9 Ways to Win with B2B Social Media
We hear it all the time – “We’re not on insert-social-network-here because our clients aren’t there.”
You may be right.
Depending on your offerings, audience, market, and business model, your ideal B2B clients may very well not be on one particular social network. That conclusion calls into play some small business social media assumptions, but we can agree that your clients almost certainly aren’t active on all of the ever-growing number of networks. As a B2B business owner, you want to connect with your audience, but only in ways that turn your time and money into positive results.
You know it’s important to be visible on social media, but deciding where, when, and what to post can feel totally overwhelming. By understanding the potential return on your investment, you can more efficiently plan and execute your social media strategy – one post at a time. In the words of one of our favorite authors, it helps to “Start with why.”
That’s where we can help. Consider each of these ways B2B companies can win on social media and decide which ones will most benefit your business.
Make a great first impression.
B2B social media isn’t likely to turn your sales funnel into a magical portal that transforms every visit into revenue-generating love at first sight. It can, however, provide some momentum as potential leads flow through that funnel. Since broad swaths of the population are hanging out on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, it’s not a bad place for them to catch their first glimpse of your brand. When you keep showing up in conversations relevant to them, brand recognition will increase.
Reduce marketing expenses.
Social media is a source of free exposure. That said, it’s simply a delivery system. The results you get out will only be as good as the content you put in. By creating and curating content that entertains, informs, or educates the people you want to connect with, you’ll encourage sharing and gain visibility without (necessarily) investing in an ad spend.
Speak to multiple decision-makers.
When you’re responsible for convincing several members of a team, strategically targeting your messaging gets complicated. By building your content over time on social media, you can address a variety of perspectives. Plan your posts so there’s something for everyone – at every stage in the buyer’s journey – and you’ll build rapport with a variety of stakeholders.
Show how you solve problems.
You don’t have to be perfect. What you must do is set and meet expectations consistently. Social media is a public forum where mistakes and misunderstandings can play out in real time. This can seem threatening, but it’s a challenge to which your company can rise. You’re bound to let a buyer down eventually, and when you do, you’ll have an opportunity to delight. Demonstrate how your company takes responsibility when it hasn’t met expectations. Be accessible, treat people well, and do the right thing, and you’ll gain loyalty beyond the one or two customers who complain.
After all the big banks, automakers, and politicians have put the American public through over the last few decades, transparency in business is more important than ever. Social media is one way you can give the public a window for looking in on your world. When your company’s culture and values are reflected in the updates you post, messages you send, and content you share, those who care to are able to get to know your business better.
Build visibility on mobile.
75% of Americans admit to bringing their phone to the bathroom.
One of the things consumers are definitely doing on their perpetually present phones is interacting with social media.
Earlier this year, a comScore study revealed that 80% of social media time is now spent on mobile devices.
Regardless of whether your company has invested in a custom app, the opportunity for your B2B business to be seen on mobile devices by merit of social media engagement is too big too pass up. Your customers past and future are active on those social apps. Make sure that you are, too.
Make your contact info easier to find.
Your website is the hub of your digital properties, but it’s not the only place potential buyers will look for your contact information. By keeping your contact information up to date on the major social networks, you ensure that the vital details are easy to access, no matter how an individual prefers to find them.
Provide amazing customer service.
One of the first things that our new customers find surprising is how often they receive inquiries via social media. Social networks give just about anyone the access to contact just about anyone else – including you! Social media provides plenty of ways to better serve your clients, but first and foremost is your social media inbox. By forgetting to check it, you may be unknowingly committing the online equivalent of ignoring phone calls!
Attract customer advocacy.
Word of mouth is still the best form of advertising, and social media can exponentially magnify its impact. By maintaining an active presence on prominent social networks, you create opportunities for happy customers to rave about your company in public, share your content, and easily connect others with your offerings.
Don’t give up on social media!
You can’t expect every update you post on social media to reap measurable rewards. Still, there’s an abundance of goodwill to be gained by maintaining a consistent social media strategy.
Stay true to your brand and aim to achieve these benefits, and you’ll be much more likely to notice the positive impact of your efforts.