Social Media for B2B – Business to Business Brand Building

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Many B2B organizations are successfully utilizing the social media for effective interaction with customers, building brand awareness and driving traffic.

More and more B2B companies are beginning to appreciate the usefulness of social media as marketing tool to promote their brand image and boost their sales. Using social media for business-to-business marketing is not very different from all other traditional methods of marketing. It only calls for a different mindset and some revised marketing approach and strategies.

B2B Marketing Strategy

While framing your B2B marketing strategy for the social media, you have to be clear in your mind about who your target audience is, and which social media network they are using. While conceding that not every B2B client can take advantage of or fully exploit the social media, there is still lot of room for all B2B clients.

Once you are clear about your target audience and start forging your B2B contacts, avoid any undue haste in spamming your marketing messages. Assuming there is a Twitter chat, you should unobtrusively join the chat and bide your time for promoting your products.

Anyone can obviously post a link to Twitter but the larger question is – how to lure people into seeing them. One possible method of searching for topics and initiating active conversations on Twitter is to search for some hashtags relevant to your industry.

Before you start vigorously pursuing your inbound marketing strategy, you should monitor what others are commenting about your company. For this, you can set up an account with Google Alerts and search social media sites using tools like Social Mention. It will also be worthwhile to subscribe to the blogs of the companies you intend selling to. This will help you to respond and offer comments whenever any of these posts catches your attention.

Customer Engagement and Business Expansion

Assuming your company has lately brought out an industry-related report, the right thing to do is to publish it on SlideShare and create a link to it on Twitter. Another productive way to furnish information while marketing your products is to join groups on LinkedIn and initiate suitable conversations. For instance, you can initiate a topic about what your niche is, and thereby create an audience comprising of other businesses and business owners.

One constructive suggestion will be to use the search function of social media sites like Facebook or LinkedIn. In fact, quite a few of these sites have an advanced search option, to help you scout through regions and titles. Lest you forget, sites like LinkedIn have separate Q&A section where employees of various companies solicit advice on different topics.

Business Profile on Social Media

If you can furnish apt answers to these questions, you can establish yourself as a reliable provider of information in your chosen field. It will also be advisable to create a company profile on LinkedIn. This advantage is – whenever any of your employees post a link in his/her status, it automatically becomes aggregated in your company profile.

Also remember HootSuite, a Twitter application, has an analytics tool that enables you to monitor and assess the effectiveness of your tweets.

One of the most resourceful tools that social media offer with regard to B2B marketing is the ability to efficiently organize events. Getting in touch with businesses prior to an event not only helps increase participation, but also enables you to enlarge your customer base later on.

Companies Using Social Media Marketing

There are many B2B organizations that have successfully exploited the social media and immensely benefited. It is worthwhile to know some of these success stories to examine if you can emulate them.

To attract entrepreneurs and offer them with a dynamic forum to share information and acquire knowledge, HSBC has imaginatively created The HSBC Business Network for both customers as well as non-customers. Interestingly, this site has a network of blogs and encourages members to post their own blog and share personal experiences with fellow entrepreneurs.

If you are not already aware, Microsoft Advertising has for long been utilizing social media to enlighten, inform, lend support and interact with their existing customers and potential customers. Lately, Microsoft intensified its efforts to reach its customers through social web participation.

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