As a B2B marketer, you know B2B industry itself has some differences in number of customers, decision-making process, purchase volume/frequency, customer service, etc, when compared with B2C. This results in the different practices of B2B marketing, certainly, B2B social media marketing as well. Below I have summarized 5 key principles of B2B social media marketing, hope can give you some help.

1. Different departments and sales team members SHOULD participate in the practices.

Social media marketing is NOT just the business of B2B’s marketing department. Other departments related to research, technology, service, finance or law should also take part in and jointly provide B2B customers with professional information they need to know before making the final decision.

Additionally, sales team members’ participation is necessary. Because they directly get in touch with B2B customers and provide solutions and recommendations. The quality of their relationships can influence the cooperation between the two sides, both short-term and long-term. Sales team members should try best to be good friends with customers, not just during work time. Social media, with its openness, equality and strong engagement, is an ideal platform to develop and maintain good customer relationships.

Now you may ask “So many people are responsible for the marketing, wouldn’t it cause confusion?” Yes, it may happen. To avoid it and make the work efficient and regular, firstly, company ought to set up a specific work team consists of representatives from different departments or fields to formulate working rules, marketing strategies and plans, also implement campaigns. For the sales team members, they should be clear about their roles in the marketing work and the relations with the official social account(s).

2. The audiences you engage with in social media should NOT merely consist of your customers.

This principle is mainly aimed at the official social account(s), but also applies to sales team members’ practices to some extent.

There’s no doubt that you strive to engage with your customers to generate more leads and increase sales. But to take your marketing work to the next level, you need to be conscious of the true meaning of your audiences in social media.

Your audiences are NOT equal to your customers. They also include media, investors, suppliers & distributors, government officials, industry associations, industry influencers, etc. They might not buy your products or service, however, your words and behaviors in social media will influence their impression of your products/service and brand.

3. Basic but important: respond to your audiences as quickly as possible.

This should be a BASIC principle for different marketing, certainly including social media marketing. By comparison, B2B marketers should better fulfill this principle, because of the features of B2B industry: relatively fewer customers but larger purchase volume, longer decision-making process, etc.

B2B marketers and the social media work team should timely publish the newest products/service information and respond to the requests for specific materials and introduction. For sales team members, they perform one-to-one or group communication with customers. And this social engagement is more frequent than the official form, so it requires quicker action.

The speed you respond to your audiences stands for the amount of sincerity you present to them. In many cases, the speed is even more important than the result.

4. Be humanized, DON’T overwhelm your customers with tons of marketing messages.

We all hate the endless marketing messages occupying our daily life. Hence it is silly to continuously deliver the marketing messages to customers. Otherwise, this will soon do harm to the relations with them and the brand loyalty, also this will bring about adverse impact on company’s development in the long term.

The key to success in marketing is to transform your customers to your friends. It will develop a stable relationship with them, which can reduce costs and increase sales, as well as help company’s long-term growth.

So, how to achieve this transformation? Remember the content of your posts in social media should not only consist of marketing messages. It ought to be humanized! Share the experiences of all kinds in your daily life & work; share your mottos, feelings and thoughts; share the funny posts and hot information on the net, and so on.

Besides, don’t remember to enhance engagement, don’t deviate from your brand’s style.

5. Social media marketing should NOT be executed solely, it should be integrated with other marketing campaigns both online and offline.

Nowadays, lots of new types of media spring up. Media, either traditional ones or modern ones, profoundly influence people’s life in different kinds of forms. To gain success in marketing, integration seems more and more important.

Social media marketing can’t achieve its maximum effect if executed solely. For B2B marketers, you should integrate it with other forms of online marketing like official website, electronic publications (slide, e-journal, e-book, etc), email marketing, online pr, etc. For instance, you can put the social media plug-ins into company’s official website to make it convenient to get audiences into social interaction; you can attach your social media activity notices into the emails, and add your social information into the email signature.

Correspondingly, when marketing offline, for instance, you should consider including company’s social media information in the marketing materials like product/brand brochures, outdoor billboards, showroom’s display cards, etc. When your company’s managers, representatives or sales team(s) having a party or communication with customers, don’t forget to find a proper opportunity and use your mobile devices to access social and engage with each other.