Social media has changed the way we access information and share data, and is having an increasing influence on us as individuals and as business people as well.
While it’s pretty obvious how B2C companies – big or small – can use social media to grow their business reaching millions of consumers every day, it’s not that obvious for B2B marketers. B2B is not about selling services or products to end-consumers… And most B2B brands don’t have the marketing budget of an IBM or an INTEL. So why bother?
Well, if you work for a B2B company – or even better, own one – social media should be an important component of your B2B digital strategy. Here is why.
SEO and Link Building
Both Google and Bing algorithms incorporate social signals into their search results. So links published on your B2B social profiles can improve your website’s search engine rankings and increase its targeted traffic. And guess what, 83% of marketers who have used social media for five or more years “strongly agree” or “agree” that traffic has increased to their websites because of social media activity.
On top of that, social media profiles rank in search engines too. So your LinkedIn or Facebook page can show up on Google to potential clients and peers, sometimes out-ranking your website.
And last but not least, social media channels are search engines too! People use social media networks to find what they’re looking for online. Not having a presence on Facebook or Twitter could be a huge missed opportunity in your B2B digital strategy.
Social media is one of the best ways to connect and engage with potential clients, with your peers, and craft lasting relationships. Think about it: more than half (53%) of B2B buyers report turning to social media to make buying decisions. And LinkedIn is not the only network for B2B connections. Depending on the nature of your B2B business, Twitter, Facebook or even Instagram could also be the right fit for you. Be where your audience is.
Trade shows are key for B2B marketers. But what happens at a trade show doesn’t have to stay at the trade show! Most exhibitions are sharing their own custom social media hashtag to amplify their impact beyond the walls of the physical venue, sometimes reaching audiences all around the world. Take a look at the Consumer Electronics Show, the biggest tech show on the planet taking place every January in Las Vegas, NV. During its 2018 edition, #CES2018 and @CES were mentioned more than a million times on social media! This is an open invitation for your B2B company to engage in a very targeted online conversation and amplify your influence to millions! And BTW, you don’t even need to attend the trade show to use an hashtag and jump in online conversations…
Exposure. Awareness. Your brand needs to be seen to be recognized. Your ability to communicate using social media is essential to the long term success of your B2B business. Because at the end of the day, your clients / prospects’ perception is what really determine the value of your brand in the marketplace.
Reduce Recruitment Costs
Most people look online for a company before applying for a job. Just like HR people are looking online for candidates. The US branch of Sodexo, a leading food and facilities management company constantly hiring new people, is doing a great job of talent engagement on Twitter answering questions about their job opportunities and the company. Having a social media presence allows Sodexo to connect with their future talents, engage in meaningful conversations, and even led to greatly reduce their recruitment costs!
Knowledge is power. And as a leader in your field, you know way more about your B2B business than most people do – and even sometimes more than competitors. Using social media to share your expertise will make you stand out from the competition, and may convince potential clients to ignite the conversation and work with you. Take B2B tech giant Technicolor as an example. They are a big leader in the VR / Immersive space. And in 2017, they conducted their #ImmersiveIgnited social media campaign targeting decision makers in the entertainment industry sharing their expertise in the space, featuring content with the most reckoned experts. Since then, they have been working on most VR experiences for Hollywood blockbusters.
Connect With Employees
Your employees could be your best ambassadors. At family dinners, after work with friends, networking events, they speak about their job and the organization they are working for. Having a social media presence would give them the opportunity to talk online about your B2B business, leverage the two hours they spend on social media every day and make them proud(er) of what they do.
So go ahead. It’s time to take your B2B social media strategy to the next level. Or maybe start working on one.