B2B social media marketing is a tool that every B2B marketer should use to gain more brand awareness and support the rest of their inbound marketing efforts.
Taking to social media has also been shown to help B2B companies with their lead generation and lead nurturance. How?
B2B social media marketing campaigns foster both more leads through word-of-mouth referrals (lead generation) and greater social engagement with the companies that you're working with (lead nurturance).
Creating More Social Engagement
Especially because the B2B environment has a different incentive structure and a more drawn out sales cycle compared to the new-day-new-coupon approach of a lot of B2C social media marketing, B2B social media marketing can help companies to deliver value-added content to other businesses and become thought leaders in their own right. (Oktopost)
Staying connected to your prospects over a longer period of time to accommodate a more complicated sales cycle also means that you'll inevitably get more B2B user data that you can leverage to make more informed social media marketing decisions.
Better user data on your prospects will bring you closer to the companies you're hoping to engage and enhance your reputation as a thought leader in the field. It's a win-win since you're getting more information on your prospects, which allows you to trickle in value-added content over a longer period of time and become a thought leader.
B2C vs. B2B Social Engagement
Compared to B2C social media marketing, B2B has proven to be more of a "slow burn" type of social engagement that gives other companies the chance to gradually take a shine to your business.
This isn't better or worse than B2C social media engagement—you just have to stay cognizant of the fact that your sales cycle has a different set of parameters where patience is definitely a virtue.
In a sense, it's even to your advantage that B2C and B2B social media campaigns are handled differently, since instead of relying on customized social media campaigns exclusively you can take your time and make minor adjustments attuned to changes in your prospect's behavior, preferences and changing position in the sales cycle.
Keep Leaning on LinkedIn
Over 90% of B2B marketers rely heavily on LinkedIn to distribute their content. Not only that—LinkedIn is the social media platform used most frequently by B2B because, according to B2B marketers, it's also proven to be the most effective.
LinkedIn stands out from the competition because it lets your build business relationships and engage with online communities. At the same time, you can put greater amounts of user data to use and thereby streamline your lead generation.
Seek Brand Consistency Across Channels
Obviously, you want to go where your prospects are, and the quickest way to do that is to find out where they like to spend their time online.
Although Facebook and Twitter are still absolutely important, the overriding emphasis in terms of B2B social media marketing over the last few years has been LinkedIn.
Since Facebook overhauled its news feed policy to discourage overtly promotional content, reports and product placements have lost a bit of their thunder on Facebook and other social media channels.
At the same time, paid social media continues to be one of the strongest ways to drive awareness around your products and close the deal.
More Promotion and Higher Brand Awareness
To ride the tide of this increased brand awareness, it's important that you have a consistent image and marketing message across all of your social media channels—including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
As long as you stick with one consistent message, B2B social media marketing should prove a potent means of driving awareness without having to worry about gatekeepers or artificial ways of promoting your company.
The quality of your content and reputation as a thought leader increasingly determines the success of your B2B social media marketing success. By being transparent about what your company has to offer and the best practices that you've come to rely upon over the years, you can more easily get promoted and enjoy much wider brand awareness as a result.
The thing to remember is that in the world of B2B social media marketing; the gatekeepers, in effect, are your prospects. The quality of your content dictates your ability to achieve wider distribution across social media channels and come into your own as a thought leader in your industry.
By being brand consistent across all of your channels, you increase the chances that your company will solidify its position as a thought leader, which makes the impact of your value-added content in a B2B social media marketing context that much more poignant.
It also means that more companies will be receptive to your ideas and open to the ways in which your company can efficiently help solve their problems.
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