Wednesday, December 9, 2015

How B2B Companies Can Use Social Media to Their Advantage


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Too many B2B firms believe that social media marketing only works for B2C companies and wrongly believe that implementing a social media campaign would be a waste of time. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Though it may not be the most efficacious of marketing strategies, it’s still an exceptional option for B2B companies.
In fact, according to one study conducted by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, 87 percent of B2B companies currently use social media platforms to enhance their content marketing strategies. That number is up quite a bit from the previous year, especially since B2B marketers are getting a better sense of the effectiveness of these platforms. This has helped to improve customer engagement and brand relationships.

Why Social Media Works for B2B

There are several differences between how you would market a B2C company and a B2B firm. However, the gap isn’t nearly as wide as many might think, and the benefits of social media still apply. In that vein, it means 92 percent increased exposure, 80 percent increased traffic, 66 percent more generated leads, and 50 percent better sales, according to an infographic by Real Business Rescue. These statistics encompass social media in the business world in general, and also provide a solid foundation for advertising.
Another important aspect of social media for B2B platforms is the ability to build relationships. When your company provides a service for other companies, relationships mean everything when it comes to increased revenues and customer retention. Social media is an excellent way to keep companies informed, communicate with them, and share your appreciation for their clients.

Start a Successful B2B Social Marketing Campaign

Running a successful B2B campaign requires a little more thought and understanding, but it’s still a profitable method of marketing. 
If you’re looking for some new tricks to add to your marketing handbook, consider the following:
Publish only relevant content. As a B2B company, your brand is built around a specific industry. Keep your content relevant in order to keep your clients captivated. This content can be shared on your social media pages to keep your clients informed and interested.
Use the right social media platforms. This point cannot be stressed enough. One of the biggest reasons B2B social campaigns fail is because they use the wrong platforms. Though Facebook is generally the king of social media marketing, when it comes to B2B platforms, LinkedIn and YouTube affect larger companies the most. For smaller companies, SlideShare and Twitter are the most effective. If you want to succeed in social marketing, evaluate your company size, and go where your customers are.
This isn’t to say that Facebook can’t be effective in gaining customers for B2B businesses. For example, General Electric has had a very successful Facebook campaign for years. GE’s Facebook page operates under the tagline, “We love science, technology innovation and hearing from you! So, say hello.” It must work, because there are currently nearly 1.5 million likes on the page. Through videos, questionnaires, and contests that market directly to the company’s customers and audience, its able to engage a widespread fan base.
Personify your customer base. No company, whether B2B or B2C, can hope to run a successful social media marketing campaign if it doesn’t understand its audience. Creating profiles and personas is the key to marketing effectively on a social level.
There are two tiers of customer personification on the B2B level. The first is what your products or services can do on the organization’s level; what problem will it solve and why is your company the solution? The second is on the buyer’s level. Even though you’re dealing with an organization, it’s still human beings who will make the ultimate decisions. What makes your company stand out above the competition and what can you offer to close the deal?
Understanding these levels of personification will translate directly to your social media tactics. It will also direct the content you publish, discounts you post, and interactions with individual clients.
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