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Saturday, April 30, 2016

Understanding the Role of Social Media in B2B Marketing

Despite the fact that most people think of social media as a form of B2C (business to consumer) marketing, it plays an important role in B2B (business to business) marketing as well.

After all, the businesses you want to connect with are likely marketing using social media, so it is reasonable you should use it as well. However, B2B marketing via social media comes with its own set of rules, some of which are the same as consumer marketing and while some are not.

Businesses Are People Too

Keep in mind that even though you're reaching out to fellow businesses, there are still people behind these businesses. While it is important to project a professional image, it is also equally important to give your business a "face" and "show some personality".

Nobody wants to be just another 'contact'. Engage and not just connect with your business customers and remember that they like personalized attention just as much as you or me do.

Choose Your Network


Some social networks are more effective than others for certain businesses. A business that sells physical products may benefit from the growing popularity of Pinterest. However, service-based companies may do better by connecting with other business leaders via LinkedIn.

While you might not want to put all your eggs in one basket, yet, it isn't a bad idea to tailor your marketing towards a social network that suits your niche. If you go with a network like Facebook or Twitter that appeals to a broader audience, look at what your competitors are doing on these network s and see where you can learn from their successes and/or failures.

Embrace the right Tools and Analytics


The only way to be a success at your B2B marketing efforts using social media is to use the right tools to manage and track your progress.

For example, if you launch a massive Facebook ad campaign that results in very few actual sales, then there might be a need to reconsider your strategy. Additionally, the time you spend using social media should have a direct impact on your conversions.

If your social media plan isn't bringing in new leads, its time to dig deep into your analytics data to see where you are going wrong.

There are various Social Media Management and Analytics tools out there, that will make your B2B social strategy a lot easier to run, and manage in the long run. 

Consider the likes of HootSuite, SproutSocial, Buffer and Google Analytics to set started.

Have A Plan


While this may seem simple, many businesses fail to utilize social media properly because they jump in headfirst without any specific strategy.

Know what your business customers are looking for and find the best ways to reach them, don't just start "putting stuff out there" in the hope that it generates some sort of return.

Outline who you want to reach, what needs of theirs that you can meet, and then devise an adequate social media strategy to help you achieve your goals..

Social media is not an unfathomable mystery, but it does require planning and coordination. Business customers are still customers and social media can increase your opportunities to reach out to them and build relationships. Once you determine how your business can help other businesses through social media, you are practically guaranteed to see a boost in profits.

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