When you read up on social media strategies, you’re quite likely to find that a large proportion of available information is geared very much towards B2C companies (business to consumer). It’s all about ‘letting your fans get to know you’, about ‘sharing the latest trending content’ and about ‘engaging with your audience’. This is all great but if you’re selling accounting services to small businesses, does sharing cat videos really have the same value? If you provide legal advice to managers dealing with immigration, is it really appropriate to Tweet about that chicken sandwich you ate earlier?
Of course B2B companies operate on a very different basis to B2C and as such, it’s crucial to take a very different approach to marketing. In this article, we’ll be looking at some of those differences and we’ll be providing crucial tips that can help any B2B organization to get noticed on social media…
Finding Your Target Audience
While there are some differences between B2B and B2C social media, there are also some similarities. One similarity for instance is that in both scenarios, you are going to be thinking about who you are targeting with your content which means you need to know who your target demographic is.
If you were selling footballs, your target demographic would likely be young men. But as you’re selling business services or supplies, your target demographic will be some kind of business. Identify the niche that that business is in and then you can find some ‘routes to market’.
A route to market is simply a straight forward means for you to reach your target audience. When it comes to social media marketing, the main route to market will likely be groups and communities on Facebook and Google Plus among other channels. Join some industry groups then and try to get yourself known there.
Establishing Authority and Providing Value
Another tip is to use these routes to market as a way to promote yourself and to help companies learn about who you are and what you do. In other words, don’t just post adverts and links to your checkout page right away – spend some time first answering questions, discussing relevant topics and generally getting to a point where visitors:
- Recognize your name
- Trust your opinion and expertise
This will help you greatly when it comes to subsequent marketing and you’ll find that your audience are thus much more responsive when you promote offers and items.
Reaching ‘Decision Makers’
But when you do promote, it’s important not to focus only on the businesses you’re targeting but also on the key players within those businesses. In other words, you want to ensure that your messages reach the ‘decision makers’ who have the ability to hire your services on behalf of the organization.
One way to do this is through Facebook advertising, which allows you to target people by job description. This way you can ensure that your ads are going out only to ‘managers’ for instance so that you aren’t wasting your money.
Also useful to use is LinkedIn where you can additionally see users’ job descriptions, place of work and other relevant information. LinkedIn even lets you message people who you share contacts with which gives you the option to try direct marketing if you should so wish.
Influencer Marketing and Partnerships
Another crucial strategy for businesses, is to leverage Digital marketing agency. This basically means that you’ll be working with other brands and businesses to promote your own products and services. Specifically, you want to try and reach the ‘influencers’ who already have large audiences of their own that you can reach. LinkedIn helps you to do this and even marks people as ‘influencers’ if they have a lot of clout (of course you can also use the tool Klout for this same purpose).
And it’s not just influencers you can work with either. Promote businesses with services that are complementary to your own and ask them to do the same. So if you’re a plumber, why not ask a local electrician to give you a shout out in return for you doing the same? This is a free form of promotion that can result in immediate clients.
Note that many of these strategies will be much more effective if you also put some work into your networking. This means building your list of contacts and your own influence over time.
One of the best ways to do this? To network in the real world. That way you can then legitimately ask to add the people you meet on LinkedIn and Facebook. Make sure that you attend networking events and conferences and make it easy for your clients to add you on social media too. Rapportive is also an excellent tool for turning e-mail contacts into LinkedIn connections.