The idea of using social media for interaction with customers is a no-brainer. Social media allows you to engage your customers directly, market your brand toward them, sell to them directly, and even provide customer service to them through social media channels. So what about social media and Business-to-Business? (B2B)
The general consensus is that social media doesn’t belong in the world of B2B, but there are many ways that social media can be used effectively. Here are some tips on effectively using social media for B2B relationships.
1. Create Content: A lot of product categories for B2B can be a crowded space and it’s easy for your company to get lost in the crowd. You have to think at the same time that corporate buyers are being equally bombarded with a large amount of options from that crowded category. This is where creative content comes in. You have to create content that is engaging, interesting, and manages to get your message across without being overbearing about it. Informative content that keeps up with the changes in a market will attract buyers to your website and make your company stand out in the crowd.
2. Focus on Leads: The corporate buyers who engage with the content on your website and leave their contact information or download a gated whitepaper are potential leads that need to be followed up with. Creating leads via social media is an increasing practice that is becoming more important as more buyers spend their time in social media channels.
3. Create Community: The fact is that B2B products and services last longer than the general consumer product lifecycle. Companies that use your product as well as the people who install and manage that product, will need service and support that is ongoing throughout that product’s lifecycle. Support can also come in the form of peers within an industry. B2B companies that are ahead are creating groups on social media sites such as Google+ and LinkedIn where corporate buyers and others can discuss industry issues and share their knowledge with one another.
4. Recruit Potential Employees: It can be hard to find good employees to work for your company, but social media makes things a little easier. A company that is active on social media will attract job seekers, especially younger employees, who they can then proactively choose from to join their team. A business doing business on social media will be sought after by job seekers.
5. Higher Level Discussion: There is much discussion on social media about products and issues, much of it consumer-oriented. But there are people talking about business on social media. This level of discussion consists of everything your market analytics pays attention to, your industry, and your competitors, how your company fits in there and maybe even your products and level of service. These discussions are important to pay attention to as you’ll want to collect and analyze any data you gain from them to evolve your business moving forward.