The rise of social media has been amazing for businesses. SMEs are getting a free, accessible platform with exactly the same opportunities as big brands. Likewise, big businesses are shaking off their image as faceless conglomerates and developing brand identities and personalities across social media. But, we can’t deny that when we picture the brands who are nailing social media, it’s often B2C. Which is why we advocate a social media strategy for B2B businesses
The simple fact is that B2B has a reputation for being, well… boring.
A lot of this comes down the differences between B2C and B2B. B2C customers look for experiences. They want exciting, fun products that spark an emotional reaction. On the flip side, B2B customers look for expertise, brand value, and efficiency. B2C customers are the heart, B2B customers are the head. But, that doesn’t mean you need to keep it corporate.
In fact, you shouldn’t.
We’re bored of buzzwords and impersonal interactions. We want authentic and real. We believe that B2B businesses can learn a lot from B2C.
Behind every business is a human, and it’s time to cater to that and get personal.
Ditch your preconceptions. We’re living in a brave new world, where an ‘absolute unit’ of a sheep can score you a viral tweet, business honesty is rewarded, and brands hold more social media clout than celebrities.
Find Your Purpose
The first thing to do as part of your social media strategy for B2B, before making a single post, is to understand your purpose for being there. It’s important to have a plan and a purpose.
As with B2C businesses, it’s likely that your end goal is to generate sales. There’s no shame in that. Social media is a powerful tool that can extend your reach and recognition far beyond most other means. However, if it’s your only goal, it’s time to reassess.
No-one likes a heavy-handed sales pitch. Imagine a face-to-face interaction with a customer. Would you spring immediately into a rehearsed pitch? It’s unlikely. Social media is the same. You should be invested in creating content that serves your community, rather than always looking to take from them.
The beauty of social media is that it offers access to a wide audience of people and businesses. This allows for laser-focused targeting, so you can be sure that your content is being delivered to the right people, at the right time, in the right place. The core concepts of marketing.
Good social media marketing is about building a community and serving them. Take the time to be helpful and build relationships. Never rely on automation for customer service. As a B2B business, creating a network and taking the time to establish yourself as a knowledgeable and reliable source is vital.
Where To Be For B2B
Each social media platform has its own nuances and personality, and as such attracts its own audience. We might try to deny it, but we all have a favourite. Understanding what each platform can offer and what benefits it can afford your brand is key in delivering your content to the right people and businesses.
Facebook is still the undisputed ‘King of Social Media’, boasting the most daily users globally and offering a whole host of useful features, from groups to live streaming.
Twitter is great for interacting with others in your sphere of interest. There’s a whole timetable of weekly industry chats to get involved with, and it’s a great space to establish yourself as a useful voice.
LinkedIn is ideal for B2B businesses. It has a bit of a bad rep for being ‘the sensible one’ (although recent updates to the platform and a push towards video content aim to make it more dynamic). But, if you’re looking for a place to form business relationships, build up a reputation as a brand, or just network, then you really can’t beat it. In fact, no other platform can boast that it’s where most Fortune 500 decision-makers and executives like to spend their spare time. So, it’s worth getting to grips with LinkedIn.
Building Your Personal Strategy
Each business has its own needs, so your social media strategy for B2B should be as individual as you are. Look at your purpose, your platform, and your product before beginning your planning.
Don’t know where to begin? Social INK’s CEO, Chris Bruno’s free webinar on How To Build A Social Media Strategy is available for streaming. Learn how to maximise the impact of your social media efforts. Make the most of our insider knowledge and tips for building a successful social media strategy for B2B. For everything else, get in touch.