Social Media is a very useful and effective marketing strategy which a lot of businesses use; they use social media to communicate with existing and potential customers. Businesses also use social media to promote their organisation, although using social media to sell to businesses can be very different compared to using social media to sell to consumers; however using social media if you sell to businesses is still extremely important.
There are four main channels which businesses use for social media:
LinkedIn is one of the very popular social media channels available for B2B marketing. This channel has over 2 million groups. A LinkedIn group is where a business can create a digital community which focuses on a particular topic/ subject. They also allow the members of the group to lead and take part in business discussions, events and services. It also allows a business to promote their products.
Having a group on LinkedIn can be very useful when you sell to businesses because you can engage with your audience and share content socially, you are also able to engage with your audience by using other techniques, not only can you post content and comment or share posts, you can also announce events such as free webinars. Free webinars are also known as web conferences, they can include things such as presentations, lectures, training events or meetings. Although you must remember that a webinar shouldn’t be a sales pitch, it should be about common issues and problems which the members of the group may find challenging.
LinkedIn groups also allow you to see other business pages and from these pages you can see which people are higher within the organisation, so if you wished you could directly message or contact a specific person.
Another social media channel which is very popular for businesses to use is Facebook. Naturally Facebook is used for business to consumer; however this channel can be effective and used if you sell to businesses.
Having a Facebook page for your business, even if you do not sell to consumers, can be very vital. This is because the more social media channels you have the better for you. Because from having more channels you can reach more of your audience and your audience are an essential aspect to have. By having an audience you can communicate and share content about your company and/or your businesses services.
The more company pages you follow which are your targeted audience the better too, because you will be able to expand your brand awareness and you can also interact with your audience to create potential business partners or suppliers.
You can help build your audience for your business Facebook page by using Facebook ads. Facebook ads help a business connect with their audience; a business can do this by creating multiple ads. By using the targeting options you can have your ads shown only to the category of people you are targeting. Also by using a variety of ads, you can experiment and observe which ads best work for your company. Facebook ads are also helpful because a business may have a service or product which not everyone would think about searching for, but by using Facebook ads, your business will appear for people to see.
Nevertheless you can also engage with your audience by adding new posts to your Facebook business page on a regular basis, such as once a week. Sharing content about your business’ services can be very repetitive. This could lead to your audience getting uninterested and not engaging as much. One way to avoid this could be by sharing alternative content such as news which relates to the company’s industry, asking questions, responding to comments when people post on your page or you could even share other interesting media such as pictures or videos. For more ideas on what to post on Facebook read this article: What Should I Post on Facebook: 5 Rules for Great Business Posts
Having good communication with your audience or other businesses on Facebook can be extremely useful because when someone interacts with your business page by commenting or posting, their friends or followers are able to see the activity which could potentially lead to expanding your businesses audience.
Google+ is a social media channel which is extremely important for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) purposes. This is because the amount of activity on a Google+ page can increase the influence of the Google search results because Google will index all of the content you publish.
In comparison, by having a Google+ page you can also increase the amount of traffic and activity on your main website and other social media channels which are linked to your Google+ page, such as Youtube.
By creating a Google+ page for a business you are able to develop relationships with prospects and customers on different levels, you can do this by using the hangout feature on Google+, this enables companies to engage with their audience and prospects through video conference calls.
Twitter is another social media platform which companies use within their social media marketing strategy. Twitter is highly scannable, allowing people to read through small posts, this is due to the limited character count of 140 characters per tweet.
Because Twitter has a character limit of 140, it can be difficult to share content, however it can be easy and effective to tweet about other topics such as news or articles relating to the companies industry.
Many businesses use Twitter, but they do not know how to use it effectively. One of the things which a business can do to improve their Twitter marketing is by following their competitors, this is because you will be able to see what they are doing to be successful on Twitter and you can see if their strategies might work for your organisation.
Many b2b companies face challenges such as engaging with their target audience with the content they are posting, however with twitter you can engage with a huge amount of people by sharing or re-tweeting their posts. You can also follow your fans, this is an effective method to carry out as it can not only gain brand awareness but also customer acquisition.
Similarly you can do the same by following your customers; this is so that you can see what type of interests they have and what type of things they are tweeting about.
You can also find potential business partners, or even suppliers, and they can also find you through the content you are posting.
Another key feature you could use on Twitter is ‘Tweetdeck’. This allows you to monitor specific keywords and which conversations are relating to these keywords. You can also see if people are talking about problems which you know how to resolve, so you can offer your assistance and this allows you to communicate with your audience in an effective way.
A business can also use Twitter’s new feature called ‘new lead generation cards’. This enables marketers to collect data directly within a tweet, this is done by when the customer clicks on a call to action the customer’s information is automatically collected.
In conclusion there are many social media channels which a business can use within their online marketing strategy, however if you sell to businesses and not consumers then there are different methods and tools which are available for you to use, so that you can still use a variety of social media channels successfully.
Article by Amber Haynes