Despite its extreme popularity with B2C companies, social media is still a useful tool for B2B businesses. In this piece, we’ll look at how to construct and maintain B2B relationships using social media channels as well as a few tactics to get you started.
Why B2B Businesses Should Use Social Media
The main reason that your brand should use social media is because your clients are on social media. No matter how niche an offering or specific of a business you are, your clients are likely out there on social media. Establishing a presence on social media makes it easier to connect with them, as long as you do your homework and narrow down your tactics for reaching these individuals.
Social media also is a useful tool to use during your sales pitch and onboarding. Should a sales cycle goes on for a long time, it’s important to maintain contact outside of daily talks in order to enforce the building relationship. Interacting with your prospect on social media, liking their posts or sharing their posts can help your brand win them over.
These channels are also a place to share content like presentations, webinars, infographics, videos and blog links. Not only do they educate your audience, but they also help your customer make a complex purchasing decision. The more someone knows about your business and its abilities, the greater the opportunity for them to make a purchase from you.
Depending on the current relationship with your audience, the next few sections will offer different ways of creating or maintaining B2B relationships.
Tactics to Build B2B Relationships
If your brand hasn’t tried this type of tactic before, here are a few pointers for constructing a viable social media campaign. First, think about who your audience will be and what you think they would like to learn about or see. This is a misstep many people often make; they post content that doesn’t add any serious value to their target audience. But by taking a moment to think about the value offered to your audience before posting something, your brand can increase the overall benefit to your client.
Next, consider what your goal is for social media. Do you want to generate more leads? Or do you want to increase the reach of your posts? Leads will require you to review your clicks and conversions. Meanwhile, increasing post reach means looking at organic versus paid reach, impressions and engagement. Establishing what method you will use is the cornerstone of executing a proper campaign.
Once you’ve built a target audience and established a goal for your social channels, now it’s time to start creating a personality. Think about the posts you interact with normally, are they stiff and lifeless or full of color and attitude? Although we’re not suggesting you be totally unprofessional, take a few small steps in this direction. Use a conversational tone by including “we” and “our.” Engage with your followers and other pages in real-time conversations. Remember, prospective clients look at your social pages to see what you’ve been doing and saying. Humanize your brand by inserting humor once in a while too.
Ask your employees to share your content as well to generate brand exposure. This helps spread your word and provides an embodiment of your company’s best interest. Use content from outside individuals as well. Send out swag bags with company hashtags to use. Track hashtags or company mentions throughout social media to find user-generated content. All of these tactics can help build your social channels and start a relationship with potential clients.
Tactics to Strengthen B2B Relationships
If you already have a good-standing relationship with a client, then your task is a little easier. However, to reinforce your client work, social media is something good to use. If you haven’t already followed any partners or clients, get on it. Find them on all the social media channels you use and start interacting with their posts.
Share content from their pages. If you already work together, it’s likely that the materials posted on their pages is relevant to your audience. Plus, it builds goodwill between the two of you and possibly leads to them sharing some of your brand’s content.
Create content around your partners and collaborators, especially if someone is an event sponsor or has helped with a project. Tag them in a post or work together to create posts for each other. These materials can be interesting to your followers, so it’s a win all the way around.
Social media is not a tool that B2B companies often think about while building client relationships. However, when you use your social channels to create useful content or campaigns and engage with clients, you can help your brand’s business. At the end of the day, social media is not going anywhere, and your business can reap its rewards by implementing any of the ideas in this article.