You will hear B2B marketers say that social media doesn’t apply to them as much as it does to B2C. Following from this, you will hear B2B marketers complain about how social media doesn’t help them boost their views, conversions, or whatever their goals are. However, it’s most likely they are using the wrong platforms or perhaps not using these platforms to the full potential.
Social media is social networking — and social networking is exactly what B2B marketing strategies should all involve. The only difference between B2B and B2C social media is being able to take advantage of different platforms to achieve your goals.
However, if you’re not yet sure that social media is for you, operating as B2B, here are a few more reasons why you should strongly consider implementing social media as part of your general marketing efforts.
It boosts your Google ranking
Producing cotent, especially SEO optimized content, will boost your overall Google ranking and make your business known with just a simple keyword. You would be surprised what a year of good B2B social media strategy can bring to your SEO results.
First step towards lead generation
Think about it…Every company uses social media. And although they might use it for their B2C strategy, why can’t B2B marketing take advantage of this huge database and contact accessibility? B2B social media is the first step towards lead generation. Just look at LinkedIn and its incredible database of professionals.
Many B2B companies, for instance real estate brokerages, use social media to create an internal support and networking between agents. You will notice most companies have private Facebook groups for their employees — and although these groups are continuously being replaced by team-oriented chatrooms, B2B social media is still used to create a strong internal support for the company.
One of the biggest advantages of B2B social media is the power of education. We’ve mentioned before that B2C social media content is usually shorter and focuses a lot more on emotional investment of their readers. But B2B social media has the power to present facts, do extensive research, and offer a non-biased outlook on the industry and for anyone interested in the industry. And yet, you can still use exactly the same outlets as B2C – videos, graphics, and blog posts. But B2B social media can also add case studies, and comprehensive reports that provide value not only to you, but everyone else in the same industry. Knowledge is power and B2B should take advantage of this knowledge, using it as part of their social media strategy.
So how can you use your social media platforms for a B2B marketing strategy?
Most companies use LinkedIn as a lead generation website, providing more details, insight, and experience-based articles that are still connected to the company. Create and join groups within your niche and remain active. Post genuine comments and create genuine relationships. LinkedIn is all about communication, so make sure the person in charge stays on top of every message and replies as soon as possible.
While B2B usually raves about LinkedIn, don’t leave out Facebook in your strategy! Take advantage of showcasing your company culture with videos and create informative visuals that will bring attention to your audience. Ask questions, create Facebook events around your company. Actually, Facebook can be just as effective as LinkedIn – especially with the rise of Facebook ads. So study up, create an ad, and watch your B2B business grow with Facebook!
And last but not least, Twitter. Much like the rest of the platforms, Twitter is all about engagement and keeping track on who is talking about your company and what are they saying. The beauty of Twitter is that you can post multiple times a day, which means you can reach audiences in different timezones. Don’t forget to engage with everyone in your niche, whether it’s customers or other companies. And remember – you must stay active on the platform in order to receive engagement.
B2B social media campaigns to inspire you
In 2016, we saw a lot of amazing B2B content on social media. These companies managed to produce inspiring campaigns that made an impact on every marketer out there.
NorthShore University HealthSystem
This inspiring B2B campaign was lead with the hashtag #NSChats. NorthShore patients and anyone looking for medical information was able to submit questions which were answered by the NorthShore University medical professionals. This created a huge exposure for the hospital as well as community engagement. At the same time, they utilised branded infographics to spread awareness, which got shared hundreds of times across social media.
International Cyber Security Protection Alliance was behind the three month long Project 2020 campaign, which was mostly focused on YouTube (as well as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+) blog episodes that presented the evolution of technology and society’s role. The goal was to spread awareness on cyber crime and it certainly succeeded. Organic impressions for the 2020 content reached more than half a million users. The extensive campaign was also caught by several news outlets, which only generated more views. A very successful campaign for a B2B company.
Google seems like a typical B2B company, right? But they still use their social media like no one else! With the arrival of Google Enterprise, Google had an interesting idea for its B2B campaign — to increase awareness for its products by using the platforms where their audience is present. They started producing tons of content around the “bring your own device” trend, which highlights mobile management. Even Eric Schmidt weighed in, giving an analysis of future trends, one of which included going mobile, and several other influential public speakers shared their thoughts on Google Enterprise. It worked! Every company was thinking about using Google Enterprise for their own business and the engagement skyrocketed. Google also took advantage of the National Coffee Day (because coffee runs through most business men’s veins), asked companies for silly work stories, and used hashtags like #workresolutions to increase work productivity and ambition.
Still not sure how to connect B2B and social media? We’ll be happy to help you out!