The B2B world has been throwing a social media tantrum for about eight years now – since the creation of Twitter in 2006. Twitter’s rise to stardom gave B2B marketers the first clue that personal social sites maybe, perhaps, quite possibly, could be adapted for the corporate world. While many companies embraced the change, others have resisted in silent protest for almost a decade now.

It’s time to end the social media tantrum. Let’s all wipe our tears and submit to the fact that we need a social media presence to stay current and relevant in today’s ever evolving market. Forget the excuses – modern B2B marketing must include social channels.

Here are five B2B social strategy myths to get out of your head:

  1. My industry doesn’t use social media: Last year, Forrester Research discovered that 81 percent of US adults engage with social media. They also uncovered that B2B technology buyers were twice as likely to be active on social media than buyers in other industries.
    • Don’t use the complacency of other companies in your industry as an excuse to let such a valuable tool slip through your fingertips.
    • Start small, by creating a company Twitter account. At the very least you can follow customers, tweet about updates, and announce upcoming events.
  2. Social media isn’t measurable: If you’re using this excuse, you probably just don’t know what you should be measuring. Developing a social media presence makes your brand more recognizable to consumers. Many will conduct their own research, explore your website, and engage with your content – all of which is measurable through your website tracking software.
    • First, you have to create measurable content, like adding tracking URLs to posts so you can monitor and analyze engagement across social platforms.
    • Create a spreadsheet to monitor social media clicks, retweets, and follower numbers – see what type of content garners the most engagement.
    Social media doesn’t fit in my marketing strategy: Stop thinking of social media as a stand alone marketing channel – instead, implement it into your overall strategy. Social is a great place to share content from your website, but also engage in independent conversations with leads, customers, and partners.
    • Post a blog? (Yes, of course. If not, start now) Link to the post on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Thank those that engage or share, like their own posts, and retweet favorable comments
    • In your next customer newsletter, ask recipients to engage with your company social profiles – subtle direction will help increase your followers for each site.
  3. Presence is more important than engagement: Many B2B companies go through the upfront work of creating social media profiles, only to leave them empty and collecting dust. If you’re going to ignore your social profiles, don’t even bother creating one.
    • Put a reminder on your calendar for daily check-ins on each social media site, Use this time to share content, industry news, engage followers, and answer questions that may have been left for you.
    • Even engage with negative feedback. Remember, your company’s social profiles are open to the public – customers, leads, and competitors are watching how you engage and react to every interaction.
  4. Social strategy is only for lead generation: While lead education and nurturing plays a crucial role in your social media presence, your profile works beyond creating new customers. Actually, most of your social followers are already customers.
    • Use your profiles to prepare customers for upcoming events – countdown the days, provide checklists of what to bring, introduce them to speakers, and upload post event photo albums and thank you pages.
    • Also encourage your customer service department to start their own social presence where they can answer customer questions in real time.
  5. The early days of B2B social strategy involved manipulating a system that wasn’t designed for us – today, social networks know that they must support corporate accounts to stay afloat. Even Pinterest has a business profile where users can now track engagement.