B2B Marketing: Here is How Social Media Will Help You Succeed
Most of the time when we include social media in a marketing plan, we are targeting the masses of consumers who may be interested in our services. Most of those campaigns are B2C (Business-to-Consumer). But we cannot underestimate the power of social media in B2B (Business-to-Business) Marketing.
Right now, in the minds of business marketers, the only two effective social media platforms are LinkedIn and Twitter. The graphic below shows the confidence level of B2B on the various social media platforms. It is not at all shocking, but only shows perceptions and results.
So what platforms are B2B marketers using? Most B2B marketers believe that LinkedIn is the social media platform for businesses. I agree that it is a great tool but there are others. Twitter is another viable solution. Blogs and content marketing are also critical. Let’s look at some tips for each of these platforms.
LinkedIn is by far the most accepted social media platform for B2B marketing. But in order to get the most out of your LinkedIn presence, I would like to offer the following tips…
- Use your company page very actively. Promote your services. Build an audience of followers. Create and share great content for people to you for.
- Get involved with groups. Creating your own group establishes yourself and your company as a leader in an industry or product/service. Participate in that group and others.
- Ask for recommendations. Ask your friends, co-workers, employees, and followers for recommendations. This is another way of building up your reputation in your field online.
- Use LinkedIn as part of your Content Marketing Plan – Once you create great content, it is your responsibility to share it effectively. Many people tweet and Facebook share it. Don’t forget to share that content on LInkedIn as well.
Twitter is #2 in the B2B Marketer’s toolkit and for some very good reasons. Many business marketers use Twitter several times a day. Here are some tips as to how to use Twitter in your B2B marketing strategy.
- Stay Informed in Your Industry. By following other leaders in your industry and monitoring pertinent hashtags, you can at leading edge of industry. Participate in those discussions and you will be seen as part of the leading edge.
- Top Influencers Tweet a lot, Follow their Example. Especially if you are following and engaging in conversations about popular hashtags, the only way to be seen is through multiple posts. When I produce a piece of content, I tweet information about that content to specific hashtags every 15 to 30 minutes. This strategy built my Twitter following to more than 6,000 followers in two months of content (without purchasing followers).
- Identify and Engage in the Right Conversations. Is there a conference in town? Is today a special day in your industry? Is a new product being unveiled by someone in your industry? These are all examples of where conversations brew. Find those conversations and get involved.
- Don’t be afraid to Tweet about your Services. This is a questionable strategy. I like to keep these tweets at less than 10% of my Twitter content. Most of my tweets are about social media and provide tips or tricks. That builds an audience. Every so often you need to tell them who you are and how to access your product/services.
The final tool I want to discuss as part of your B2B Marketing campaign is Content Marketing – which is not a platform but a strategy. People have figured out how to avoid advertising. We DVR our favorite television shows so we can avoid the commercials. We count down the seconds on YouTube until we can “Skip this Ad.” As consumers, we have learned how to avoid advertising and get to the content that we are looking for. So the answer for advertisers is to be the one that provides the content. That is the premise of content marketing.
People go online to look for information. If you provide that content and answer their questions, you will be the person they turn to when they need your services. I use put my content out on Tumblr and then promote it on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn. It is a strategy that positions me as a social media expert and the company you hire to lead your social media campaigns. The graphic below illustrates what platforms other people use to share content.
So please remember that while social media is known most for its B2C marketing strength, it is equally as powerful in the B2B marketers toolkit.