5 Ways to use Social Media to Market your “Unsexy” B2B Company

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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