Visable 360
The B2B magazine for digital sales
Visable 360
The B2B magazine for digital sales

Companies are neglecting social networks for business contacts

More and more people are increasingly using social networks – but many companies continue to hardly be noticed on these platforms. This means they are wasting the potential to win over new customers and remain in a dialogue with existing customers.

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                                                          Photo: Greg Bulla / Unsplash

Millions of people use Facebook, YouTube & Co.

Social networks bundle a large share of online traffic and therefore provide an immensely high marketing potential. According to the latest figures from 2020, users spent 876 hours, or 36.5 days, on social media platforms on average. Facebook users are in second place, with 231 hours on the platform – while TikTok users take the lead today with 274 hours. These are followed by Snapchat (183), Instagram (170) and YouTube (67). What’s also interesting for advertisers: on average, Facebook users clicked on 96 Facebook ads in 2020 (source: Hootsuite).

And the significance of social networks is growing. At the same time, these platforms not only serve as a space for interpersonal interaction, they are also used as sources of information. The question of whether social media makes sense for the B2B industry is therefore made redundant – and companies should be aware of the significance of their communication via social media for winning new customers, recruiting, and generating leads. This makes it all the more astonishing to know that many companies continue to hardly or not at all be present on these channels.

German B2B companies are particularly reserved

Compared to their international competitors, German B2B companies have a lot of catching-up to do when it comes to social media. This difference is most remarkable on Facebook: nearly one-third of German companies from the B2B segment do not use this channel to date (working group on B2B social media), which is just 9 per cent worldwide (Statista). And on Instagram, the discrepancy is even higher: nearly two-thirds of German B2B companies refrain from using it at all, which is just under one-third worldwide. At the same time, Instagram is important particularly as a recruiting platform, considering junior talents are especially active here. All the same: nearly 96 per cent of German companies active in the business customer field use some kind of social media.

The business network LinkedIn is the most well established in Germany: 71 per cent of German B2B companies are active on this channel. Even CEOs are present on this platform, thus ensuring – in connection with the company’s own channels – for synergies which help users to be able to experience the B2B company.

Survey: customers want information via social media about products

The Gelbe Seiten published a representative survey (German) in May 2020 which showed that potential customers search for concrete information about companies via social media. More than half look for promotions and products, while nearly half of those surveyed want to find the opening hours. And new product and services (45 per cent) as well as discount deals (34 per cent) are extremely interesting for people on social media.

But this survey also showed that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) do not play a significant role in social networks. More than 40 per cent of consumers are not at all aware of or hardly aware of these enterprises. Even if B2C companies were also surveyed, one can assume that the separated data from the business customer field strongly deviates from the overall result.

“Especially for younger generations are social networks the first place where they search for the latest information and news. SMEs should consider this development in all cases for their strategy and seek support as soon as possible. Those who are active on the respective platforms today will be a reliable and trustworthy partner at the side of consumers when it matters most,” says Dr Uwe Breier, CEO of the Gelbe Seiten Marketing Gesellschaft mbH.

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