It is easy to view social media as a lower priority in the B2B space. Word of mouth and referrals have dominated the lead generation market in B2B for a long time, and frankly, it’s hard to imagine someone deciding to move forward with a business deal after just seeing a targeted tweet.
While this mindset is not illogical, it doesn’t tell the full story. The truth is, many popular social media tactics and marketing strategies seem useless to B2B because they are built for B2C customers in mind.
Driving clicks, promoting sales, and accelerating brand development; these goals are all beneficial to B2B businesses, but they are objectives designed to sell in a B2C environment.
In reality, social media is just as relevant to B2B businesses as it is to B2C businesses, each just requires its own approach.
So how do you leverage social media for a B2B business? Here are a few tips:
1. Build relationships, not spam.
This might sound obvious, but it is an easy mistake to make. Often, marketing efforts take on too much perspective of the company and not enough of the customer.
B2B customers aren’t looking just to be wowed by your brand and new products/services, they want to build a relationship. For every need in a business context, there are dozens of companies able to solve it.
Relationship building starts with identifying needs. Meet your potential customers where they’re at.
Your job is not to show off how amazing your new products are (even though they probably are) but rather to highlight how your offer resolves the specific needs of the customer.
This is true of marketing in general, but the needs of B2B customers are often far more complex. You need to win over multiple decision makers with different perspectives and priorities.
That process starts with valuable, genuine, and high-quality content. Which leads to my next tip..
2. Your social media presence is the front door of your office.
Even if you don’t have a physical office, work with me on the analogy. It can be easy for companies to view social media as little more than a marketing tactic, but it has become much more than that.
More than ever, people live and share their lives on social media. Personal social media presence has become a major part of our identities, and everyone is building a brand.
Your social media presence is like an office in that potential customers view the state and quality of your social presence as indicative of the quality of your company.
Just as a shoddy building and a rude receptionist would turn off a client walking in your front door, so too will a poor social media presence or lack thereof.
Many people view social media presence now as a proof of legitimacy. If they can’t find you on socials, they trust you less.
And legitimacy is just your first concern.
3. Social media is an opportunity to network and form relationships, so put your best foot forward.
LinkedIn, Instagram business, Facebook, and many other platforms have become havens for businesses, professional talent, and networking opportunities. More than ever, you can connect with your clients and partners without the need for face to face contact.
This is particularly relevant with disruptive events such as the COVID-19 pandemic, which quarantines businesses and limits face-to-face contact.
If you remember nothing else from this article, remember this: social media has become an inseparable part of your company reputation, even to corporate clients. A poorly constructed social media presence hurts your reputation, but a high quality one accelerates prospecting and growth.
The last thing you want is for a client to be turned off of your company due to your social media presence without you ever knowing.
The quarantine has given us all a lot more time on our hands. There is no better time to rethink your social media strategy than right now. Solidify your reputation, connect with new pools of talent, and accelerate growth with greater access to your prospects through social media.