10 killer social media tips for businesses who want to get ahead
Awareness of social media marketing as a powerful tool for B2B marketing is growing, but many social media marketing tips still focus on B2C communication.
While some of those tips such as setting goals and interacting with others are valid no matter who is targeted, B2B offers unique challenges and opportunities.
Here are ten tips for creating a strong and effective social media marketing campaign specifically for business to business.
1. Use the #B2B hashtag on Twitter. While LinkedIn is the primary tool for many businesses, other forms of social media can be useful as well. This hashtag can help a company connect with other B2B companies that are giving Twitter a try.
2. Choose the right platforms. As mentioned above, some companies think B2B marketing begins and ends with LinkedIn.
However, a company that specializes in creating industrial films can use YouTube to show sample clips while a photographer or designer who does work for other businesses may use Pinterest as both a gallery and a way to connect with other companies.
3. Use Google Alerts to monitor industry news. This keeps a company current with what's happening with other business as well as providing links to interesting content that can be shared on social media.
4. Take a look at Slideshare. This is one of the less well-known social media tools, but it can be great for businesses. Slideshare combines some of the capabilities of sites like YouTube and Pinterest for a more business-oriented audience.
With capabilities for audio and video as well as slide shows, Slideshare also allows tags such as markets, trends, research and statistics that can help other businesses find their way to your vital information.
5. Use LinkedIn tools to connect with other companies. Shared Connections, LinkedIn Groups and LinkedIn Answers are all terrific opportunities for networking.
Shared Connections can show common connections that help a business identify clients while LinkedIn Groups and LinkedIn Answers help to establish a company as an authority within an industry.
6. Don't forget to be personal. B2C companies are often urged to present a personal voice and image to customers, but B2B companies should not neglect this approach either. In the end, all marketing is person to person.
The focus may shift for B2B, but it's important to remember that businesses are made up of individuals, and connecting with those individuals on social media is the key.
7. Don't waste anyone's time. Being personal is good, but B2B marketing on social media needs to be efficient and make it easy for other companies to get the kind of information they need about a product or service. Time is money in the business world.
8. Become an authoritative voice on social media. Other companies will be looking for the best business in the industry to deliver the products or services needed. The business that can establish itself in this way will have an automatic advantage.
9. Develop a plan to measure ROI across different social networks. Social media for B2B definitely works, but there is less data out there than for B2C companies on where it works and how. A B2B company will need to experiment a little more with different platforms before reaching an optimal marketing strategy.
10. Pay attention to what B2C companies are doing. Some of the marketing advice for B2C businesses can be applied to B2B as well, so when something is working well for a B2C business, it is worth exploring whether it can also be applied in a B2B context.
B2B companies that do not engage in social media marketing risk falling behind their competitors. Social Media provides B2B a significant opportunity to extract qualitative data, gain real-time customer insight and meet customer expectations – a recipe that will help a business grow.
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Steve Minks has over 25 years of IT & Digital expertise and is co-founder of www.icesugarmedia.com, a Digital Consultancy. Steve also enjoys writing on a range of subjects and spending time with his family. Connect with him on Google+