There’s plenty of content out there that offers tips on using social media to attract new customers, but the truth is: it’s a different animal completely for B2C companies than for B2Bs.
If you sell to other businesses, you can’t use Twitter, Facebook, or any other site in quite the same way as you would if you sold to consumers. Here are 10 tips specifically designed for B2B small businesses like yours.
1. Know Who Your Buyer Is. You don’t sell to a company. You sell to people. Those people might be accountants or developers or executive management. Before you can successfully reach them on social, you have to know which role you’re catering to with content and updates.
2. Know What Channels They Use. More B2B folks are on LinkedIn than Facebook (they tend to reserve the latter for personal socializing). Knowing which channel engineers, for example, flock to can help you customize your social strategy.
3. Deliver a Mix of Valuable Content. Your stream shouldn’t only be links to your blog, or self promotion. The most successful B2B social strategies involve a mix of content, direct interaction, news, and fun. Knowing your audience can help you better tailor what you deliver.
4. Speak to the Individual. Each message you send out should speak to each individual you’re trying to reach, not a blanket audience. I should feel like you’re talking directly to me. It makes me feel special.
5. Pay Attention to What’s Getting Shared. If you look at analytics in your social platform, you can easily see which links people are clicking and which updates of yours they’re sharing. This helps you tweak future content to better fit your audience.
6. Use Social to Connect to Customers. Social media isn’t just for finding new leads. It’s also a fabulous way to connect with existing customers through another channel. Imagine how thrilled your client would be if you shared his company blog posts.
7. Stay on Top of Industry Trends. Every industry has its own hashtag. Follow them to stay on top of news in your industry, as well as find the right people to follow.
8. Host Tweetchats. Tweetchats are simply organized events around a given topic (usually using a specified hashtag) that people can participate in. So if you sell office supplies, you could host a Tweetchat called “10 Ways to Greenify Your Office” and invite followers on social to participate.
9. Send them to Your Site. Whether it’s through your blog content, a special offer for email subscribers, or a direct link to a product page, social can drive traffic to your website.
10. Reach Out to Individuals. When you have a one-on-one conversation with people on social, you begin to build a relationship. Comment on someone’s post. Share it. Ask them questions. Engage them on multiple levels (all without a sales agenda).
Social media is an excellent tool for B2B companies. Learn more about social media tools in our free webinar, “Social Media Marketing,” June 3, 2014, 10 am Pacific and 1 pm Eastern.