Currently studying a Level 3 Business Admin course at Exeter College, Molly Thwaites is the most recent addition to the Accounts Apprentice team. Molly has recently moved down from Cumbria. In her spare time, she is a keen hockey player, marvel nerd and a huge fan of the outdoors.
Business-to-business (B2B) marketing has traditionally focused on face-to-face interactions. However, in recent years strategies have steered towards creating digital content that helps to sell your product through both traditional methods and the largely growing social media platforms. Having a very clear online presence is becoming an increasing demand for B2B companies… But why?
Your clients are also on social media
For some B2B companies, the idea of utilizing social media platforms can be seen to be an irrelevant form of marketing. Because most clients that B2B’s deal with are other companies, the need to have an online persona is often overlooked by the need to drive sales in more traditional forms.
However, social media can, to some degree, offer the same interaction levels as speaking to a client face-to-face. With the ability to tweet, message and reach out to people 24/7, it is important to be aware that as a tool, social platforms are the perfect place to create and reinforce the relationships you have built with your clients. It is also a great way to direct people to your website.
There are currently 3.48 billion people on social media, so there is a very high chance that your clients are already using the sites. Plus, with people spending on average just over 2 hours a day online, you’re given the opportunity to target people on a more day-to-day basis which may overwise not be achievable.
It isn’t just about focusing on present clients, but also about those from the past and those you wish to engage. For most investors, the first point of call is checking you out online. So, by creating a profile that investors can view and get a feel as to who you are as a company, you’re already pushing leads in your direction. It also gives you chance to target those that may have stopped doing business with you by showing what you continue to bring to the table.
LinkedIn engagement rates are often really good compared to other social networks
“A social network in a suit and tie. If you’re in B2B, recruiting, or company culture, this is your online HQ.” – Gary Vaynerchuk, Entrepreneur.
As far as the top social media platforms, LinkedIn often ranks highly amongst B2B companies in terms of engagement rates. Due to the nature of the site, it provides the perfect environment for professionals to network and build relationships with each other.
- LinkedIn is responsible for 64% of all visits from social media sites to corporate websites.*
- 93% of B2B marketers now consider LinkedIn to be the most effective site for lead generation. *
- 94% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn as a content distribution channel. *
- 61 million LinkedIn users are senior level influencers and 40 million are in decision-making positions. *
In terms of numbers, more than two professionals join LinkedIn every second**. Meaning that there is a constant supply of new people for you to connect with. Individuals that, in a lot of cases, are the high-level decisions makers you want to target. Decisions makers who are on the site specifically looking for new services to use in their own business.
You can build your own LinkedIn network and represent your organisation
Creating your own profile is a good way to get your own name out there as well as promote the business you work for. Through publishing content from both personal and work files, as well as interacting with other users’ posts, you can subtly advertise your company.
Compared to other social networking sites, LinkedIn has more a focus on the quality of the contacts you link with instead of the quantity.
If it’s being talked about at all, it’s being talked about on Twitter
The fast-paced, often confusing, nature of Twitter can be quite daunting for some. However, the impact that the platform can have on your business is quite the opposite of scary.
Twitter is often the platform people go to solve a problem or discuss a topic. Which for a B2B company can be a marketing goldmine! A good marketing team will jump at the chance to become a place that people can turn to in order to get the answers as this will hopefully result in a sale. With over 500 million tweets being sent daily, there is a very high chance that there is someone out there who requires the help of your business.
Now, the idea of searching through 500 million tweets to find the topics relating to your company seems quite intense but there are tools in place to make it a little easier your end.
Listen to this…
Whether it’s new trends or improving relationships, being able to target specific words will highlight what your consumers/clients are talking about, giving you the chance to contribute to the conversation and promote your brand.
However, it’s not just about positively promoting your company but also maintaining your reputation as any form of negative publicity can have a dramatic effect. Due to B2B relying heavily on creating a business that is respected and trustworthy, it’s important that you act on it – this means making sure you are monitoring your brand name for any mentions in which you are tagged/not tagged and you may wish to contact the client to resolve the issue directly! Remember to always take the problem privately to avoid further public disproval.
Social listening can also help you keep up with emerging trends as well as keep an eye on your competitors. Monitoring specific hashtags to do with your industry will give you an understanding as to what is popular and what is working within your industry.
If you can take advantage of social listening, then you’ll have the ability to completely change the way of how you do business.
It’s your chance to decipher a personality for your organisation and let that shine
All business aside, using social media is the perfect place for your company to show what it stands for in a more relaxed and informal tone. Social media’s biggest positive is that you can express yourself in any way you please, therefore it is the perfect place to show off your company in a way that isn’t restricted by the expected norms of what business communication “should be”.
You can make your company more fun and engaging whilst providing information that still promotes what you do. Don’t be afraid to come across like this, having a personality has the ability to separate you from the stale content that is often found on B2B sites.
Time for change
To summarise, the need for an online presence is becoming an increasing demand for B2B companies. Not only to maintain reputation but also to increase leads. Check out below the 3 action points you can take today to enhance your B2B social media profile:
- Grow your personal following
- Engage on Twitter
- Utilise social listening