Social media is seen as a marketing tool that is extremely beneficial for B2C companies, but one that B2Bs struggle with. It’s not true that B2B companies cannot enjoy success from social media, but the benefits they can reap from it are a bit different. For B2B companies, social media is great for branding, but not that effective at bringing in immediate revenue.
But to think that a B2B enterprise can’t enjoy success from social media is a misconception. Social media is excellent for customer service, brand awareness, and lead generation, but it is not immediate. Having an engaged and loyal following is what brings in profit, but to build that kind of following takes years. Therefore, B2B companies need to be consistent, contribute to online conversations within their industry, and post relevant content. Then their efforts will be rewarded.
The benefits B2B companies can enjoy from social media include:
More Website Traffic
Social media is the best source of referral traffic – customers often want to interact with your company there first, before becoming curious enough to visit your website and find out more. It is important to intrigue your readers with useful resources, links, and offers, so they click through to your website.
B2B companies can establish trust with customers and further develop their brand by increasing their exposure online. Social media platforms allow you to engage in communication with potential and current clients, and how you interact, respond, and share on social media sends a message about the type of company you run.
Frequently posting relevant and high-quality content, remaining consistent with your industry and brand, and replying to messages and comments are all surefire ways to increase exposure. Valuable content always gets shared, and that exponentially increases online exposure. And if you provide valuable business-related and marketplace insights, you can become a thought leader in your industry, which can drastically increase the trustworthiness of your B2B enterprise.
With increased traffic and exposure, B2B companies will definitely see an increase in new followers. Using social media to establish industry trust and raise exposure will send warm leads to your website landing page. When it comes to B2B lead generation, LinkedIn has proven to be the most effective platform for lead generation (followed by Twitter and Facebook) because it is used by businesses and professionals who make up your ideal audience.
By being active on social media, your company website can rank higher in Google’s organic search results. It is still not clear whether Google recognizes signals from social media, but social does impact your ranking indirectly. For example, when it comes to increasing domain authority (important ranking factor), backlinks carry a lot of power. Therefore, the more you share valuable content on social networks, the higher you’ll rank.
Besides organic SEO techniques, you can resort to paid advertising on social media to directly reach your target audience. Many of these platforms are equipped with very advanced targeting tools.
Despite not being able to generate direct revenue from social media like B2C companies, B2B companies can utilize social media to establish trustworthy relationships with customers, provide excellent customer service, generate leads, and increase their online visibility. All that indirectly translates into new customers and increased revenue, but it may take some time before B2B companies start seeing results.
The right marketing steps differ from company to company, and there is no exact formula that guarantees success. It’s all about the measure, analysis, and adaptation. If you don’t want to spend invaluable time on fixing mistakes, feel free to contact me. I’d love to discuss your marketing strategy and help in any way I can.
Rob Dunford is a Marketing Consultant in the Great Toronto Area with over 20 years of experience in implementing marketing plans for small businesses.