B2B C‑Suite Marketers to Rethink Their Social Media Stance

Is the rest of the world passing by the C‑suite at B2B enterprises? The results of a recent survey by Zeno Group suggest that large company B2B CEOs don’t pay much attention to social media when it comes to corporate reputation. With so many people now engaging with social cornerofficemedia, this attitude may have to change.

Social media was slow to catch on in the C‑suite in general as executives puzzled over how this tool would work for them. Marketers soon discovered that consumers had taken over social media and were forcing many firms into engaging with them on this platform. This may explain why up to 70% of C2C executives consider their reputations on social media when they make decisions. The number for B2B executives is much lower at 57%.

The Zeno Digital Readiness Survey also revealed a lag on the part of B2B companies regarding negative online posts. B2C operators have allocated more resources to this area and 63% say they can address these types of posts within 24 hours. Only 45% of B2B companies are confident of responding in that time frame.

More B2B companies say they hesitate to defend their reputations in the online arena. Mark Shadle, managing director of Zeno’s Corporate practice, notes, “These businesses, regardless of sector, risk serious reputational damage, as well as miss out on important stakeholder feedback, when they ignore social media conversations about their companies and their industries.”

As consumers increase the amount of time spent on social media, which now stands at 25% of the total, B2B operators may have little choice but to manage  their reputations in this arena.

[Source: Digital Readiness Survey. ZenoGroup​.com. 10 Dec. 2012. Web. 17 Jan. 2102] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.