Three tips for resourcing social media in B2B businesses

Guest blog post by Matthew Schwartz, editor of Follow the Lead, a blog on b-to-b search engine ZoomInfo

As the use of social media grows within B2B businesses, there is increased demand for companies to hire in-house social media resource. In fact, the phrase “social media director” has even started to creep into the conversation, especially in the US.

A search on for “social media director” returns more than 7,100 results from companies, ranging from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants to Fairmont & Hotels Resorts.

Unlike in the States, it’s still early days here in UK for B2B businesses when it comes to resourcing social media in-house. However, developing and then implementing a well-researched social media strategy will show your customers that you mean business.

In order to stay viable, B2B companies need to start thinking about how to integrate social media into their workforce. For many B2B organisations, this will mean creating an entirely new position.

Here are 3 tips to get the ball rolling:

  1. B2B managers need to find candidates who have spent adequate time in both sales and marketing positions and can present a clear understanding of how he or she will help to impact the bottom line using social channels. Being able to demonstrate ROI is of vital importance to any social media strategy and should be a key concern of any social media manager in a firm.
  2. With apologies to ex-NFL head coach Herman Edwards, you have to play to “win the game.” Companies will need to create a budget item for “social media resource” and offer competitive rates. Depending on the size of the company, the sector and, most importantly, the use of social media channels among the audience being targeted, companies may need to employ “tiers” of social media jobs/programmers akin to other disciplines.
  3. Social media staff shouldn’t sit in an isolated office – they must be integrated into the whole sales system. Akin to sales reps, your social media resource must be close to the customer and should develop a social media strategy depending on where the  customer sits within the sales cycle.