How to Connect With Your B2B Customers Through Social Media
Back in 2013, Forbes called on B2B marketers to “get real about social media” and engaging customers through those channels. 2 years later, the presence of social media has expanded even farther, with new opportunities always arising that allow content marketers to connect with users on a different level.
Although the B2B industry is marked by complex decision-making and long sales cycles, marketers would be wise to remember that at the end of every email correspondence, blog comment, and white paper downloader is a person. Our advanced technology presents channels through which we can communicate that were not possible 5, 10, or 20 years ago.
Not only does a B2B content marketer’s presence on social media allow him or her to connect with customers and gauge their need, it also allows potential buyers to see B2B professionals as real people with genuine solutions to the problems they or their company are currently facing. Connecting on a different level allows for unique interactions and new opportunities.
Content marketers who commit to maintain a committed online presence through various social channels will find that::
- B2B social media gives content marketers permission to display a sense of humor: Take the company FreeAgent,as an example. The company exists an award-winning online accounting system and they cater to micro-businesses and freelancers. They also maintain a lighthearted social media presence that is drawing others in with funny tweets through Twitter and love songs on YouTube.
- B2B social media allows content marketers to connect directly with customers: The burger chain Five Guys has a reputation for using its social spaces to focus on the customer. They boast over 1 million followers on several channels and they allow employees to take part in the process. Whether they are hash tagging their way through a campaign or allowing customers to share cheeseburger photos, they are clearly focused on the customer.
- B2B social media is an equalizer for small and large companies: No matter the size of a company, each is free to build social media platforms and utilize that space to the maximum capacity. Although they are not B2B companies, the National Retail Federation recently caught up with 4 small businesses who are succeeding in connecting with customers and creating community.
Although we are surrounded by media on a constant basis, and it seems we are always plugged in to something, it remains that 24% of the top 200 B2B brands on the internet sill lack a presence on social media.
The year is 2015, and it means B2B marketers need to maintain their social media presence. If you want to drive your traffic, increase the awareness of your brand, and boost engagement, do not be a part of the 24%.
Here are some tips for refining your B2B social media presence:
#1. Know your audience: Who shares your updates, retweets your updates, and makes comments?
#2. Know what your audience want: When are they most active? What do they share the most?
#3. Know how to implement humor and realness: Remember you are a person interacting with a person. Keep it light and human.
#4. Know when to pay, and when to go for the free: It is a balance of several factors when deciding whether to pay for social media advertising. In analyzing different marketers’ techniques, a study found that when spending was allocated to social channels, there was a 25% rise in the number of sales.
B2B content marketing is not without its challenges, and engaging effectively with customers via a powerful social media presence is no exception. It is a process of understanding how customers engage, creating quality content, set goals, and stay consistent. Effective B2B social media marketing is possible, and with a bit of hard work, you can make meaningful connections with customers.