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B2B marketers are discovering a whole new outlet and way to communicate with prospective buyers and current customers, and that avenue is social media marketing. Social media marketing gives businesses the ability to personalize their interactions and engage on a higher level than they ever could before. It humanizes the way businesses interact with people online, even when that business is B2B.

B2B marketers can now promote their brands with social media sites like:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Linkedin
  • Google+
  • Pinterest

Social Media is not just for consumer-based marketers. B2B Marketers can make great use of them as well.

WHAT EXACTLY IS SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING?

Social media marketing is the process of gaining more website traffic and attention through various social media channels (such as the ones mentioned just above). The overall goal of social media marketing is to create awareness and generate conversation between your business and your B2B consumer.

Another benefit is that users can share their information to others within the same social media channels. Using these methods, your company has the potential to significantly increase brand exposure and customer reach.

B2B SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING BENEFITS

Many people with access to the internet use some sort of social media in their spare time, including everyone from thought leaders to your own friends and family. To not take advantage of social media is to neglect the potential of your company brand awareness efforts (to learn other strategies for awareness, click here).

The benefits of B2B social media marketing include:

  • Engagement – You’re able to take your company, which can often seem like a faceless entity instead of a hard-working group of people, and make it more humanized. It improves the way you engage with your users in order to make them feel more important and valuable.
  • Cost Savings – Social media marketing can save you money because it’s happening in real time. Announcements of new features and customer service responses can happen immediately, increasing customer satisfaction. Also, free features are often coming out for these social media channels, providing you with ways to further expand your influence.
  • Reach – B2B social media gives companies the ability to utilize multiple channels at once and maintain consistency among them all, keeping your brand message consistent.
  • Increased Networking Capabilities – Not every social share or content piece will lead to your next client, but it does is create a name for you as an industry leader. When a B2B customer is searching for a product that you offer, they’re looking for a trustworthy company, and your social media popularity can lend to this feeling.
  • Increased Leads and Traffic – Implementing a social media strategy that is consistent and of the upmost quality is key. Having great content and a cohesive content marketing strategy (discussed in detail below) is the center of all things social media. Having quality content will increase the amount and quality of leads and traffic your website receives.
  • Positioning – Creating a social presence does a number of things: it positions you as an expert in your industry, helps you gain more presence in search engine rankings, generates more leads and traffic, and gives potential customers and current customers alike a way to interact and communicate with you.

3 TIPS TO REMEMBER WHEN CREATING B2B SOCIAL MEDIA CONTENT

  • FOCUS on the passion of your readers and not so much the product you are selling. The B2B consumer is heavily involved in their own vertical – think about what type of information they would find useful and interesting that’s relevant to that vertical.
  • LISTEN to what your customers have to say. Don’t just ask questions and post content for the heck of it – do it with a purpose in mind. You want to spark conversations and create dialogs between you, your prospects and clients alike.
  • PUT YOURSELF in the place of your customer or potential customer and produce content that you yourself would want to find if you were them.
  • ADD PERSONALITYto your content. Just because you are B2B and are surrounded by professionals doesn’t mean you can’t have creative, fun posts and content full of personality. Show you social media followers that there are dedicated people there to assist them, not just a corporate entity.

GENERATE MORE SALES WITH B2B SOCIAL MEDIA

Word-of-mouth has been one of the most effective ways to generate awareness for your business, and social media has made word-of-mouth easier and more expansive. Social media in a sense is just “word-of-mouth” promotion on a worldwide scale. B2B social media marketing can generate more sales in many ways – some of the most common ways include:

  • Building Your SEO Ranking – Trust is important in our competitive market, and you want to be one of the companies with a high SEO ranking, as they tend to be seen as more trustworthy. As one of the growing factors in search engine rankings, a great social media presence can drastically increase the amount of organic traffic that reaches your site.
  • Increasing Your Reputation in the Industry – The more your potential customers can see and hear about your company in industry news, blogs, and other online content, the more they will recognize you as a thought leader in the industry. Create quality content that gets shared and you will get more quality leads (need help with developing great content? See here).
  • Creating Awareness – B2B social media is largely about creating awareness. In turn, by creating awareness, you’re going to receive more traffic to your website. B2B social media lets you publish your company’s best practices and expertise in a virtually unregulated environment. This gives you the freedom to create awareness for your company and present yourself as a trustworthy industry leader in an environment that’s considered “neutral” (as all companies have access to it).
  • Increased Word-of-Mouth – As mentioned above, word-of-mouth is crucial to effective, low-cost promotion. With social media, it’s easier than ever to share news, events, and other content that generates buzz and gets potential customers talking about your business.
GoToMeeting Google+ Page

GoToMeeting’s Google+ Page

Someone in their circle might share it, and a person in that circle might share it, and…

A SAMPLE B2B SOCIAL MEDIA EFFORT

In order for you to better understand the basics of social media for B2B marketers, below are some steps and statistics that you can reference before building your own B2B Facebook page:

Some statistics about Facebook (you should always research a platform and gets stats before starting your marketing efforts):

  • 750 million monthly visitors
  • 51% are more likely to make a purchase after “liking” a brand on Facebook
  • 41% of B2B marketers have said they have acquired customers through Facebook

How do you make your Facebook page stand out?

  • Create audience engagement opportunities
  • Encourage relevant and open-ended conversations
  • Encourage visitors to share your content and information
  • Don’t promote your products through a direct sell (i.e., no traditional techniques)

5 Key Factors to Think of While Developing Your Facebook Page:

  • Know and pay attention to your target audience
  • Produce quality and engaging content
  • Have dedicated staff to manage your social media and its interactions
  • Measure your results and adjust accordingly (for more on measuring the right results, click here)
  • Interact and listen to your visitors
deloitte tumblr post

A Tumblr post tagged with Deloitte

Are more consumer-based platforms like tumblr worth it? Testing is key.

FINAL THOUGHTS

This information and simple tips can assist you in your B2B social media marketing endeavors, which can improve the number and quality of leads you receive on your website. Take advantage of what social media can offer your company and be aware of its pros and cons before building your marketing strategy.

“We don’t have a choice on whether we DO social media, the questions is how well we DO it.” – Eric Qualman