How B2Bs can Use Social Media
B2Bs can use social media and should utilise the benefits it offers. Often perceived as a B2C (business to consumer) tool, social media is often an afterthought for many B2Bs. However, B2B (business to business) social media marketing is in fact one of the most effective tools for marketing.
B2B customers today progress more than 70% of the way through the decision-making process before ever engaging a sales representative. The majority of B2B buyers self-navigate through early stages of the buying journey online.
Nearly everyone is on social media, even your potential business clients.
Why is it so effective?
The proof is online. An overwhelming majority (89%) of B2B researchers use the internet in their research process before engaging with a business or services. Before they pick up the phone or email you or your sales team. They conducting up to 12 searches prior to engaging on a specific brand.
Customers want to see social proof. They want to see that other people have used your services, bought your product and hare happy with what they got. They want to do their own research.
What do your customers see when they Google you? Number 1? Your website (hopefully). Number two? Your social media profiles. Exactly. What do they say about you. Are they selling your brand and enticing that researcher to dig deeper? Or are they deflecting to a competitor who is more transparent online? To a competitor who is more engaging?
Human beings are social, and so are businesses! Most of our decisions are made based on our social experiences. Consistently engaging with your target audience on social media (whether that is a business or a customer) means you have an active page that is relevant. If you provide quality content, they are likely to follow you and you have the opportunity to remain in their vision and front of mind. Which means when they need your service or business (even if it isn’t immediate), they are more likely to remember your. Alternatively, if you are top of mind, they may even recommend you and your services. Even if they haven’t used your business.
Behind every business is a person or team of people making decisions. You need to use social media to reach those decision makers, establish a connection and retain a relationship.
By promoting your business, its services and content that is relevant to your audience you are able to engage with the people behind those businesses. You can build a relationship and establish trust before they have even picked up the phone or sent you an email.
How to use it
Choose your platforms:
Think about your target business and the people who make the decisions around your services or product. What social media platforms will they be most active on? What value can your business offer to build credibility and establish and an online reputation?
Use the social media platform/s you choose to provoke thought and add value: share relevant news articles, interesting information and engage your potential clients, frequently! Think about what the decision makers in businesses that you work with want to see. What do the decision makers in those businesses want to see and know about you? What value can you add? (Note: the easiest way to identify this is to make a list of your most commonly asked questions by existing clients – bingo! There is the value you can add! That is what they want to know).
Interaction is key: engage and maintain relationships with existing clients to keep the line of communication open and effective. Use social media as a way to demonstrate social proof of your business and its successes. Stay front of mind with regular and consistent posts. People might not be ready to make a decision or use your business, but when they are, or when someone they know mentions a need for your business – you will already be top of their mind. Without even realising you have been “selling” to them.
Make it count
Remember that people (the ones behind the businesses) use social media as part of their research into your business and product/service. Make sure you are giving the best impression and sending the message you want to convey. If they land on your social pages – what are you saying about your business?
Pay to Play
Advertising on social media has never been as sophisticated as it is now. Use social media to generate leads for your sales team to follow up on. Generate leads that can be nurtured through a sales funnel. Offer highly shareable and valuable content and in return collect an email, a phone number, etc. Use the top of your sales funnel to showcase your expertise and value (flirt a little). By giving away some value for free you are on the path to building a relationship and a reputation.
As people progress through your funnel, give a little more value but celebrate that you are getting closer to converting that lead. Seal the deal with an offer that converts. Failing that conversion, maintain sophisticated retarget ads that prompt and retain that customer in your funnel for next time. When they are ready.
Use your Website
Send your social media traffic to your website. Remember to keep your website updated: potential clients will use your website for further information. They know they can come to your website for value and information. This is where you can bring your customers and capture leads. With the right pixels you will also be able to use this website traffic to build new audiences and retarget ones who have previously visited.
So, what now?
Make an account! Engage with everyone! Regularly. Ensure you are using the right channels, have the right advertising budget for your platform. Get your content prepared ahead of time – remembering that good content is king. Get your team on your social platforms as they will be your biggest brand ambassadors. Your team should be advocating your content and brand.
Social media marketing should be apart of your B2B marketing plan for 2019!
Need more assistance? Contact us at Carver Consulting here… we love this stuff.