The idea that social media marketing is better suited for the B2C sector than for the B2B sector isn’t true. After all, B2B decision makers are consumers that use social media too. B2B marketers are starting to warm up to the idea of social media but aren’t quite sure how to use it. This results in a lot of B2B social media Pages that sit inactive and aren’t having any effect whatsoever on an overall online marketing strategy. B2B marketers that let their social media Pages go idle are missing out on lots of opportunities. B2Bs should be using social media to do the following:
Enhance Tradeshow Marketing Efforts
Tradeshow marketing is a marketing “go to” in the B2B sector. Many B2Bs attend numerous tradeshows and conferences every year and a majority of the marketing budget is dedicated towards this type of traditional marketing. Social media has become a component of these trade shows and attendees are encourages to post and tweet social content using conference hashtags. Many businesses are live blogging, tweeting, and posting throughout the event to followers. If you don’t have a strong social media presence, this is a new part of tradeshow marketing that you are missing out on. Social media can be used to promote an appearance at an event beforehand, engage with other attendees during, and recap to followers that weren’t able to attend after the event is over.
Relationships play a much larger part in the decision process for a B2B than for a B2C. A large majority of B2C decisions are simple in nature, whereas B2B decisions are more complex. A B2B decision has major business implications and making the wrong decision can result in lost productivity or even lost jobs. B2B decision makers need to trust the business that they are hiring or spending a significant amount of money with. Social media is a great place to cultivate relationships with prospects and gain their trust over time. In addition, social media can be used to connect with other industry professionals and network. These connections may turn into new business opportunities at some point down the road.
Content marketing is another great way for B2Bs to establish trust with prospects over the long term. Content gets noticed by target audience members and by the search engines (to attract a new audience). B2Bs should take the time to create blog posts, articles, eBooks, guides, whitepapers, etc. in order to be viewed as a thought leader in a given industry. However, content is only valuable if people are seeing it. Hiding content away on an interior “Resource” page of your website won’t do you any good. Social media is a great way to promote content to the people that would find it useful and beneficial. In addition, this will help build your “social signals” and expand your reach as the links are shared by your followers.