B Industry!”

Already 94% of American Businesses are Utilizing Social Media for Marketing

Schaffer resided in Japan from 1990-2005 and, after gaining business experience in several companies, he founded a social media strategy consulting company in 2010. Thereafter, he published 3 books relating to social media. Besides holding lectures in more than 10 countries around the world, he also works as a college lecturer. Moreover, he sponsors the “Social Tools Summit,” an event that focuses on the best practices and techniques for social media, and has also appeared in Forbes Magazine’s “Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers,” becoming a leading figure in social media. For his lecture, he first introduced the current state of social media marketing in America. He explained that already 94% of businesses are using social media for marketing, and that 14% of the marketing budget is being invested into it. He says this percentage is estimated to reach 24% in 2021. “Currently, the thing that online users are using the most of is social media, of which is now achieving the same percentage as newspapers. Through the proactive transmission of information, a new shape of engagement construction will become possible. For example, there is a software company that had elevated their engagement rate 300% while cutting in half their leading acquired cost. There is another example of a company that reduced their automatic contract renewal’s withdrawal rate by 3% and secured a profit of $450 million dollars in a year.” 

Core of Information Transmission is Company Blog, Content Creation by the 9-1-1 Rule

So, in practice, what kind of media should we engage in? Schaffer explained, “In order to make B2B business successful, the most important thing is the company blog.” He said that the blog is the “home-base” of information transmission and by posting content that pulls interest, increasing traffic is possible. He introduced an example of a company that reduced their advertising costs of $2 million dollars by 1/10th while making their profits rise from $40 million dollars to $50 million as a result of focusing on the blog. The concept of “content creation” is essential to create content that appeals to customers. When looking at American businesses’ examples of success, he pointed out that 9 are content outside the company, 1 is content from within the company, and 1 is promotion content, all combined to create the “9-1-1 Rule.” Of course, it’s also important to use other forms of social media to disperse the posted content and lead readers to the blog. Schaffer spoke about taking up Twitter and LinkedIn, their special characteristics and strategic uses. “Twitter is speedy and plays a significant role as a search engine. Google processes 1 trillion queries a month, YouTube processes 3 billion a month, but, for Twitter, 2.1 billion queries are being processed daily (calculated monthly is about 60 billion). Additionally, not only does it transmit information, but it also excels as a tool for gathering information and finding potential customers. On the other hand, LinkedIn is important for creating an appealing profile and starting up groups. In America, they are enthusiastic about managing LinkedIn groups for major companies. Recently, paid social media as the big next step is also something that can’t be overlooked. If social media is the ‘amplifier,’ paid social media is the ‘accelerator.’ It has the appeal of being even more speedy and, moreover, can strategically reach an audience.” 

Highly Effective “Employee Advocacy” Rather Than Company’s Formal Message

The talk, hereafter, will expand towards “employee advocacy.” This is an approach where employees take on the task of communicating the company brand. According to one large IT company, a social media utterance by an in-house expert resultingly brought about 7 times the traffic. This is because many people have a strong tendency to trust the words of the employees and experts who work at the company more than the company’s formal message or managers’ words. Of course, the bigger the company, the bigger that result is. The number of connected friends and acquaintances on an employee’s social media is said to be 160 people on average, however, if a company has 10,000 employees, then having 16,000,000 connections potentially exists. Moreover, Schaffer also alludes to “influencer marketing.” He explains that already 75% of marketers are using this technique, and in America it’s become the hottest technique. “Today we introduced the trend in America, but the same opportunity also exists in Japan,” said Schaffer. He said that this is because the transformation of the buyer’s journey (the process to purchasing) is progressing in the same way in both Japan and America. “In Japan, the difference of LinkedIn having limited users, but Facebook and LINE having many users exists, however, numerous approaches of effectively using these is a common feature. There are many things that we can do now, for the future. I would like everyone in Japanese companies as well to certainly proactively engage.