While some business-to-business organizations may think it’s not for them, today’s digital age makes social media marketing an increasingly critical component of an integrated plan. If you are a manufacturer, part of an industrial organization, or you’re leading a B2B marketing initiative, you may be asking questions like “Is social marketing for us?” or “How do I get my company to understand the value of B2B social media marketing?”.
We are here to help. Considering that the average person in the US spends over 10 hours a day in front of a screen, and 77 percent of people engage with social media platforms, it is almost illogical to not be doing social media marketing.
Here are five benefits of B2B social media marketing, compiled by our team of marketing experts:
1. Support Your Brand
A smart, well-planned social media presence supports an organization’s brand image. Much more than just news items and tradeshow events, good B2B social media marketing includes knowledge, expertise, benefit positions and more. Your social feed is a place for you to highlight the news and details you want your brand to stand for. And best of all, you get to define it and present it exactly how you want.
Of course, supporting that brand means you are also prepared to address customer comments. It will take time to grow your followers, and fast support of your social profile is necessary to ensure a quality experience. You can’t “set it and forget it” with social media. Actively monitoring and maintaining them is just as important as being there.
2. Provide Value
When considering the role of B2B social media marketing, it’s important to remember that a strategic newsfeed should create opportunities for education and engagement. By presenting current topics, informative articles and engaging discussions, you help establish trust and position your organization as a thought leader. Think about the pain points that a potential customer is trying to solve and provide information on your social feeds in a variety of ways to pique their interest and make them want to learn more (think videos, infographics, article links, etc.)
3. Stay Connected with Your Customers
Daily engagement in many social media platforms is high, and that engagement stretches across age, role and gender demographics. The traditional concept that B2B social media marketing is only to target young engineers and consumers is no longer (if it ever was) relevant or accurate. It’s important to remember that today’s consumer requires 8+ touch points to convert to a lead. Make sure you are actively monitoring your comments, direct messages, relevant hashtags and mentions, and respond. It’s especially important to be responsive to questions, as 49 percent of consumers will unfollow a brand for poor customer service. Digital users expect a quick response, usually within 2-4 hours.
4. Give Your Organization a Personality
Modern consumers are bombarded by messages, and quite often B2B companies have stiff competition from similar products and services in the marketplace. It’s important that your brand has a personality – something it stands for – giving a face to that organization. Personality allows consumers to make emotional connections with your company. These emotional connections are strong drivers in the sales process, and sometimes overlooked by B2B companies that have very detailed and technical differentiators. While we love to see a B2B organization having a little fun in their social media personality, emotional connections can be created many ways – demonstrated through positive experiences like community involvement, through presentation of corporate stewardship and work beyond the organization, or even by showing that the company is a nice place to work. Creating emotional connections is an important role of B2B social media marketing and could very well be the differentiator that tips the scales in your favor for that order.
Many of the above points regarding the role of social media in B2B marketing are customer-focused. However, in this extremely competitive labor market, a social media feed that demonstrates your organization as a positive place to work can reap untold benefits. During the evaluation process, potential employees will undoubtedly refer to your social media feed to learn more about the company. B2B organizations have a great opportunity to demonstrate that their company is a good place to work in the social media feed. For manufacturers, it’s a place to highlight that you are not of the dreaded three D’s of manufacturing: dark, dirty, dangerous; and for technical organizations it’s a chance to show that your people are not chained to their cubicle chair all day. Check out our article about the benefits of utilizing video in recruitment marketing, which can also help support your social media efforts.
The overarching benefit, of course, is to show that your organization is a great place to work. Social media news feeds include employee-focused events, like company picnics, training, holiday activities in the workplace environment – and maybe even a few happy employees themselves. Giving a face and a personality to the company can help with recruitment significantly. And, as your employees start to engage with your organization in their news feed, the more your brand exposure will increase. Those employees are likely connected with a large number of potential new employees.
A thoughtfully crafted and executed B2B social media marketing plan has increasingly become critical to strategic campaigns for industrial, manufacturing and B2B organizations. In business for two decades, Stifel Marcin has the expertise to help you and your B2B organization take the leap into the social world. Give us a call, or connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram, and find out how we can help you create impact and return with a smart social marketing campaign.
Stifel Marcin – The B2B Marketing Agency
Unlike many advertising and marketing agencies, B2B isn’t just something that we do, it’s all we do. We’ll work to help your brand achieve its goals through the strategic combination of creativity, communication and technology. Our focused client intake processes give us the ability to thoroughly understand your business, products and objectives, working to identify the competitive advantages and opportunities that will grow awareness, leads and sales. We develop innovative marketing plans with strategic, data-driven processes, presenting complex ideas and compelling messages that position your business ahead of the competition. As your cooperative partner, our integrated B2B marketing agency is dedicated to your success. If you have questions about B2B social media marketing, we’d like to talk. Contact us today.