Whether or not you actively are using social media, it’s everywhere and it’s very in-your-face.
A study by MarketingProf found that although direct mail and real-life events are slightly more effective than Twitter, for example, a hybrid mix of marketing strategies is what gets companies the most return on their investment.
Business-to-business social media marketing is just as important as business-to-consumer social media marketing.
It allows you to market your product or service to other companies, build a network of professionals in the industry and promote your company on a grander scale.
Luckily, how you go about a business-to-business social media marketing plan is almost the same as how you go about marketing to individual consumers.
Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs found that “B2B marketers are spending more, using more tactics, and distributing their content on more social networks than they have in years past.” The study also found that LinkedIn is the most popular social media network for B2B marketing.
How companies can use social media for branding
Know your audience.
First, figure you what types of companies you want to market to.
Choosing a health insurance plan, for example, is difficult for most individuals and companies. Health insurance companies, therefore, may decide to market to small businesses.
When building your network of professional contacts via social media, you also need to research what types of social media the companies you want to market to use. If they’re all on LinkedIn, creating a Twitter account won’t do you much good.
Get to know the other business.
Once you zone in on who you want to market to, don’t just jump in with your product and start overwhelming the other business. Instead, start slow and build a good reputation with the company. Get involved with Twitter conversations and share their content on your social media pages. When the time is right, you can promote your product and let them know how your business can help them.
Have a plan in place and build your own online presence.
It’s important that your social media marketing plan is written and concrete. Guidelines should be in place on how often your company will post, what type of information will be shared and how you’ll handle customer reviews and complaints. In order to get the most out of the social media strategy, everyone in the company needs to be on the same page.
Fun never hurts
Keep it fun.
While businesses are usually viewed rather seriously, you can still have a little fun with it on social media.
Host giveaways, stay current in the health trends and share that content with your readers, notify potential customers of any discounts they may qualify for, post interesting facts and statistics on health care and more. Keep your followers and customers coming back for more, and a great way to do that is by keeping them entertained.
Focus on building relationships.
Social media’s main focus is on connecting people all across the world.
If you simply post things but never engage in other posts or respond to questions about your own, people will stop paying attention. When a customer or potential customer has a problem, complaint or question about your product, respond with efficiency, accuracy and in a timely manner. Really listen to what others are saying and work on improving your company and products to fit their needs.
Don’t be afraid to ask satisfied customers for recommendations.
Did you help a company with your new and innovating product? Do customers call in and rave about your outstanding customer service?
If so, ask these people to follow you on social media and share it with their friends. The best way to grow your business is off of referrals from satisfied customers.
As you can see, B2B marketing starts with developing and implementing your own social media strategy, gaining your own followers, building relationships with these followers and other businesses, and then reaching out to businesses that you want to market to.
What are you waiting for?
It’s time to jump on the social media bandwagon today!
About the Author
Sarah Brooks is a freelance writer living in Glendale, AZ. She writes on personal finances, small businesses and travel.