Most companies realize the importance of social media. But recognition is not understanding, and confusion about its value has led B2B companies to see the benefits of the social community through narrow lenses.
Most B2B companies do not believe that social B2C strategies will work for them. Instead, they often use social platforms as direct channels for advertisements or business updates. But this strategy loses an important ingredient: participation.
Social media offers B2B companies the opportunity to showcase their experience by participating and adding value to a community. Done right, social can lead to B2B generation and conversions.
The social role it plays in B2B sales
Social is one of the main problems with the funnel, so use it to connect with members of the public who will benefit from your product or service. Ultimately, you’ll get a lower cost per lead and generate more lead volume, providing accurate targeting and valuable social content.
Publish social content about the impact that your services can have on the financial results, operations, or effectiveness of the public. For example, if you are selling a basic product, you should highlight the differences: service, delivery, documentation, attention to detail, etc.
How to better use social media in B2B sales
B2B companies often lack social media, but it can be a valuable resource for qualifying leads and improving conversions. Here are seven ways in which social media can improve B2B sales.
- Get your nerd. Use social media to show enthusiasm for your offers and especially for the customers you serve. People are more likely to repent if they understand and can clearly demonstrate to others how a product or service works in their business, applications, or audience.
Also, remember that many B2B companies sell to highly qualified and trained people. When your audience realizes that you share your passions, they are more likely to be interested in your business.
- Go where your customers are. You generate a better ROI by responding to the platforms that your target audience is actively using and, of course, interacting with your audience in a way that works for those platforms.
As a marketer, you probably have an idea of where to focus your attention on social networking sites. LinkedIn is ideal for increasing brand awareness and not selling merchandise. A more visual medium, Instagram can help you promote your brand through images. And through Twitter, you can communicate directly with potential customers. Remember that only 13% of B2B proposals come from Twitter, compared to 80% from LinkedIn.
- Surcharge with paid seat. It is recommended that you combine your organic social business with paid social advertising. That way, you can unlock valuable data and learn which content and posts generate engagement on social channels, increase general interest in the brand and drive more traffic to your website.
Make sure paid jobs have clear calls to action that lead to more engagement. Don’t settle for “contact” or “request a quote”. Give users the content of your home (your website), encourage people to watch a video comparing properties, or provide infographics on sustainability issues. Another professional tip: vary with the types of ads you use. People will stop paying attention if there are only product ads, for example.
- Answer the questions. There is no shortage of questions on social media, and one of the easiest and most effective ways to build relationships is to answer them. Visit LinkedIn, Quora, Reddit, or similar platforms to find questions relevant to your target audience. Respond quickly and effectively to position your company as an expert.
Empower your social and technical teams to provide timely support and you will build connections with an audience based on experience and passion. As a bonus, you are likely to increase your keyword rank and SEO.
- Post offers. Most B2B organizations tend to have industry trends, product updates, and case studies, so you probably already have socially prepared content. Start sharing non-proprietary offers on your social channels, especially on dedicated offer platforms, such as LinkedIn SlideShare. The presentations will certainly raise questions and comments to start the conversation.
- Show your culture. People work with people, so your corporate culture is important to potential customers. It sounds good to take this approach, but your company’s talent can confirm a partnership decision. Then, involve your team members in social publishing. Define a theme, describe what and what is not considered relevant content, and explain what to do and what not to do with hashtags. Manage through the legal department. Then open the doors to share with the team members. It may be better to test the waters with something considered “safe”. You can always change your policy as needed and continue from there.
- Go deeper. LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and other popular social channels are beneficial for B2B organizations, but you will have high-quality engagement with niche communities. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to get involved with these groups, as sometimes their forums are not open to the public. You may need to take a look behind the scenes and connect with these communities through networking groups, fairs, and real meetings.
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Social media is only social, also in B2B. So get to know the members of your target audience, join in the conversations, and try to answer their most pressing questions. Soon, you will be using social media to succeed in B2B.