Social Media for B2B Marketing
“It’s fascinating how the fundamentals of business-to-business marketing are the same today as they were 50 years ago. It’s still about relationships although today we have new tools and techniques at our disposal.” – David Meerman Scott
Recently, I typed “social media business burden” into Google. And you know what? The first page listed articles published anywhere between 2011 and last week. That’s right, 2018.
But quite frankly, I was not surprised. The number of companies that still see social media as a digital albatross astounds me. And I wonder, why the resistance?
As a seasoned salesman and marketer in the B2B realm, I imagine travelling back in time 50 years and dazzling my peers of the past with tales from the digital future.
It begins with me meeting them in an old-school diner between their eighth and ninth in-person cold call of the day.
Initially, I get their attention by revealing details of a communications tool that has the potential to both reach new leads and nurture existing relationships. Then, I tell them how without even leaving our offices, companies in the future can use this channel to launch highly targeted sales campaigns, gain the trust of our clients and answer questions frequently asked questions… all in real time!
They are mesmerized.
And finally, I stand back as they all spit out the morning’s 498th sip of Folgers drip brew coffee when I reveal just how many of their 2019 counterparts are not harnessing the power of this revolutionary tool.
A tool. That’s what social media really is. And if you view it through the same unjaded lens as the ghosts of salesmen past, its extraordinary potential is crystal clear. Even more so if you apply the fundamentals of B2B marketing.
Let’s take a look!
It can be tempting to use your business’s social media accounts as a sophisticated spray and pray delivery mechanism for your latest sales promotion. But remember what David Meerman Scott said about the importance of relationships in B2B marketing.
While you may be one company selling to another, in the end, its real people who are making the buying decisions. And in order to choose you, those people need to trust your brand.
Social media is the perfect place to position your company as an expert in your field. Share and comment on articles that discuss industry trends, participate in online discussions or even create your own branded content.
By offering up your expertise in helpful and authentic ways you can gain the trust of your community and be seen as a go-to resource for your industry.
Did you know that 67% of consumers have used social media to reach out to a brand for customer service? And that 70% of people said they are more likely to buy from a business after engaging in a positive experience with them on social media?
While these stats apply to individuals and not specifically to B2B interactions, it is people who make decisions for brands. You only have to look as far as the Facebook pages for HubSpot or Sprout Social to see individuals reaching out to B2B companies with questions, comments and kudos on behalf of their companies every day.
And those are just the public posts. Don’t forget the power of the direct message.
View social media as an invaluable customer service tool and your online community will grow. Optimize the quality and timeliness of your responses and demonstrate that you are listening to customer feedback. Also, don’t forget to engage authentically when having discussions.
Social media conversations offer unique customer service opportunities. They allow B2B businesses to both nurture existing relationships and find new ones. Don’t miss out!
People do business with those that they know, like and trust. And as business owners, they like to align themselves with like-minded companies who share their values.
Social media is a great place to share a behind the scenes look at your organization and show everyone what you’re made of.
Did your sales team organize a food drive for the holidays? Or perhaps your warehouse workers participate in a yearly charity walk? Highlight these events and let your customers get to know the folks they depend on to help their businesses run smoothly.
By leveraging social media to humanize your brand you can capitalize on your business’s culture to attract new customers and deepen your bond with existing ones.
Own Your Niche
I get it. There are some B2B companies that may sell a very specific product or service. Their target markets may be small and highly specialized.
But you know what? These types of companies often enjoy huge success on social.
In 2017 more than 70% of people in North America had at least one social media account. That’s a huge potential audience. And by utilizing social media tools like hashtags and analytics, it has never been easier to isolate target markets. No matter how small.
And if your niche is so unique that a community does not yet exist, then simply create one! And dominate it.
People follow those who post relatable content. And if you work in a highly specialized industry you will find countless opportunities to bond with the community over shared pain points, triumphs and even absurdities.
So there you have it! Now, go pour out a caramel macchiato in honour of our noble predecessors who pounded the pavement day in and day out to hunt down leads and keep their clients happy. Then, open up your company’s social media calendar and get to work building those invaluable B2B relationships.
Do you need help developing a social media marketing strategy for your B2B business? Contact the experts at Didjet today!