It comes to no surprise that a lot of B2B businesses are bad at using social media apps. When in today’s social media centered environment, B2B platforms can’t afford to lack. B2B companies trailed behind B2C companies in the terms of adoption of new means of marketing. Social media marketing was deemed suitable for business to consumer marketer but according to a survey conducted by Omobono, social media will prove to be their most effective channel for marketing and if used effectively can bring about a chain of positive results.
It is understood that Brands that are killing it right now on social media are mostly B2C companies. Rarely will you hear about an IT management company trending on Twitter or the plastic bottle manufacturer making it to Instagram’s explore page. The problem is that such B2B companies don’t cease to exist, they are just in minority. The B2B brands that are making it on social media apps are producing the type of content liked by their audience. The key is to market themselves nonchalantly with an informational post instead of a post that is filled with your company values.
Below graphic shows you, after the assessment of relative effectiveness of channels, the highest metrics was scored by social media. Keeping in mind that these were soft measures like brand position and awareness.
Why social media is proving beneficial for B2B marketers?
Social media consultants have conducted thorough research to study human buying behavior. We are social beings and our decision-making process involves our social experiences like every other decision we make in our daily routine. We encounter a lot of people every day belonging to different fields from different companies. When we use this information in a work related context, the firm they work for, business they deal with possess a very powerful connection built by trust, knowledge and ability to deliver. Social media operates just the same, it is the online equivalent to using exposure as the means of marketing. B2B firms can take advantage of this opportunity as social media is intrinsic to sales or service. In the B2B world, Twitter and Linkedin are both highly used mediums which bring effective results and drive people to your website. Think of it this way, People do not shop online before looking up the company on the internet. Same goes for B2B buying, as the amount at stake is higher here as compared to B2C therefore online background check is performed before making any decision. The first place a buyer go to consider, review and check you out, is your website. The more people who visit your website, the more chances you have of doing business.
Here question arises, how to get people to visit your website? Social media is the most effective way to link your website through posts. Twitter and LinkedIn are the most vital platforms for generating sales interest.
Here are a few tips that will help any B2B company to pull out of the state of social media stagnation and gain more audience.
1. THINK OF AN INTERESTING ANGLE:
B2B industry has accepted the title of a boring industry instead of shredding the idea. Their openness to the idea of being a boring aspect of industry has made them dreary to the uninitiated. Their perception of themselves has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. This makes them act boring and write boring articles and post. B2B sellers’ are adamant in building awareness and increasing levels of engagement so that they can drive traffic to their websites. Why be boring when they can instead use social media lingo, memes and pop culture references to go viral. Even when social media wasn’t created for businesses, it’s for humans running those business. You can have fun, share content and converse with social networks.
For B2B social media posts, the content needs to be descriptive as customers are looking for solutions for their organizations. Even the most boring B2B companies can get rid of their boring image. For example computer manufacturing company Lenovo took the services of a renowned Japanese digital artist Hideo Kojima who is best known for his work on video games to engage professionals in media and entertainment. Videos that feature Kojima’s work are part of a strategy designed to connect with B2B brands in a number of verticals using influencers. There’s the un-boring angle. See how Lenovo targeted professionals to bring target audience for B2B workstation promotion. Once you find the un-boring angle, you can start your social media strategy in full swing.
2. FEATURE A REAL PERSON:
B2B industry houses long term mode of buying or buying which is expected to be repeated over a long period of time. Bulk buying is more common in business-to-business markets where industry machinery, components and continually used consumables are predominant. In the industrial and manufacturing sector, major shortcoming of B2B businesses is the lack of human touch. There is absence of a humanly side backing their posts as a result they seem repetitive and boring. B2B companies seem so distant and unreal because of not having real people in the content. It feels like talking to a bot. Every B2B franchise needs to make a strong effort to humanize their brand on social media using content marketing. B2B entity, Tradewheel has jumped in on this trend and introduced key account managers for businesses. This has made the countless users of the B2B portal feel at peace knowing a real person is taking care of their deals instead of a programmed bot. Here’s what you can do to achieve this:
· Use first-person voice when writing posts and articles.
· Use a brand front person to tweet, post updates, and write articles.
· Post pictures of where you work with employees.
· Send personalized wishes on holidays.
· Use real people with real names in customer service and account managing.
3. HIRE THE RIGHT PERSON TO MANAGE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA:
B2B businesses face issues with social media handling because they don’t hire the right person to manage their social media campaigns. B2B companies instead of hiring a competent social media manager hire a person who is experienced in B2B niche. Familiarity with B2B niche is important but it’s not all that is required to run a B2B social media account. For dull products of B2B industry, we need a social media wiz who can come up with clever and witty content to grab the attention of the audience. Someone who understands social media trends and terminologies, can unleash the hidden potential of B2B industry.
B2B social media is a hard nut to crack. It’s not inherently welcoming or interesting. You have to work on the content to make it seem interesting. It doesn’t have the buzz factor which comes with B2C campaigns, this does not mean that the buzz can’t be generated with creative posts.
Moreover, B2B can use the power of social media to develop a popular movement on social media, shaping the brand’s voice and expanding their reach by posting content that plays off trends, pop culture and the latest industry news. As can be seen with Hubspot’s Facebook page which is one of the world’s most respected B2B marketing brand. They are successfully treading on social media while maintaining a fine line between self-promotion and upholding an engaging presence.
4. Align your social media with content marketing.
Content marketing is the process of developing and sharing relevant, informative, and engaging content to target audience with the goal of acquiring new customers or increasing business from existing customers. Your content and social media marketing must address the following objectives:
- Helping your audience in understanding the subject matter you major in.
- Challenging the status quo on your specialty.
- Entertaining your audience with content related to them.
- Educating your audience on trends and best practices.
- Convincing your audience to buy your product and service for better result.
Successful social media campaign is important for successful content marketing campaign. They are two sides of the same coin, without one the other side wouldn’t exist. According to the report by content marketing institute, most B2B businesses are already working with content marketing.
However, this has been noted that not every B2B business uses the same type of content marketing.
B2B companies who are good with content marketing are bound to be good at social media as well.
5. Use LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the meeting place for B2B marketers. As per the research conducted by content marketing institute; 91% of B2B companies are using it. LinkedIn is a professional networking site, a more sophisticated brother of Facebook where your feed is void of cats, and check-ins to cafes.
There’s a well-deserved reason for this: LinkedIn is effective at securing genuine leads. B2B businesses are not looking for social media traffic, they seek right kind of traffic, or in other words, leads from the traffic. LinkedIn does for B2Bs what Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram do for B2Cs.
We’re going to see more and more B2B business from the industry become really good at social media in the next few years. By working on these five aspects, you can take your social media marketing game to the next level