You heard many times how great social media are for your B2B company. In fact, everybody is sick of hearing how great social media are for B2B, although hardly anybody has cracked the nut yet.
Why is that? The noble attitude to start with the end goal in mind, which I take myself all the time, blocks any sense of urgency for social media. Over the last year I spoke to many B2B companies across different industries. Despite working in very different markets, their main “excuse” for not considering social is always the same: “Social media are not currently on our priority list. We do not have any resources, nor budget available.”
No resources + no budget = no social media. Fair enough. If a profitable B2B company has no budget and no resources, there is no sense of urgency for the matter on the table. This is an attitude any CEO should show to maintain a company profitable and avoid spending on costly, but meaningless initiatives. Or in other words: It is a CEO’s responsibility to guarantee the company’s existence for the years to come.
B2Bs are all about an easy understandable brand to be socially accepted. B2Bs are all about being socially accepted by doing good for society and the environment. B2Bs are all about people. People united by a culture they enjoy living, people who maintain long-lasting relationships with few clients and suppliers. B2Bs are all about keeping their people knowledgeable by open collaboration and the external input from the community. All of the above culminates in the one and only goal all B2Bs have in common: survival.
The goal of survival became more and more relevant since Ray Wang, CEO of Constellation Research, proclaimed that since the year 2000, 52% of the companies on the Fortune 500 list disappeared in mergers, acquisitions or bankruptcies. The average age of a company on the S&P 500 was 60 years in 1960 and is predicted to be down to 12 years by 2020.
The end goal B2Bs should have in mind is not to be present on social media. The end goal must be not to cease to exist. Now we have urgency. Social media happen to be ridiculously powerful tools that can help you communicate that easy understandable brand of yours, those CSR initiatives you are running, achieve that more human communication to create that transparent culture, that will attract young talent, keep your clients and suppliers close and gather their feedback. Social media help your company survive.
Whatever the matter on the table is, a bankrupt company will make the budget and resource discussion more than obsolete. Stop thinking about how to use social media for the sake of being present on social media. Think about what you need to do to survive as a company and consider social media to achieve just that.