When social media started gaining popularity, marketers saw it as a golden opportunity to advertise. A large number of potential customers gathering on one website and segregating themselves as per their likes and dislikes – for marketing companies this appeared to be a fantastic opportunity for business to consumer (B2C) promotion purposes. However, recent developments and success stories have proven that social media can not only strengthen B2C marketing but business to business (B2B) marketing too. In a 2017 report, it was found that 83% of US B2B marketers use social media. Given this, social media can certainly be considered one of the most popular digital marketing strategies for businesses.
Understanding the Role of Social Media in a B2B Context :
People have always used social experiences as a fundamental way of making decisions. For instance, when asking questions such as ‘do I like this person?’, or ‘can I trust them?’, these are instinctively answered by our social interactions. Businesses come across people every day in various ways. Social media is just like these real-life situations – it is the internet equivalent of these discussions and relations. The impression which one may get from a real-life situation is similar to what they get on social media.
With the help of social media marketing, B2B businesses are placed in a beneficial position. Be it sales or services, one of the main goals for businessmen has always been to understand their target audience. Social media has made this process simpler. The scope of building a certain degree of reliability has been widened for B2B relations.
An Established Practice :
Social media websites like LinkedIn, Twitter, etc., have become a norm for B2B marketing. Typically, people are hesitant to purchase from businesses without checking out their social media profiles first. To consider and assess the credentials of a business, the first place to go is their website. For this reason alone, it is vital that a business has links to their social media profiles. This way, the more people that check out a company’s internet presence, the better the chances of it doing good business.
B2B Social Media Marketing – Ideal Strategies :
With B2B marketers and finding success with social media, there are some important strategies that need to be understood. The following are a few techniques of B2B social media marketing:
Give a Mixture of Communication :
Marketers need to be aware that social media outlets contribute towards both online and offline communication. Just like marketing methods, a mix of communication should be approached in a balanced way. The target should be to optimise different methods of communication, rather than just one channel. With social media, it is never about the number of relationships a business can spark up but the eminence and depth of a single one.
Add Personality to Social Content :
Even though an organisation’s customer base is primarily full of professionals, that does not mean they have to be treated like robots. When a business shows their social media followers that there is an actual person behind the brand, communication is more effective. By deviating away from the standard marketing tone and adding a touch of personality, followers are more likely to engage. A mutual connection is forged, therefore enhanced business deals.
Expand Social Media Channels :
Some social channels have proven to be more appropriate for B2B marketing than others. Websites like Twitter and LinkedIn are used widely and effectively by businesses with 94% of B2B marketers using it to advertise their services, shape relations and demonstrate their expertise. Other social networks like Facebook or Instagram are not as popular in the business world.
If a business widens their approach to social media, they can see more diverse results regarding customers. Other websites like industry forums, are an amusing and often ignored source of customer understanding and influence. Also, businesses should always be on the lookout for upcoming social channels to make sure they are keeping up with the trends.
Relationships demand to be constructed over a period of time. Providing the correct information to the right person at the appropriate time by means of social media, can often be a lengthy and repetitive process. But, it is crucial for businesses to be a part of this phenomenon which has already seen so much success.
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