No matter what industry you work in, there is always going to be an active audience on social media — you just need to figure out where they are and the right content to gain their engagement.
Finding your audienceWhere many B2B companies go wrong is that they start talking too much about themselves and forgetting that social media is for interacting with others and sharing interesting information – not self-promotion. With this is mind, consider who your audience is and create content that will be of interest to them rather than trying to focus on your products or services.
For example, if you are a supplier of commercial windows, your target audience will be architects, builders, procurement managers etc. whose interests will range from other building products and services, to construction industry news and architectural designs. Therefore you can create content that fits those interests, as well as your products.
Once you have decided on your content, you can then go on to consider the way you will share it. Consider which social channels you should be on by understanding where your target audience is most active. What style of content will work best for your audience? Should you consider creating blog content to share on social, or would infographics be more appealing to your followers?
LinkedIn isn’t the only B2B platformFor many businesses, there is a perception that if you are selling to businesses then the only platform you should be on is LinkedIn. However, although LinkedIn may be more likely to provide leads, your social media strategy should also be focusing on brand awareness. Therefore by creating a presence on other networks, you can be in front of your potential customers before they even know they need your services.
Create a PersonalityAnother hurdle B2B companies face when they join a social media network is that they stick to their corporate tone, which does not belong on any social media network. This doesn’t mean that you need to completely change your tone of voice, but it does mean using language such as ‘we’, ‘our’ etc. to start to create a human voice behind the brand that others can interact with.
Do not be afraid to enter into conversations with your followers or fans and, if the conversation calls for it, don’t feel that because you are a B2B business you can’t have a sense of humour!
Making social media work for your company
To make social media work for your B2B business, first things first, is finding the right person for the job. Many companies will make this part of a member of staff’s job role, however if they have no interest in social media, they will not have the passion to make it truly work. Therefore you may want to consider hiring someone with a background in social media marketing or look into hiring an agency.
There may be a desire to hire someone who knows your industry well, but your business will benefit much more from someone whose knowledge lies within social media who can learn the in’s and out’s of your business.
Once you have the manpower, before you even start to create content, make sure you have a clear, written strategy which you can keep referring to. Here you will want to map out exactly who your target audience is, what platforms you should be on and the type of content that you will create. You should also agree the goals of your social media strategy and what metrics you will use to measure your efforts, as well as know who your competitors are.
With the growth of the Internet, people no longer contact businesses for sales information. Nowadays buyers do 90% of the buying process before they even contact a sales person. So with this is mind, it is vital that traditional businesses consider how their current marketing strategy reflects the new way that people buy. With 55% of B2B buyers looking for information on social media networks before making a purchase, there is no doubt that there is a need for B2B industries to be active on social media channels. Now all you need to do is get started.