If you’re a business looking to market to other businesses then social media is quickly becoming one of the best ways to do so. Traditionally, social media has been ignored in the B2B marketing mix – but as the platforms evolve, so does an understanding about their strengths. For B2B marketers, social media holds several key benefits that shouldn’t be ignored any longer. Her’es how to use social media for B2B Marketers.
Social Media boosts your SEO
In every tweet and every Facebook post lies the potential for you improve your SEO. Every post with a link back to a specific landing page of your website will contribute to your overall search engine ranking.
In general, social media and SEO go hand in hand with a series of reciprocal benefits that will positively impact on your SEO – you can use your social platforms to encourage people to visit your website, and you can use your website content to encourage people to follow, like and engage with you on your social media platforms.
It also drives traffic
Alongside the benefits that social media has for your website through organic search, it’s also a great way to drive more traffic to your website through the platforms themselves – because searching through Google is not the only way that people find you. Sharing relevant content from your website or blog on your key platforms will drive interested potential customers to your website and will also give you the opportunity to expand your reach – through Sharing and Retweeting – to audiences that you had not previously reached.
Stand out as an expert
When you are creating useful information, and disseminating it on your social platforms, you are showing to your prospects that you are credible and trustworthy as a source of information. If you are using social media correctly, you will soon become viewed as an industry expert or ‘thought leader’ by your industry and your prospects. This is especially important for B2B marketers, as the decision-making process for prospects is usually longer – and requires a series of meetings, sign offs and approvals before any deal or purchase. Instead of sitting back and letting them get back to you, use this decision making time to earn their trust with your social media posts, demonstrating your knowledge and your solutions to their problems.
Fast customer service
Whatever industry you are in, and whoever your target audience is, it’s likely that with the sheer number of social users some of your customers are on social media. Whether they are happy with their service, or have had a bad experience, social media offers a great opportunity for them to voice their comments or concerns. By being present and active on social media you can respond to these customers quickly and easily, helping your business to stand out as great customer service providers.
Builds your brand from a human perspective
Your business wants to be recognised as the first one that people think of when they are looking for the service – or product – that you provide. Social media helps with overall brand recognition, and also has one other key benefit: people will start to think of your business as a person, with a personality. The old adage ‘People do business with other people’ appears to remain true, even in the highly technical age in which we live. Social media provides an unparalleled opportunity for you to show your brand’s personality and humanise yourself to your audience, which will help you build relationships online and will ultimately drive sales.
Get to know your audience
The more time you spend working on your social media presence, and interacting with your audience, the more you will get to know them and the more you can target your content to provide exactly what they might be looking for. Social media is a great way to push out relevant and interesting information regularly, but it’s also a great tool for listening. If you can interject on the right conversations, and can find the keywords that people are using to talk about your brand online, you have at your fingertips a stream of customer feedback that you can then act upon and use to improve your overall offering.
Sales leads with little investment
Social media is a great place to nurture leads for B2B marketers. LinkedIn, especially, is proving itself as a goldmine for companies who are able to utilise it effectively. Social media will allow you to continuously engage with people who are listed as prospects, who aren’t quite ready to be ‘sold’ to just yet. This continual engagement will help you present all of your key messages to an audience who will one day be ready for a sale. For all of its benefits, social media is generally quite cheap to set up and run – with the key platforms being free to use for personal and business users alike.
Whichever way you look at it, social media holds a lot of potential. Whilst it has been thought of as a tool for businesses to market directly to consumers in the past, it is quickly growing and evolving into an essential tool for B2B marketers too. Businesses who ignore the social media trend are likely to find themselves falling short of competitors who are utilising their key platforms and making them work. If you are ignoring social media it may be time to re-evaluate your marketing strategy to include it sooner rather than later.