Social media for B2B
Just like your favorite soda uses Facebook or Twitter to promote its new diet drink, you can leverage them to generate new leads and win new clients for your business. Social media is not just for business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing; it is an ideal tool for business-to-business (B2B) marketing, because at its heart, its strength is in building relationships.
As technology changes, so do audience expectations, and if you want to reach them effectively, you have to continue to evolve the way you use the myriad of communication tools available. When used correctly, social media can be a powerful tool for business-to-business (B2B) marketing.
Smart social media strategies can grow your relationship potential by generating brand awareness, building a following for thought leadership, increasing the reach (and guest list) for events, and placing you in front of your ideal audience right when it’s time for them to make important decisions. Here are some tips for honing your approach to your social media strategy:
Do your homework.
Always do your homework. First, determine your goals: What do you want to accomplish? Is it building brand equity? Promoting people or events? Creating an expert community? When your team figures this out, you have the foundation for your plan to come back to again and again for clarification and consistency.
Create your plan of attack.
Look at what’s working now, and start there. If you’re gathering a huge following behind your blog and videos, then write more blog posts, and post more videos — and find more channels to post them with even more frequency. Step up your presence where your audience reach is high. On the other hand, figure out what isn’t working, and scale back your resources in those areas or find a way to use them more effectively.
Tell it like it is.
In all facets of marketing, you must create and frequently update compelling content, focus on engagement, and interact directly with your audience in order to be successful. When you use social media, make sure your content is appropriate and relevant to your expertise. If you’re a business law firm, post content that relates to your expertise in business law. If you’re a financial services company, tweet about the latest SEC requirements and demonstrate your capabilities in helping to navigate them. As long as you keep your audience listening, you’ll stay top of mind.
Stay in character.
Your business has its own distinct voice. In traditional marketing communications, the collateral you produce has most likely been passed through the appropriate channels to make sure all the messaging fits within your brand. The same consideration must be taken for your social media efforts. It is critically important that the people you place behind your social media know how to collect and generate content appropriate to your brand, as well as how to respond to followers in the same voice as your brand’s personality — sometimes in 140 characters or less.
Appeal to the decision makers by reaching the decision influencers.
In B2B, people with different agendas often take part in each purchase — and the potential risk to reward ratio changes as the potential deal increases in size and cost. One “no” can trump a hundred “yes”es, so when you’re making appeals using social media, make sure the content you post communicates to all of the people involved in the conversation. With social media, your focus is to appeal to the crowd while zeroing in on the leading decision maker.
Commit to the relationship.
The B2B sales cycle is generally longer than B2C. In some instances, it might take six months before a “like” can turn into a phone call. So you must commit to your new friends and followers, and you must keep your courtship aligned with your brand. Even though there might not be direct contact from the get-go, your audience is actually paying attention. And in most cases, 60% of the sales courtship is complete before your future clients pick up the phone. By the time they do call you, they’ve done quite a bit of research and consideration based on your online presence.
Amplify traditional efforts.
Social media amplifies offline marketing; it doesn’t replace it. Together, your traditional B2B marketing and social media can make for a very impactful marketing mix.
Ask the experts.
Social media engages audiences and provokes action. It’s just another channel that can inspire advocates and influencers to spread your message, generate content, and build relationships that can grow leads and sales. It’s important to evaluate your B2B social media marketing strategies so you can measure the impact of your efforts and make changes if necessary. If you’re not getting the results you want from social media, then the best start is by asking MasonBaronet.