It is a fact that social media is an effective tool for businesses. You can find many blogs and articles that share strategies on effective social media use, but it seems that most of these publications target B2C companies. You can learn how to curate content that fits into the different stages of the consumer’s buying journey. You can learn how to build brand and product loyalty. You can learn how to grow your number of followers. This is all good for B2C companies, but what about B2B? B2B companies often deal with niche markets, so is a large following a main concern? Are they interested in individual customer loyalty?
Recently, we had a discussion with a B2B owner. He was skeptical about social media and did not see how it is necessary since his customers are other businesses. He did not see the relevance because he was comparing the B2C social media strategies to his own business. We told him that it is relevant to B2B, but it requires a different mindset.
Here is the difference.
B2C social media is about lead generation, whereas B2B social media is about brand awareness.
Why brand awareness? To understand this, we need to look briefly at the difference between brand awareness and lead generation. Brand awareness is building how people think about your brand. Do they trust your brand? What emotions are stirred when they see your brand? The goal of brand awareness is to help people choose you over your competitors.
Lead generation, on the other hand, is about attracting qualified leads and converting them into individual customers. B2C companies’ profits come from lead generation which is why most articles about social media business use is aimed at them.
B2B companies are about brand awareness. When their customers, other businesses, see their name, logo or service, B2B companies want to be associated with trust, great customer service, expertise, punctuality, and the list goes on. To get into the correct mindset and put the focus on brand awareness, here are 3 ways to get started, or shift your current strategy, as a B2B business on social media.
- Let your personality shine
There is this stereotype that B2B businesses are boring. This is far from the truth. Every business has a unique personality. You can do this by finding a perspective of your product or service that interests your audience. Let your personality surface through conversational posts verses boring “updates”. Talk to your audience. Use humor. Tell stories. Businesses that show their personality on social media creates an experience that people remember.
- Train the right people
Did you know that many businesses fail on social media because they do not have the right people managing it? It is an afterthought or is tasked to an inexperienced employee. Social media is your online voice and it is so important that that voice is consistent and strong. It is also important that a B2B company does not haphazardly delegate social media tasks from employee to employee. Whether you have one person or a team managing your social media, make sure they know your brand’s voice, personality, and purpose as well as social media fundamentals and best practices. This may mean that you need to invest in brand marketing and social media classes for them. Just know, in the long run, it will be worth it.
- Step outside the LinkedIn box
LinkedIn is well known as a B2B social media platform. Many B2B companies use it well but stop there. They have written off Instagram, Twitter, and other social platforms as relevant and profitable. Instead of writing them off, consider them. We are not telling you to create a profile on each platform. Rather, we are suggesting that you consider them. Research platforms like Instagram and see how other B2B companies are effectively using them. Other profiles may be a good fit for your company but involves doing your homework. Don’t be afraid to step outside of LinkedIn.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many social media strategies and ideas that B2B companies can adopt. If you are using social media for your B2B company and feel like it is going nowhere or you want to use it but are afraid to begin, talk with us. We would love to help you get on the right path.