Social media has been around for less than a decade and everyone and anyone is using social media more and more nowadays. The majority of us use this phenomenon for personal use. However more recently, businesses are realising that social media can play a huge role in the growth of their company. The marketing landscape has undoubtedly been forever changed by the introduction of social media. Since its development, social media allows us to connect and interact with each other from anywhere around the world. Now that there is an increase in businesses that are tapping into this concept, they are able to more effectively get ahead in the market, while others are still struggling to keep up.
It is pretty obvious why B2C companies are using social media as part of their marketing strategy. Social media allows them to directly advertise their products or services to their customers. Those companies are able to reap the myriad benefits and opportunities social media creates. If your company works mainly B2B, you may not think your company needs to spend precious time and effort using social media. It is remarkable how well companies already using social media are connecting with their fans through Facebook (and any other social media platforms). Most B2B companies have a smaller customer base but a much larger price point than B2C businesses. B2B customers need more information and support to encourage a single sale. Multiple channels are used for research to make their final decision. With the use of social media marketing, your business can capture many opportunities and widen your customer base.
Although social media marketing may not directly drive your sales, the value resides in building a customer’s interest in your brand over time. Social media is a tool that can be used to support your sales and customer retention.
Using B2B Social Media
B2B businesses can use social media in a number of different ways. Aside from connecting with existing and potential customers, you can build awareness around your products or services. It is not only about sharing content, but also about actively interacting and engaging with your customers to build lasting relationships. Knowing where to begin with the use of social media can be overwhelming. However, ensuring that you have a strong presence on the platforms is a good place to start. You may focus your efforts on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, or all three.
To engage with your users on Facebook, you must start by setting up a business page. Your Facebook page allows you to effectively share content that your customers or potential customers might be interested in. Your business can expand its reach beyond those who have already liked your page. In order to do this, you can pay to promote your posts or run ads that targets users who have visited either your website or other websites similar to yours.
Twitter can be a great way to engage with your followers when used correctly. Because Twitter has a huge number of users and tweets can only be a certain number of characters, it can be difficult to effectively convey a message. By using retweets and hashtags, you can engage with users and expand your reach. Unlike Facebook and LinkedIn, you can easily gain new followers by simply following other users.
If you are using LinkedIn, you can engage with users by publishing news such as blog posts from your business onto your LinkedIn page. By publishing on the LinkedIn Pulse network, you can further expand your reach. Publishing relevant news and useful information to your audience and potential customers will generate interest.
Using your social media platforms can effectively drive traffic to your website. Every website owner wants their website to have higher exposure and traffic. You can drive targeted traffic by creating social media posts. When you make a post on one of your social media platforms, you can use that specific post to drive targeted traffic to reach your business’ target audience. The content on your social media pages will help influence your customers and potential customers in their decision making process. Social media can help you reach a larger audience. It allows your business to engage with your current customers; further enhancing the existing relationship, as well as develop new relationships with customers.
Therefore, when you create a new page on your website; your website becomes more visible in search engines. This results in an increase of traffic to your website.
Social media has evidently improved website’s search engine rankings and significantly boosts a website’s traffic. Search engines such as Google are constantly updating and creating new rules to rank websites. With every search engine update, more social media results are being integrated. Social media is becoming more prominent and is important as an SEO signal. When your business is being talked about and mentioned on social media, it sends a signal to search engines that your website is popular. By sending that signal, search engines will bump up your page rankings.
In addition, when someone types your business’ name in Google or any other search engine, it will bring up links to your business’ social media pages (if you have any). Whether you have Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or any other social media platform, those pages will come up. In this case, it is very important to keep your social media pages up to date with the latest information. Anyone will have easy access to your social media pages; it could be peers, customers and even potential customers. In a matter of seconds, they will make judgements based on the content on your pages. Social media itself are also becoming search engines. People may search up your business on Facebook to find out more information. So just like your website, make sure your social media pages are updated and have relevant information that is worth reading.
Furthermore, adding social media buttons to your website will increase its visibility in search engines. The more time and effort spent on your social media pages, the more significant it will become in your SEO strategies.
We all know that social media is an excellent and efficient way to connect with others. Your business can use social media to connect with other businesses. You can also engage and communicate with current and potential customers. As of the first quarter of 2016, Facebook had over 1.65 billion monthly active users. As of the second quarter of 2016, Twitter had over 313 million monthly active users, and most recently, LinkedIn has over 433 million members to date. With a huge proportion of internet users using social media, there is no shortage of opportunity to connect. Creating positive connections and relationships can lead to business opportunities for you and your company.
Communication is vital for every business; however, positive engagement with your targeted audience can dramatically improve your company’s reputation. Most active Facebook and Twitter users check their feeds daily. So if you keep your social media pages updated, those who follow you will look at the content you are sharing more often. This can influence and encourage their decision to buy from you or recommend you to others.
Social media is the perfect place to share content. It allows you to share content with those who have already followed your page, which then can be shared with others. This further expands your reach to potential customers. Updating your social media pages is also a great way to inform your existing customers about new and improved products or services. The content shared could come in a range of forms, including product or service announcements, blog posts, and case studies. Any information shared should be informative and useful to your customers.
It is important to keep in mind that one of the main objectives of B2B social media marketing is to build and maintain relationships with existing and potential customers. Even though you have the power to share content to a large audience within seconds, building relationships take time. You can’t expect to see instant results from your social media efforts. Just like in the offline world, building relationships with work colleagues, friends and other people take time and effort. Providing relevant and useful information will engage users and keeping active on social media will solidify those relationships.
Even though you may only direct your content to your target audience, your social media platforms can generate interest among those who are unaware of your business and industry. You have the ability to share your knowledge and expertise of your industry to the wider market. Millions of active social media users will have access to your information, so why not use your networks to its full potential?
With that said, integrating social media platforms into your marketing strategies is a smart and effective method to generate traffic to your website, share useful content and build relationships. Social media is a great tool for B2B companies in any industry and if you are not using it, your business is already behind. If your business is already adopting social media, you will reap the benefits of building brand awareness, customer loyalty and credibility.