If you work for a business-to-business (B2B) company, chances are you have noticed that it’s not quite as fast and easy to grow your social media presence, as it is for a business-to-consumer (B2C) company. However, don’t give up just yet! B2B social media marketing can be just as rewarding and beneficial for lead generation and sales growth as B2C. Check out my five tips on how to grow your social media presence if you find yourself in an “unsexy” B2B company:
1. Choose Viewable LinkedIn Content Based on User Profiles
LinkedIn, the most powerful social network for business professionals, is the ideal platform to reach potential B2B clients, while expanding your company’s brand presence. Fifty-percent of this social network’s members are more likely to purchase from a company they engage with on LinkedIn, so make sure your company page is uploaded frequently with all of your service offerings. Go beyond highlighting your services, by showcasing upcoming events, conferences, whitepapers and portfolio. Did you know that you have the option to choose which of your content is viewable to users based on their geography, company, seniority, and job function? So go ahead and get strategic with the information your company profile displays to individual users. Here at Spotlight, each of our team members regularly uses LinkedIn to share our clients’ B2B news with relevant groups within the construction, healthcare, and environmental cleanup industries.
2. Monitor Industry Chatter via #Hashtags and Handles
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Twitter tops B2B lead generation, outperforming Facebook and LinkedIn referrals 9:1. Use Twitter to become a trusted industry resource by sharing: blog posts; pictures; and question and answer (Q&A) segments. Keep in mind that monitoring and joining Twitter chats and conversations can also help lead to business opportunities. Of the 91% of B2B marketers who use Twitter, surprisingly only 15% actually generate leads; so think strategically before you construct your next 140-characters. Not sure where to start? Try monitoting your company Twitter handle and relevant hashtags, like business to commucations company Avaya did. After one Twitter user tweeted “Shoretel or Avaya? Time for a new phone system very soon,” Avaya was able to sell the prospective customer a phone system within 15 minutes, just by monitoring their company Twitter handle.
3. Choose an Informal Network like Facebook to Showcase Company Culture
According to HubSpot’s State of Inbound Marketing report, 43% of B2B companies acquire customers using Facebook. While this platform is more informal than the others you should use this to your advantage, to showcase your company culture. First, create a Facebook company page with a cover photo that exemplifies your brand.
Keep in mind that users are more receptive to visuals than text, so incorporate multimedia photos and videos with your posts as frequently as possible to encourage highly shareable pieces of content. For example, Y Scouts, a small executive search firm, launched their “What’s Your Why?” visual tour, inviting employees at over 40 companies to answer the question, “Why Do you Work at the Job that you do?” across a variety of social networks. As a result of Y Scout’s campaign, the company gained 650 Facebook fans over the course of four-months, becoming the second-highest driver of website traffic after Google!
4. Pin Project Photos, Case Studies and Infographics to Company Pinboards
Believe it or not, B2B companies are finding that Pinterest, one of the most visual social networks available, is effective in their digital marketing strategy. In fact, last year, 26% percent of online B2B marketers used Pinterest to distribute content. If your business is in the construction, architecture or engineering sector, for example, try pinning project photos, case studies, and industry whitepapers. Use Infographics (informational graphics) to turn your interesting project statistics into works of art.
Canadian Architecture firm, Perkins + Will, has created a humanized brand on their Pinterest account by allowing each of their employees to pin projects and ideas to their company pinboard.
5. Use Instagram to Inspire your Next New Hire
Visual media is all the rage right now, so Instagram is the perfect way to engage your followers. General Electric (GE), for example, despite its giant size and span, builds a personal connection with its Instagram followers by taking them right to the heart of their business—their research labs, factory floors and larger-than-life products. Last fall, GE launched a contest called “GE Instagrapher” and announced it via Instagram, Tumblr and YouTube. Users were encouraged to take pictures inspired by four categories (building, curing, power and building), upload them to Instagram, and tag them with #GEinspiredME. The winner of this contest would then become the next official GE Instagram photographer and would be flown to the UK to photograph one of the GE jet engine plants.
Now it’s your turn— Did we leave one off the list? Tell us how you make the most out social media platforms for your unsexy B2B company!