B2B social media marketing involves using social media platforms to market products and services through actionable, educational content and generating qualified leads that generate lucrative contracts. Brands in the B2B sector have a lot to gain from social media, such as nurturing prospects and exhibiting industry influence.
The main difference between B2C and B2B social media marketing is that the former focuses on selling to consumers and the latter on selling to businesses. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., are used in both types of marketing for communication purposes.
As consumers utilize social media channels to search for information about products and services, compare prices, read customer reviews, and share opinions, social media marketing is becoming increasingly important for businesses. Online research accounts for 90 percent of purchasing decisions, according to recent studies.
In other words, the web is now the primary medium for finding, evaluating, and purchasing products and services. Therefore, it is crucial for B2B brands to have a strong social media presence in order to differentiate themselves from their competitors.
It is important for companies to align their B2B social media campaigns with their specific business objectives in order to maximize the effectiveness of social media marketing. As a result, there are a few things you need to know when it comes to social media marketing for B2B companies.
The first thing you need to keep in mind is that social media is a great tool for building engaged audiences and building a loyal community of followers who are interested in what your company has to offer. In the proper hands, B2B social media marketing nurtures relationships at every stage of the marketing funnel and drives sales from new and existing customers.
Accordingly, businesses across the globe are increasingly investing in B2B social media. The reason is? B2B brands must utilize social media to:
- Keeping customers happy
- Enhance their reputation
- Gain a greater share of the market
- Build trust
- Enhance customer loyalty
- Sales increase
There has been a change in customer expectations for B2B. In the past, a B2B brand could get away with having only a website and perhaps a LinkedIn company page. In today’s market, buyers expect you to be present on at least one or two platforms.
Why is that? That is where they are located. Here they find industry news and thought leadership pieces, get acquainted with industry leaders, and even initiate contact with sales representatives.
It is also where they spend much of their time during the exploration and evaluation phases of the B2B customer journey, researching relevant content, examining your customer service procedures, and reviewing customer reviews.
In a study, 97% of B2B buyers said they would be comfortable making a purchase using a fully digital, self-service model, with the most comfortable spending $50,000 or more.
What role does social media play in this process? For example, brands can offer digital self-service through social chatbots, such as those available on Facebook.
It is also possible to use social media to direct users to your self-service channels if they are located within an app or on your website. B2B buyers must be able to access your resources directly without having to go through a salesperson. This includes text-based knowledge bases, video channels, and customer preference databases.
While you may not be ready to start selling via social media, it is a valuable tool for increasing traffic and directing users to specific pages. The use of social media in B2B marketing is crucial to getting users to the places you want them to be via landing pages, content downloads, and free demo sign-ups. In addition, paid advertisements serve this function, but users are increasingly distrustful of advertising.
The B2B industry was already dominated by LinkedIn prior to the pandemic. Recent upheavals, including the rapid growth of digital B2B selling and buying, have only increased LinkedIn’s impact.
This is supported by LinkedIn’s own statistics. It is estimated that LinkedIn’s platform has 61 million “senior-level influencers”-people who are responsible for influencing business decisions at their organizations. Additionally, 4 out of 5 LinkedIn users are involved in making business decisions in some way, and 33% of B2B decision-makers use the platform to research their purchases.
You cannot afford to ignore this audience. If you want to share content on LinkedIn, consider B2B thought leadership content, insightful commentary on news stories, industry issues, current events, and of course your own content. Live streaming on LinkedIn can also be a great way to connect with potential customers, as live streams receive 7x more reactions and 24x more comments than regular video posts.
Social networks are a great way to increase the reach of your B2B PR placements and, as a result, increase your share of voice in your industry. The importance of this step is often overlooked by brands and B2B PR agencies. As soon as they have secured press coverage, they cease their efforts.
If you do not leverage your PR coverage by sharing it, repurposing it, and using it to support your marketing efforts, your brand is only gaining a fraction of its full potential. Despite the fact that the outlets covering you will share the article, podcast, etc., you should also share it on your social media accounts. By doing so, you will not only increase the reach of your press mentions, but you will also serve as a form of social proof and establish trust in your business.
It is arguably impossible to cement your credibility with potential buyers in a better place than social networks to promote PR hits. Among B2B brands, there is a lot of competition, so anything that you can do to convey authority and lower barriers between your business and prospects is an advantage.
B2C and B2B customers demand personalization, and social media allows your brand to deliver it in a variety of ways. As a result of B2B social media marketing, your brand is presented in a more human light to your customers, especially if you have worked diligently to develop your brand voice.
As with B2C consumers, B2B buyers expect to be able to communicate directly with the brands they are working with. Getting a personal, human response when they ask a question or post about their experience with your company is critical.
Keeping customers satisfied begins with connecting with them on this level, anticipating their needs, and responding to them quickly and empathetically. Although your B2B brand’s social media presence benefits your customers, your company is even more likely to benefit. Interacting with your customers on social platforms allows you to gain a deeper understanding of what they value and are interested in.
When you share content on social media, for example, the number of engagements can indicate the general level of interest your customers and potential customers have in that type of content. Even better, you can ask them directly for their input and get their opinions firsthand (also known as collecting zero-party data).
The use of social media in B2B is here to stay. For B2B companies, it is one of the most effective and efficient means of building their brand and connecting with their audience. There is no longer a time when buyers would just visit a website to make a purchasing decision. Develop long-term relationships with business owners and decision-makers by positioning your brand as an industry expert.