Does social media marketing really work for B2B businesses?
Traditionally, social media was seen as a more fitting channel for B2C marketing due to its informal nature. Some B2B companies, however, are still sceptical of the benefits of social media for their businesses. The reason for this hesitance is a perceived inability to measure the effectiveness of such marketing activities.
Social media is not only for B2C businesses – it can be just as beneficial for B2B activities if the right strategy is implemented. While the overall techniques in obtaining new followers, website visitors and leads remains the same for both B2C and B2B, there are several differences in how you need to carry out your social media activities.
Managing a social media profile involves sharing a lot of curated content that appeals to your audience, but it also requires that you share your own links and articles occasionally. Creating interesting content, whether it comes in form of videos, photos, or writing, helps educate your audience on the inner workings of your company, showcases your products or services in a broader context, and tells your brand’s story in fun, unexpected ways. Your content will be providing value to readers, and this will then ensure that your company is perceived as a thought-leader. B2B businesses generally focus on five types of content:
• White Papers/eBooks
• Case Studies
• One Pagers
Every social media network has a slightly different audience and a very different mindset correlated with it. In order to find your audience and make B2B social media marketing work for you, you need to know what type of platforms will be receptive to your content. The clearer you are about this, the better your results will be.
LinkedIn is perfect for B2B because it was created for that purpose, meaning the users on the network are in a mindset that is more accepting of business promotions. LinkedIn also has many paid promotion features (i.e. ads) that are very convenient for B2B companies since they can be segmented by company type (or even company name), job title/function, location and more.
A B2C company can allow itself to be more “laid-back” and informal in the voice it uses, both in social media posts and blog posts. B2B, however, requires a more serious approach with a lot more effort put into proofreading and editing to make sure that there are no errors and that the writing style is in line with the professional image that the company wants to portray. In order to successfully create an online brand persona, focus on the voice you will be using on social media. Keep the long-term vision of your company in mind when doing so.
Metrics and Goals
Without defining the right objectives, you will find it difficult to make your B2B social media marketing campaign profitable. Having measurable goals that are relevant to your big or small business will help you create a winning B2B social media marketing strategy. B2B marketers need to focus more on creating content and posts that will increase traffic to a website or landing page so that they can capture leads.
Simply put, lead generation is the ultimate goal of B2B social media marketing, while B2C has different goals. Social media listening is a good way to keep track of public-facing information your competitors share with their followers—especially if your target audiences overlap. Since you may be chasing the same leads, it’s important to be aware of your competition’s value proposition.
With over 2 billion active social media accounts, businesses today know that social media offers a lot of traffic potential. The methods businesses use to achieve success on these platforms may be different, but social media marketing is definitely for everyone. If you have a B2B business, you simply cannot afford to miss out on the opportunities that social media marketing presents.