b2b social media marketing

The eyes of the world are affixed upon social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. It has become necessary for businesses to have a social media presence in order to maintain relevance.

However, a common misconception is that social media marketing is more beneficial for B2C companies, and a waste of time for those who sell directly to businesses.

B2B companies who neglect the marketing mecca that is social media are placing themselves behind the competition. Social media can be one of the most effective digital marketing tools for B2B companies, in terms of content sharing and targeted audience engagement.

For example, many B2B marketers share their content on LinkedIn, as it is designed for professional networking. However, recent information shows that consumer-based platforms like Facebook and Twitter have caught up to LinkedIn, and even exceeded it in terms of ROI.

To truly succeed in B2B social media marketing on these less professional platforms, there is a great deal of strategy that must be implemented.

Dominate the First Page of Branded Internet Searches

According to a study undertaken by Accenture, 94% of B2B customers do some form of online research prior to making a purchase decision.

A lot of this research is done on search engines, like Google. If someone Googles a business, it makes for a strong showing when the first page is fully taken up by that company’s brand. A website, Facebook page, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram account help decision makers formulate positive opinions on companies they’re looking to do business with.

However, if a potential client clicks on a company’s Facebook page and sees that the most recent post was from two years ago, they’re likely to click away. That’s why it’s important for B2B companies not only to have social media accounts, but to keep them regularly updated with new and interesting content.

To achieve this, it’s best to keep to a strategic content calendar. A content calendar tool makes creating, organizing, and scheduling content on a monthly calendar fast and simple to do.

Targeted Content Sharing

Social media platforms represent one of the strongest opportunities for B2B companies to engage in targeted advertising. Facebook advertising efforts allow businesses to market themselves through paid content sharing. This can be targeted by geographic location, age, gender, education level, job title, current workplace, and more.

A digital marketing firm in the Houston, Texas area with a strong success record in garnering new business for law firms can easily create a social media ad touting this achievement. It is then a simple matter to target this content to lawyers within a 30-mile radius of Houston. This ensures that the content this firm is looking to share will show up before the eyes of its intended audience.

Working professionals might miss Google ads, radio spots, or print advertising. But with over 1.5 billion people on Facebook and more than 974 million users on Twitter, it is always a safe bet that social media marketing will receive higher levels of engagement.

According to a 2017 study, Facebook has surpassed LinkedIn the most important social platform for B2B companies. Twitter came in third place, trailing behind LinkedIn, but beating Instagram.

Don’t Fall Behind

This information is not new. B2B companies have been utilizing social media marketing strategies for years. Over 67% of worldwide B2B marketers dedicate advertising capital to social media efforts. Businesses who ignore this potential opportunity to engage with audiences and share targeted content are putting themselves at a marked disadvantage.

With the right strategy in place, social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter can yield enormous returns for a keen B2B mind. With continuing advancements in targeted advertising, this marketing avenue has no limit to its potential.

This post originally appeared on blog.gainapp.com.