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Social media for businesses is proving effective for acquiring new leads, converting them to customers and retaining them by creating mutual relationships. It’s also proving effective for Business-to-Business (B2B) companies that offer products and services to other businesses.
For B2Bs, social media should be part of a long-term marketing strategy that seeks to connect with other businesses and demonstrate how it can create value for their operations so they can meet the needs of their target customers.
Here are some B2B social media marketing strategy tips to implement for your organisation:
1. Set your goals
What is it that you want social media to achieve for your B2B business? Setting social media goals should be one of the first things to do because it helps to focus your marketing efforts and benchmark your progress. You may have goals to highlight new product launches or to promote offers that will help to acquire new product trials, so whatever they are, you should ensure that they are specific and relevant and help to achieve the mission of your business.
Not all platforms work for B2Bs simply because their target markets will not use all platforms to acquire new products or services. A social network to consider is LinkedIn which styles itself as a professional social media site and many B2Bs use it to engage with new prospects and recruit qualified professionals to fill their positions.
Also, sites like slideshare.net are used by businesses to distribute their whitepapers, presentations, videos and demonstrations to showcase their skills and inform prospects on how they can benefit from their services. Prospective clients can then follow your organisation and receive updates on new material that you share. This helps to highlight your expertise and demonstrate how your business can offer its services to the benefit of these prospects.
3. Decide on your promotional strategy
You should decide what tools you will use on social media to reach other businesses. Paid ads are relatively new and they are available on LinkedIn and Twitter and they allow you to tailor your messages and promote your products or services in a way that you can’t with normal posts and tweets.
4. Connect with the right business people
Knowing who the decision makers are in your target markets is important to reach them effectively. Many business purchases involve a Decision Making Unit (DMU) that includes people like gatekeepers, influencers, deciders, users, and purchasers and it’s important that you know who you are connecting with so you can tailor your sales message. Many ‘influencers’ are technical people and you will have to show them how your products are better than rivals’ and you should connect with these people on social sites like LinkedIn to gain their trust so they can act influence the other members of the DMU.
Social media is a broad field and there are many other factors that will help your business achieve its aims. You should also consider the tools that will help you manage your accounts and some important ones include Hootsuite and Buffer, which are available for a small monthly fee. To start planning your campaigns, download my free social media marketing strategy template.