Using Social Media Marketing for B-to-B Companies

Social media dominates much current discussion surrounding Internet marketing. Business-to-business marketers sometimes struggle to find reasons to get involved. Whether it’s a lack of ideas — or simply a lack of time — business-to-business marketers typically lag behind their business-to-consumer counterparts in social media marketing.

Here are 12 ideas that could kick start a social media campaign for your b-to-b company,

1. Listen. It may seem simple, yet the most compelling reason to be in social media is to listen. Your clients and prospects are likely discussing their products, and asking for solutions to their problems. Learn to follow Twitter hash tags critical to your industry, and the leads will follow.

2. Be available. We’re all looking for brand partners and advocates. By having a social media presence, you make it easier for your followers to market on your behalf, sharing your content, or pointing prospects in your direction. Social is about sharing, and they can’t share what isn’t there.

Social media allows businesses to share ideas with customers, prospects — and other businesses.

3. Be supportive. By monitoring your brand in social media, you’ll can respond to and fix customer service issues. Consumers that feel slighted will frequently tell someone. They now have the capability to tell many people very quickly. Take charge of your brand image by being in that conversation.

4. Your brand has a story. Your organization is dynamic and organic, shrinking and growing. You should be utilizing social media to put a face to the brand. You don’t always know what people will find interesting and it may pleasantly surprise you.

5. Video is viral. Video can launch your brand into the stratosphere if done properly. While we don’t always consider YouTube to be social media, it is. Video is also an effective format to focus on benefits— versus features. Don’t always focus on production quality: Content is king, and it’s what really leads to viral.

In video, content is king.

6. Search engine optimization. The search engines recognize that social media has changed the face of the Internet. Google and other search engines rely on “social signals” in their ranking algorithms. It’s no longer possible to simply generate great content and have it rank in a place that will grow your business. To really capitalize on your content, it needs to be shared by its consumers.

7. Bloggers are watching. You’ve likely experienced writer’s block yourself. You’re not alone. Bloggers scour the Internet looking for content, ideas, and services to write about. Some of them might be very complementary to your niche. Find them, engage them through social media, and help them spread your message for you.

8. Extend content shelf life. Maybe a week later, or a month later, someone will find your social content and share it. This is perhaps long after you’ve been promoting it. Social provides a shelf life extension to your marketing campaigns at no cost to you.

Content can be posted for long periods of time on social media sites.

9. Sharing is automated. For better or worse, for a lot of business social media is now automated. From developing news pages to getting the scoop on, if you’re Liked or followed, your social media can end up being shared just because it’s there.

The automated effect of social media works in your favor to spread your notices.

10. Social media keeps you grounded. Whether you’re big or small, spend a little time in social media each day and you’ll recognize how big your marketplace is, and potentially what slice of the pie you own. You might feel as though you’re reaching a lot of people through traditional advertising, but social media will give you some perspective. It’s a big world out there, and you don’t know most of it.

11. Credibility. Anyone can buy a Google ad. Not everyone can establish themselves as a subject matter expert, especially in front of a jury of their peers. If you know your industry inside and out, social media is the place to show it. In some cases, having a lot of followers just means you’re active. In many cases, it proves that you’re worth listening to.

Your social media peers will attest to your credibility.

12. It’s fun. Make your business efforts fun. Maybe your product set or service has lost some of its sexiness over the years. Social media is a good way to make it relevant and exciting again. If people aren’t out searching for it, have some fun bringing it to the forefront. It takes some thought and time, but it will be worth it in the end.

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