Social media for B2B: How social can supercharge your business

The B2B world has been relatively slow in terms of the uptake of social media. Many initially believed social media simply wouldn’t work for B2B companies, or that it just wouldn’t make a positive difference.

Social media has always made sense from a B2C point of view, and opinions about its place in the B2B world have gradually changed.

social media for b2b text in shape of a world map over desk
http://www.corporate-eye.com/main/b2b-social-media/

Companies now realise that social media can be a powerful tool in the B2B world, and have started using it to inform current clients, build a brand image, reinforce customer loyalty with current customers and gain new ones.

So, how can you utilise social media to supercharge your B2B company, and what benefits will it have?

There are a plethora of ways B2B social media can benefit your business, and you don’t have to do everything – in fact it’s best if you don’t, if you don’t have the time and budget to invest in social straight away.

You can pick and choose which benefits will be most valuable to you and offer the best immediate results or greatest ROI to start out, and then once you start to see the value in social, you can branch out to improve your online presence and interaction with customers. Social media is also excellent for your website’s search engine optimisation, helping drive traffic and verify you as a trusted source in the eyes of the search bots.

dilbert_funny_sales_cartoon_twitter_social_media
https://singlemindedproposition.com/2013/08/14/why-social-b2b-is-really-really-really-hard/

Another very real reality alongside the benefits of B2B social, is that, whether or not you are utilising this channel for your marketing, to help expose your brand and work with customers, the likelihood is is that your competitors probably are. With 92% of marketers saying social media is important to their business and 86% of B2B firms on social, social media is a platform you don’t want to miss out on.

Check out this infographic with some interesting stats highlighting the importance of utilising social media and engaging with clients, as well as the negative effects ignoring the platform:

social-customer-service infographic
http://www.business2community.com/marketing/31-sensational-social-media-marketing-and-pr-stats-and-facts-01275587#bRIWRYsubuSw5Koc.97

How can social media help your B2B business?

Social media is an ever-growing arena, with all kinds of businesses utilising it to expand their consumer base. It’s great for advertising your brand, as well as updating consumers with new releases and other information about your company. Some platforms, such as Facebook, even allow you to sell goods directly through your Facebook page.

B2B companies have often been shy to the idea of social media because they believe their industry is boring, and not the sort of thing people will share, like, or read about on a social media site. But this isn’t the case. There are 1.94 billion active Facebooks users each month, and some of those are bound to be interested in your business. The key is to think of content that your audience will like, engage in current trends and events and be passionate! If you are passionate about your business and industry then you will grab the interest of other users.

How to use social media to market your B2B company

1.      Make sure your posts aren’t boring

So, now we’ve convinced you social media is a good idea for your B2B company, what’s the best way to utilise it? Coming off the back of the previous section, the key thing is to make your content interesting and tailor to your audience. If you’re an insurance company, don’t share links about business insurance all day. Instead, do what Hiscox to, and make your posts about finance, marketing, and entrepreneurship. Think about the messages you want to get across and the audiences you want to reach – and the response you want to invoke. Whether your social media strategy for your business is simply to build to trust or drive sales, know your aim.

2.      Don’t just limit yourself to LinkedIn

You also shouldn’t just limit yourself to LinkedIn. Although it’s a very useful platform, and is clearly business focused, it shouldn’t be the only social media site you use. LinkedIn is good for generating leads, but using social media should be about branding, and that’s where all the other social platforms come in.

A great example of utilising other social media sites for branding is the Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis. Novartis use Instagram to promote their brand by posting pictures of their employees volunteering in the community, and also pictures showing the effect their medicines have had on poorer communities around the world.

3.      Build a personality

Like with our first point, a good business social media strategy is about not being boring – but it’s more than that. Social media is about building an identity, individuality, and giving your brand a personality that customers can engage with. Like the Novartis example above, make sure your posts have a human touch to them, and generate a coherent personality. Where appropriate, this means using a conversational tone, engaging with users, and showing a sense of humour.

If all of this sounds a bit complicated, fortunately, there are a number of social media agencies such as ourselves which will help you develop a good social media strategy specifically for B2B!

If you’re interested in finding out more about the B2B social media strategy that we would put in place for your business, or just want to talk to our friendly social media marketing experts, give us a call or drop us a message on… social media! We’d love to hear from you.

Even if it’s a little question about social marketing, monitoring, strategies, the networks that are right for your business, social media management tools, or any other social niggle, we want to help. So drop us a line, or engage on social – if we don’t find you first!

Social media for B2B