If you’re a marketer for a B2B business who believes social media marketing doesn’t deserve a spot within your overall marketing strategy, you’re wrong! Social media is here to stay and it’s continuing to grow year after year. A study conducted by the B2B social giant, Linkedin discovered that 75% of C-level and VP-level buyers use social media to make purchasing decisions.
If you’re still not convinced that social media marketing is right for your business? We’ve compiled a list of the advantages it can provide for your business as well as some quick ways to kickstart your social media strategy.
Why Your B2B Business Needs Social Media Marketing
There are a variety of reasons as to why your business should be leveraging the power of social media to gain customer engagement and in turn sales for your B2B business. Social media marketing for years has been perceived as a predominantly B2C tool, but in our modern climate, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Your competitors are already using it
It’s highly likely that your biggest competitors are already leveraging social media within their digital strategy in one or more ways. Whether they are doing it well or not offers a unique opportunity to capitalise on their shortcomings. Reports have shown that 9 in 10 B2B companies are actively using social channels like Linkedin, don’t get left behind! In addition to this, more than half of B2B buyers have used channels like Linkedin to help them make purchasing decisions.
It goes without saying that your brand’s social channels will be influenced by your target demographics and their unique device usage and media consumption. Some channels will work better than others and not all of them are destined to yield results for your business. You can use persona research to discover where your target users choose to spend their time online and what media they prefer to engage with.
Customer service is key
Customers across the B2B and B2C markets have increasingly growing expectations from brands and businesses to provide the best customer service. Traditionally, your customers would compose an email, pick up the phone or visit your company in person. Nowadays, users want next to instant responses from brands, particularly when they aren’t completely satisfied with a recent purchase.
In a bid to get speedy responses from brands, users are quick to share concerns on public forums for all existing or prospective customers to see. Whether it be a review, question, or opinion, it should be standard practice for a brand to respond swiftly regardless of the positive/negative sentiment. Fortunately, there are a number of social listening tools that enable brands to consistently monitor social media posts for brand mentions or specific keywords. You can use these tools to quickly respond to your customers, mitigating damage to your brand reputation.
Learning from your customers
Tied to the previous point, social media has created a wondrous variety of different online communities where users have discussions about things they are passionate about. By creating a community around your product or services you can uncover valuable insights into your customers. From what they think about your offering to future product development, these pools of insight can help shape your business’s decisions going forward.
Additionally, modern marketing is all about building and nurturing relationships with your prospects, leads and customers. Online communities offer the perfect opportunity to do this in a natural way. Regular engagement with your visitors will provide stimulation for brand to customer interactions.
A good way to do this is to present opportunities for users to submit user-generated content or engaging with existing UGC. This will not only expand your brand reach into potential new markets but drives valuable conversations about your product or service.
Cost-effective content promotion
Think of your social media marketing as an extension of your existing digital marketing strategy. Particularly useful when embedded within an inbound marketing strategy, social media can be used as a cost-effective way to promote your catalogue of high-quality content. For more information about social media and inbound marketing strategies, check out our downloadable guide.
By sharing your unique pieces of content across your relevant social media channels you can generate traffic, as well as attract leads and customers to your website. This promotion is often organic, sharing content with users already within your network.
If you’re looking to expand your reach even further, you could consider using sponsored content tools and paid promotion to capture the attention of similar markets or define your own target criteria. Before assigning budget across every social channel out there, use your persona research to prioritise which channels are likely to bring you the strongest ROI.
Improving your retargeting abilities
In B2B markets, unfortunately, it’s unlikely a decision or purchase will be made from a user’s initial visit to your site, as great as that would be. B2B businesses commonly offer significantly larger and more costly products and services which often results in a much longer and complex buyer’s journey.
Although it’s frustrating when users don’t convert the first time round, they have, however, demonstrated an interest in your offering by visiting your site. Your job from here is to influence them to return to finalise that conversion.
B2B social media marketing can enhance your opportunity for conversions with the support of retargeting ads. These ads will only be shown to users who have demonstrated their interest in your brand, appearing across your desired social media platform in a variety of ways. The targeting abilities of social media ads have only got stronger so you can be sure you present the right ads to the right people at the right time.
Humanising your brand
Conversational brand voices and behind-the-scenes content thrives on social media. Your tone of voice on these platforms should directly portray the people behind your brand and how they relate to your target market. Businesses can’t tell their stories without a strong social foundation. Studies have found that 65% of customers feel more connected to brands that have a solid presence online.
Customers increasingly seek brands that provide content that humanises an otherwise faceless brand. Additionally, prospects also see value when employees leverage social media to share information too, so ensure all hands are on deck when it comes to this one. Content that features the people behind the company is a great place to start. Consider sharing introductions, birthdays, events, anniversaries, the possibilities are endless.
Expanding your reach and brand awareness
As outlined multiple times throughout this blog. With the right approach, social media marketing enables brands to expand their reach and enhance brand awareness. Whether social media has a direct impact on your search engine optimisation efforts is often disputed by many but what we know is, your business can do no harm by having a presence on social platforms.
The world is your oyster when it comes to social media marketing, ultimately you can decide which content is or isn’t right for your brand. To spark your imagination, some fun interactions that tend to expand reach is polls, contests and other posts that encourage users to take part in some way.
Another straightforward way to do this is to be reactive. A relatively new tactic in the marketing world; newsjacking helps brands get involved in trending conversations. It goes without saying that you should pick your topics wisely, but social features such as hashtags can significantly boost your brand visibility if executed correctly.
Social Media Marketing at Bright Design
At Bright Design we understand the value of social media and have seen time and time again the great benefits it can provide to a variety of B2B businesses. Accompanied with an inbound marketing solution, you can enhance your brand’s visibility and generate a steady stream of leads to your business. If you’re looking to grow your brand with social media marketing get in touch with our friendly team today.