“But all this social media stuff doesn’t apply to B2B, right?”
INCORRECT! Social media can be just as transformative – perhaps even more so for a B2B company, compared to a B2C company. This is because B2B has a smaller potential customer base, a higher average price point, and a customer-decision funnel that is influenced to a greater extent by word of mouth and reputation.
So how does social media compare to other channels for B2B Marketing?
Social media marketing might initially appear to be the sole preserve of the business-to-consumer (B2C) marketer, but according to this research into B2B social media marketing by Omobono, business-to-business (B2B), marketers can benefit greatly by including social media in their marketing strategies.
In a survey recently done, Omobono found that 79% of 115 marketing specialists in B2B roles rated social media the most effective marketing channel, with 38% noting that if they had an extra budget the following year, it would be spent on social media. The overall results show just how far B2B marketing has shifted away from broadcast media and towards social engagement.
What to Consider:
When creating a social media strategy, you need to determine why your company should be social, for whom your efforts are intended, where your audience is in the buying cycle and how you’ll measure success. Social media marketing and selling are constants for any business looking to grow. With that said, one needs to make sure that their time and money will be allocated to the right social network for their B2B.
Below are some insights into the different channels to use, along with a few points on what one should consider before planning their B2B marketing strategy.
Facebook Is more relevant to B2B Marketing than most people realise
Facebook should be utilised by all, no matter what niche you’re in. Much of the content out there will suggest that Twitter and LinkedIn are more relevant, but recent studies have proved otherwise.
This particular study shows that one in four people sought out Facebook specifically. Furthermore, studies show that the average decision-maker uses Facebook around 18 days per month, compared to 13 days per month using LinkedIn and Twitter. When making any decision, most people are more inclined to go to their most-visited channels for information, before heading elsewhere.
If content is shared by someone they trust, they believe it
Making yourself relevant on social media is imperative for a B2B looking to improve its marketing strategy. Focus on getting content up on social media to form relationships, get exposure and ultimately become a more reputable company.
All B2Bs should get professionals to help write quality content about their products, and promote them effectively to their respective audience. A person is more likely to believe that they should select your company over another vendor based on the credibility of the information they find on social media channels.
Research what your competitors are doing
It is important to find the top performing brands in your niche and analyse their methods. See what they are doing to be successful and which platforms they are using to do this.
While Facebook might be the most-used of social media, this doesn’t mean that you won’t need to use marketing on other social media channels, like LinkedIn and Twitter. Every social media platform has a different end-game that can help improve your sales. Learning how they work specifically for your niche, and how active your respective audience is online, is imperative to your B2B decision-making.
Paid advertising on social media
Paid advertising is an opportunity for any B2B looking to enhance their marketing strategy. Knowing your audience is important for paid advertisement because it will maximize your conversions and bring in a better profit margin by lowering costs.
Keep your social media accounts updated
Never stop updating your social media account. Keep it as active as possible to show a human/real-life connection with your buyers. When they see that you are actively engaging with them on a regular basis, they will feel that you are a more trusted and credible source. This is going to be a crucial part of the success of your business and should remain part of your B2B marketing strategy. In B2B marketing, social media has become a crucial contributor to success. The more time you put into building your social media presence, the higher the overall success of your company.
So why is social media proving so beneficial for B2B marketers?
We, humans, are social beings. We have always used our social experiences as part of our decision-making processes. E.g., Do I like this person? Do I trust them? Can I see myself working with them? Interaction and professional relationships build a very powerful connection centred on trust, knowledge and the ability to deliver on promises.
Social media is no different; it is the online equivalent of these conversations and relationships so, in terms of social media marketing, B2B firms are often best placed to take advantage of this opportunity, because it is intrinsic to what they do every day – whether that is sales or service.
Below is a list of benefits that show the impact social media can have on B2B marketing:
- Helps to educate prospects and buyers on your services and offerings.
- Acts as a subscription service (like email or RSS), which helps to nurture a relationship over time.
- Builds brand awareness.
- Increases traffic to websites and other brand touch points, which can then result in conversions.
- Helps acquire new business relationships.
- Reduces marketing expenses.
- Acts as a sales nurturing tool.
- If connected to an automation system, can be used to measure the commitment of leads to the buying process.
- Helps build press visibility and improve media relations for a brand
- Strengthens search presence.
- Amplifies new product or service announcements.
- Great for customer feedback, which helps brands improve and become more competitive.
- Powerful tool for hiring and recruitment.
- Makes a brand appear more contemporary and relevant.
It’s clear that social media marketing has its advantages, so if your business doesn’t already have the appropriate profiles – create them. Fill out your business’s information and post some engaging content to start gaining followers. With consistent updating, the right social media marketing strategy will lead to increased traffic, better SEO, higher conversion rates, improved brand loyalty, and much more.
There are virtually no reasons not to implement social media into your marketing strategy. Since it is so cost-effective, there is hardly anything to lose. Your competition is most likely already on social media – don’t let them take your potential customers. The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll see growth in your business, so get out there and gain your online presence.