What is the role of social media today for companies active in a business-to-business market?
Social media has taken over the internet
Social media channels are already as influential as traditional websites. They are now becoming much more important.
Websites are the shop window or online catalogue for a company. But the key content – the words, images and videos that explain what a company is and what its products are – now exists in a variety of spaces. These new spaces include websites, but this key content is much more likely to be present on social media whether it be a blog or a social network.
All of these spaces are ever more interconnected. An article originally published on a website will be republished on a variety of platforms. Extracts or highlights of that article will be posted and shared via Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Flipboard, Pinterest, Flickr and many, many others.
Sharing content is the key
When it comes to information – about almost anything – people search less and receive more. What really matters is who has shared it with you, who is the source and to what degree you trust them.
Here are some key points to bear in mind
Websites are declining
- The number of traditional websites has peaked. Forecasts suggest that there will be fewer websites at the end of 2015 than at the end of 2014.
- Shared recommendations are replacing search
People still search for information via the major search engines such as Google, but that is changing
- Search engines now push content to users before they ever need to look for it
- Social networks push information to users who choose which feeds they want to see
- You no longer need to search the internet; your network of friends and connections suggests and recommends where you should be looking
- Search engine results are now greatly influenced by social media content
If a website does not appear to be at the heart of a sharing social network, it will not be highly ranked
- Content that is only available on social networks will often appear higher in rankings than content on a traditional website
- Mobile Apps are gateways to content
More people visit the internet on mobile devices than on desktop computers
- The internet is expanding to welcome more and more apps that organize, structure and distribute content (information, images, data, articles, case studies, white papers).
- These apps are blog platforms and social networks of various types that demand to be fed with information that stands out from the crowd
Images generate interest
- Images and videos generate much higher levels of interest and increase the visibility of your brand, company or message
Social media means business
- Social media is not limited to celebrities and journalists
- It is a powerful tool for business-to-business communications, marketing and sales.
Most consumer brands have understood this but many in more traditional B2B sectors are slow on the uptake. Those who do not realize this will soon be left behind.
You can also find this articles on LinkedIn Pulse https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/websites-decline-b2b-social-media-rise-robin-young
Image: The Conversation Prism from Brian Solis