Is Social Media Right for My B2B Business?
Social | Strategy
We can’t deny that social media plays an overwhelming role in our everyday lives. It has completely redefined what it means to interact with friends, family, and even strangers – So why would we ever think that there’s no place for any business on social media?
When we do think of businesses on social, it’s most often in the B2C context, but we need to start changing this mindset.
Millennials now comprise half of all B2B buyers.
84% of those B2B buyers use social media to research brands and products during their decision-making phase.
So, if your B2B business is not on social because you think it doesn’t apply, you’re missing out.
Consumer behavior continues to shift as more and more customers are using social media for more than just communication – They’re using it to discover new brands, discuss products, research reviews and customer experiences, and come to their final purchasing decisions. This continuing trend means that social media marketing can actually be more valuable for a B2B company than a B2C.
Think of it this way: In B2B, you commonly see a higher average price point for products, and you are likely targeting a narrower customer base. With higher dollar purchases, more consideration goes into the decision – so we often see greater influence from customer referrals, word-of-mouth and your business’ reputation. Enlisting your customers as brand advocates returns a much greater reward when manufacturing a $50,000 piece of industrial equipment than when selling a $5 bag of tortilla chips. Social media helps B2B businesses acquire and retain clients, demonstrates their authority as experts, and builds their reputation even in exceptionally tough markets.
Which Social Media Platform do B2B marketers use?
Think of all the ways B2B marketers can use Facebook: CEOs and Founders can leverage personal Facebook profiles; there are “Groups” for organizations, clubs, and topics; and there are “Pages” for brands, companies, and notable people. Facebook also offers a large variety of targeting options in it’s intuitive management tool. Buyers are often going to social media to talk to businesses, but they also want to engage with brands. B2B companies can use Facebook as a way to speak directly to prospects about their positive footprint or advancements in deepening the customer experience.
LinkedIn is the platform most used by salespeople to engage with their clients and prospects, and 73% of B2B companies said they use it for this purpose. Not only does the network hold a large number of users, but the users are influential, high-level executives that most businesses are targeting in their B2B marketing campaigns. 4 of 5 LinkedIn members drive business decisions. B2B Marketers not only use LinkedIn to network with clients, prospects, and potential employees, but also to share content. There are nine billion content impressions in the LinkedIn feed every week, and about 45% of the article readers are in upper-level positions, including managers, VPs, Directors, and C-level positions. The content your B2B business publishes or posts on LinkedIn has a solid chance of getting in front of the target audience or a decision-maker.
Many B2B companies struggle to use Twitter in their marketing efforts, but this is a missed opportunity for too many. The social platform has 126 million daily users. Given that, it’s very likely that your B2B’s target market is on the platform, and if that’s where your target market is, then you should be connecting with them there. Companies use Twitter to connect with users in real-time, answering questions, posting updates, and replying to other posts. Twitter is also the second most used platform for the purpose of content marketing, just shy of LinkedIn. B2B businesses see success from Twitter when they utilize the platform as a top-of-the-funnel tactic, and offer high-level materials that meet needs or address pain points. Using links to direct users to a helpful blog post or resource can push prospects down the funnel, especially when 92% of all user interactions are link clicks.
What are the Benefits of Social Media for B2B?
- Targeting – Social media advertising offers a massive amount of targeting options to narrow down your audience; age, industry, job title, location, interests, homeowners /non-homeowners, parent/non-parent, income, credit card holders, etc. And with real-time feedback and instant campaign messaging changes, just like you can experience with Google AdWords, you can adjust based on the data to ensure the highest possible impact.
- Increased Exposure – Social media platforms allow you to have interactions with industry influencers who you would probably never be able to get in front of otherwise.
- Lead Generation – The B2B market typically has a longer and more complex sales cycle than the B2C market, meaning that a captivating and consistent social media marketing strategy is even more important to driving website traffic and funneling conversions.
- Low advertising costs – No matter what platform, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, ad costs are a fraction of the cost of traditional media spend. Most companies are even unaware of all the advertising options social media platforms have, from promoting clicks to your website to promoting fan growth, your opportunities are countless.
- Increased Traffic – Increasing traffic to your website has many benefits in itself. So, why not use social media to promote your content and get more visitors to your website. If you have great content just sitting on your website, don’t wait around hoping the right people read it. Send it through your social media platform and get it in front of the right people.
- Meticulous tracking – Facebook Pixel to track conversions, being able to distinguish between the different types of conversions
Social media can be an excellent lead generator for B2B businesses that invest the time and effort into creating a dynamic and relevant social media strategy. You might not think that social media is worth your organization’s time, but only data can tell whether or not that is true. When done right, your social media marketing strategy can connect your business with your prospects and existing customers, influencing public perceptions, building and managing brand reputation, and developing thought leadership.
Still not sure? Let’s get some coffee. Our social media team can take an in-depth look at you, your audience, and your market to create a custom social media strategy that brings real results. We know what it takes to drive successful social media campaigns.