Do B2B Companies Need Social Media?
Everyone is using social media these days. In fact, so many people are using it that businesses have dived into the fray. You can connect and interact with some of your favorite brands – even the biggest companies in the world. Social media is so prevalent, in fact, that it’s changing the way big and small businesses think of marketing. But what if you work in a business-to-business (B2B) environment? You don’t sell consumer commodities or anything suitable for mass-market consumption. Your target is actually quite specific. Your product is definitely not sexy.
You may think social media isn’t suitable for your B2B company, but you would be wrong. B2B companies are run by people. And those people are using social media like everyone else. They are looking for new ideas, solutions to their problems, and content that inspires and entertains them.
Build trust with a strong B2B presence. If you were cold emailed by another company, you would probably look them up before committing to their offer, wouldn’t you? You would Google their name, check out their website, and exam their social profiles if they have any.
Undoubtedly, you would be reassured if that company had a robust online presence. If they are investing in content publication, community engagement, and customer support through social media, you could assume they aren’t a fly-by-night operation looking to grab your cash. You would even use that online presence to learn more about the company before you responded to their pitch.
By making yourself present on the Internet, you build trust and authority that supports everything else you do.
Move short term sales to long term value. Keeping your brand in front of the customer is an important part of securing future sales. If the customer forgets you exist after the sale, they’ll seek a similar solution when the problem arises again, instead of returning straight to you.
Many salespeople make the mistake of only approaching a customer when they want a sale. That creates an antagonist relationship, where the salesperson is always looking to take and the customer is always trying to avoid giving.
Instead of ignoring the customer until it’s time to buy again, social media can be used to delight the customer over and over. Solve their problems, offer resources and education, and make yourself available for their questions – even if it doesn’t entirely relate to your specialty.
This keeps your brand in their face between sales. When it’s time to buy anew, the customer knows right where to go.
LinkedIn is your Holy Grail. LinkedIn was designed for professionals. It’s a natural place to begin your B2B marketing because it’s tremendously effective for collecting leads. Companies regularly use LinkedIn to make connections, hire new talent, arrange deals, and even convert big sales.
Create a profile for yourself as well as a business page. Publish content related to your business for other users to find. If you’re looking to create a business opportunity, use the advanced searching feature to find other professionals who meet your specific needs. You can drill down by location, industry, title, etc.
Other social media networks are valuable too. It all depends on your industry. Check where your competitors are spending their resources.
Expand your reach. The Internet has made the world a lot smaller. Suddenly people and businesses on the other side of the globe are just as accessible as the company next door. You just have make yourself present in the digital world and give your brand a voice – even B2Bs.
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