Social Media to Drive B2B Sales
Consumer brands have been using social media for years. Collecting likes, creating conversations, providing incentives, and creating contests to engage the customers with the brand. Meanwhile, B2B brands have not been as quick to join the social media bandwagon. In the B2B workplace, social media is just as important as it is with B2C. However, B2B social media comes with its own unique set of challenges. It must go beyond gaining more followers, getting likes, and engaging in simple conversations. It’s all about building lasting relationships.
- Create a stream of continuous social engagement.
The first step to a successful B2B social media campaign is getting over the idea that posting once or twice a week is engaging your target audience. It is important to maintain a stream of continuous engagement. One touch to your target audience will not suffice. It is essential to have a continuous conversation and nurture the prospective client through the sales cycle. This process cannot happen with one 90-day campaign. Instead, plot out a series of engagements throughout the calendar year. This gives your prospects time to get to know you and warm up to your business and the products you sell.
- Be where your buyer is.
When you consider creating a social media strategy, it is unwise to think about a single network like Facebook or LinkedIn. It is important to keep in mind that your prospects are everywhere, and your social media campaign should cater to that. No matter what social media platforms you use, the brand experience should be consistent. Also, going mobile is key. People are browsing the internet, reading emails, and interacting on social media on their cell phones more frequently with every year. It is important that your campaign is not only mobile accessible, but appears and feels like it was made for mobile. Bad mobile experiences cause prospect drop out.
- Attract B2B prospects with B2B incentives.
Attracting B2B prospects is different than B2C prospects. Social campaigns during their inception were focused on the B2C market, and involved extensive giveaways and product deals. These of course don’t work well in the B2B environment. B2B environments are less transactional and take more time to cultivate. Incentives or discounts allow for you to see results immediately, whereas in the B2B environment, the buy occurs later. This is because B2B’s typically are working on a more extensive and complex sales cycle, which requires a good amount of education to the potential buyer. By posting and sharing relevant and interesting content, you are building a sense of trust and reliability with your customer. Your customer will grow to respect you as a knowledgeable person in the field and will be more likely to make a sale down the line.
- Measurement and Return on Investment
Let’s face it: tracking is key. You track your calls, forms on your website, and your purchases. It is essential to track your social media efforts as well! That way, you can adjust according to how your target audience responds. In social media, it’s not about hits. It’s about conversions. Nothing happens until someone sells something. In our next addition, we will speak more in depth about the importance of utilizing analytics in your social media plan.
Social media campaigns are the best way of creating better-qualified leads in the B2B environment. By implementing a social media strategy, businesses can gather data on their prospects and current clients and tweak digital marketing efforts if necessary. This allows for B2B’s to adapt to what their customer base wants and needs. That way, B2B’s have the time necessary to cultivate lasting relationships with potential customers and conduct more sales down the line.