One of the questions I’m often asked is How do you use social media for B2B? Or worse still- we don’t need to use social media for our B2B. You want to drive leads and sales by appealing to other businesses but without social media, what’s your plan? By dismissing popular networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, you’re essentially throwing away an opportunity to engage with your target audience.
Social platforms are no longer just for photo sharing, gossiping with friends or watching videos of dancing cats. (ok we do that too!) They can be great for business, so let’s take a closer look at how to use social media for B2B (business-to-business) marketing and how it’s different from B2C (business-to-consumer) marketing.
Social Media For B2B – Not Just A Fad
We live in a technology-driven world where many businesses have an online presence. Competition between companies can be fierce, which is why it’s essential to not only promote what you do from a unique and interesting angle but to position yourself as a leading resource for professionals within your industry. Social media lets you do this. How?
- Share useful, up-to-date and relevant content related to your industry sector
- Talk directly to market leaders and discuss niche topics
- Create social campaigns to improve brand awareness and expand your audience
- Discuss what makes your company useful for other businesses
- Portray what may be perceived as a ‘boring’ product in a fun way/present your product in a new and innovative way
How Is B2B Marketing Different From B2C?
If you want to do anything right, you have to understand it. When it comes to B2B marketing, you are not talking to any Tom, Dick or Harry – far from it. Instead you are talking to other businesses – people who are clued up with the industry latest and are looking for products/business ideas that can enhance what they already do. Essentially, if your readers cannot apply the actionable elements of your content to their own business model, they will lose interest and you should rethink your target audience and how you’re communicating.
In general, B2C content is designed to increase brand awareness (usually on a large scale) and can therefore be wacky, creative and off-the-wall as it needs to entice people in a unique and memorable way. B2B content on the other hand tends to be more ‘to the point’ and is there to drive leads and sales. That said, it should always be of a high quality and must never be bland, boring or forgettable.
Good Tips For Content And Social
Content marketing without a thoughtful social strategy is like apple pie without custard – not as good. If you produce informative and engaging material – be it an infographic, article, blog or video – why not share it and reap the rewards? After all, excellent content marketing can improve your online reputation.
Here are a few tips to help you out:
- Embrace technology and social media
According to the Consumer Technology Association, more people have mobile phones than toothbrushes. While there are approximately 3.5 billion toothbrush users worldwide, a whopping 3.7 billion have a phone and with mobile internet usage on the rise, it makes sense to acknowledge and understand the importance of technology and social media. Apps and networking platforms are not going away, so embracing them is the way forward.
- Know your audience
When it comes to B2B marketing, it’s no good talking to everyone – or trying to be everyone’s best friend. It just won’t work. Instead, use tools such as Google Analytics to see who’s following your social posts as this will allow you to tailor content accordingly.
- Create content around a predetermined purpose
Before you post a blog to Facebook or login to Twitter, make sure you know what the purpose of your content is. If you want to promote an automatic trading platform to the FX industry, for instance, but don’t want to come across as pushy, perhaps discuss the benefits of automation in an article to show how companies can benefit.
- Produce new and up-to-date content
Social media users are knowledgeable. They follow news that interests them and therefore producing content that’s out-of-date or irrelevant is a big turn off. Untrue facts, misused quotes and overly promotional material could also prevent people from following you, so try to come up with a marketing angle that’s interesting and useful to the reader.
- Humanise your brand
No-one wants to talk to a robot. It’s simply not appealing. So, make an attempt to humanise your brand by using the first person when writing updates/articles. You could also use a brand front person to tweet, post updates and answer questions.
There are many ways you can integrate B2B content with social media in a clever and effective way. Need help with your B2B content or social media marketing? Get in contact with me here.