Director, Client Consulting
We all know social media is a well-known tactic used in B2C marketing initiatives. From using social channels as real-time customer service engines to promoting the latest sales and sharing coupons, most B2C companies have a myriad of applications for social media marketing. But what about on the B2B side?
Believe it or not, 84 percent of B2B marketers use social media in some capacity. Because of this, not participating in social media in some way, shape or form as a B2B marketer isn’t really an option – it’s a necessity in order to stay competitive.
Here are my top 4 social media tips for B2B marketers:
First things first: be where your buyers are, and don’t waste time or resources where they aren’t. For example, though your buyers may spend time on Facebook, are they using Facebook to research for upcoming IT projects or business technology purchases?
Maybe…but maybe not. They’re most likely using Facebook the same way we all do – to connect with friends and family and share personal photos and stories. If that is the case, your technology post or software advertisement won’t be impactful if it’s showing up between baby pictures on your prospect’s newsfeed.
However, a social media site such as LinkedIn is much better suited for B2B interactions, as it’s a professional network people visit expecting to see work-related ads and content. In fact, 45 percent of B2B marketers have gained a customer from LinkedIn, making it a great place to share B2B content and news, while growing your business.
A few weeks ago when recapping our Raleigh ROI Summit, I mentioned the importance of enabling your partners with more than money, because when your partners see success, you see success as well. The same reigns true for social media – if your partners are well received among followers and fans and have a strong social presence, that’s more good news for you.
Work your partners into your social media strategy by sharing and engaging with their content, and vice versa. Consider taking that a step further by collaborating with your partners on content creation and promotion plans. It’s mutually beneficial: your partners can help amplify your reach and build your brand’s presence, while they have your backing and support in getting their message out.
Intelligence gleaned from social media can be extremely useful when it comes time to sales to reach out or follow up with a prospect. When a prospect follows your company Twitter handle, shares a blog post or comments on a LinkedIn update, all of that information should be captured and rolled up to sales in a meaningful way for more effective follow up.
Today, prospects expect you to know much more about their pain points and challenges before their first conversation with you, and their social media history can help shed some light. Maybe all of their interactions with your company have been around business analytics, or more specifically, data visualization? That may be a piece of information sales can use to better prepare for that initial conversation or follow-up call.
Customer loyalty and advocacy is just as important in a B2B setting as it is in B2C. However, not only is B2B brand advocacy the result of superior products, but also the customer experience and relationship with your sales and management teams on an ongoing basis.
When a company purchases a CRM solution for example, it’s not a “one and done” purchase. Your internal teams must also provide exceptional customer service and maintain an excellent relationship for any chance of renewal down the road, on top of providing a top-notch product.
However, your team can use social media to maintain and enhance those relationships, in turn, turning customers into brand advocates. Similar to leveraging social intelligence for net-new opportunities, you can use the same information to build brand advocates.
It’s simple: following and engaging with customers on social media site can help you better understand their needs or identify any issues they are having proactively, giving you the opportunity to stay ahead of potential problems, while using intelligence to cross sell and upsell.
How do you use social media in your B2B marketing strategy? Let me know in the comment section below, or reach out to me via Twitter @abbygilmore.
brand advocacy, marketing intelligence, social, social influencers, social media
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