As a B2B business owner, you’ve probably heard before that social media isn’t the place for you. It’s not a mean thing to say, but a consensus that’s thought to be practical. Twitter is a platform for businesses that need to speak with individuals, not other businesses, right?
Actually, that may not be the case. B2B businesses can have a lot of success on social media, but they tend to shy away because of the previously-held belief that they simply don’t belong there. Consumer markets will always benefit from social media channels more than other industries, but this doesn’t mean B2B brands won’t have any luck using them just the same way.
…Or perhaps not in just the same way. In reality, consumer marketing and B2B marketing are definitely two different creatures. The way you approach a business peer is much different than the way you’d approach an individual or a consumer base. This still doesn’t mean you’ve got to give up hope – the answer is simply that B2B businesses need to focus on ways that social media CAN work for them, and it won’t always sync up with the tried-and-true consumer marketing methods.
Here’s your first step: find where your audience is. Despite the notion that B2B business can’t succeed on social media, many entrepreneurs and small business owners and employees flock to social media. Think of people like Neil Patel. He’s a social media and SEO influencer and he’s also a businessman. That’s just one obvious example – you’ve got an audience on social channels through influencers and big wigs alone.
But what if your audience is smaller? You aren’t someone who can appeal to large businesses and influencers, but your services do fall in line with smaller businesses. You have the influencers to thank for this one – it’s becoming more and more necessary for small businesses and entrepreneurs to have social media accounts, so you know you’re going to find people to market to there.
Even if Twitter and Facebook aren’t perfect channels for you, there are still options out there. Instead of focusing on more millennial- and influencer-based venues, look to a more peer-based platform like LinkedIn. Social media platforms like LinkedIn, Reddit and Quora are great for B2B peer targeting.
And, of course, it always pays to do your research. Don’t simply take our advice blindly – look at your own industry and niche and figure out where the people are.
Been Social on Social Sites
Part of the reason B2B brands are social-phobic is due to a self-fulfilling prophecy. They join up on Facebook or Twitter and wait for other businesses to come to them, but sometimes it doesn’t work like that. In order to move past your social channel fear, you’ve got to start putting the “social” in “social media.”
Get active and engage with other businesses. You’ll be getting leads in no time as long as you put genuine effort into your attempts.
Start Getting Specific
B2B businesses can find a lot of success in social media marketing by focusing on specific campaigns. For instance, if you’re a small business focusing on blog writing, holding a writer’s seminar can help you branch out and get more business leads. You can collect writers and share content information, as well as pick up new clients along the way.
Sharing this kind of thing on social media is easy. Business owners and employees love networking opportunities, so giving them what they want is a perfect way to get things going for your social circle. LinkedIn is especially good for spreading the news about a professional campaign or promotion, so start there and work outwards to sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Realize the Fear is Baseless
Social media marketing is one of the cheapest and easily accessible forms of media marketing available currently, and that’s likely a trend that’s not going to change. You’re going to find that social media is something that will stick around for quite some time, and like the old saying goes: if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.
After all, social media is a valuable tool – and that’s not just for your own personal content-pushing purpose, either. Social media platforms are essentially a large Internet thermometer. They keep everyone informed about what is relevant, what’s happening in the world and what the current hot topics are. Staying relevant as a business is important to your livelihood, so following trends on social media isn’t a bad idea.
Even if social media platforms don’t work as well for you as they’d like you to, social media marketing channels should never be a company’s only form of marketing. When you put all of your effort into only one area of visibility and advertisement, what happens when the strategy you’ve put in place turns out to be a dud?
At the end of the day, there’s no reason to be afraid of social media as a B2B brand. If it works, it works. If it doesn’t, keep trying! There’s no reason to ignore a valuable resource if you haven’t yet tried to harvest its true value yet.