The Emerging Social-Centric Internet: What It Means for B2B Leaders

The emergence of the social-centric internet has significant and wide-reaching implications for B2B companies looking to build their presence in the marketplace and develop trusted and authentic connections to prospects. B2B Marketers will need to refine their content strategy (Again? I know, I know...) and ask their senior leaders for their assistance.

"The goal is not to be seen, but to be remembered."


What is the social-centric internet, and why should I care?

For well over a decade, the search-centric Internet dominated, guiding our inbound marketing and sales strategies. However, a profound transformation is unfolding: the rise of a social-centric Internet. This change is evident in our daily lives. How often do you check social media compared to searching on Google? When you search, you might end up on a company page and, perhaps, download an article. When you connect via LinkedIn, it's human-centric, one-to-one, which can be much more helpful if you are looking for assistance and just as powerful if you are helping solve the problems your customers faces. 

A New Playbook: Social First, Search Second

The previous B2B marketing playbook prioritized search engine optimisation, placing social media engagement as a secondary focus. Now, it's time to flip these priorities. The new approach puts social media engagement at the forefront. 

Why? Social channels were built to allow humans to interact with other humans in the digital realm. This allows us to build a community of like-minded individuals who share a common focus and are working on solving the same problems. It's a more natural, authentic way to connect than via Google search. But there is good news on this front too. Pete Caputa, CEO of Databox puts it like this:

"The crazy part, though, is that doing this right helps search strategy too. Content is so much more insightful, thorough, multi-perspective, data-backed when it's built by the community. And that's what Google wants."

So it's a win-win.

For B2B businesses, adapting to this shift can feel uncomfortable. Social media in the consumer world is "on the nose" for many people. A race to the bottom, where vacuous influencers reign supreme, algorithms seem to serve up increasingly toxic content from bad actors and any interesting or valuable content is swamped by advertising posts.

"Surely this is not the place for B2B brands who have spent years curating their brands as reliable, trusted business partners to play," I hear you say!

Indeed. And LinkedIn, the social channel for business, has suffered to some degree from becoming a noisy, spammy place. But it's THE social channel B2B businesses must master, and it is the key to building the right type of influence over your target buyers - one that builds trust and authentic relationships.

Here are some ideas that I hope help B2B organisations harness LinkedIn to grow their business.

Topics: social media Thought Leadership Marketing thought leadership Go-To-Market Strategy