In many ways, we all use the Internet for the same things, but we often go completely different ways about it. Bear with me on this one. You may be in the B2B market or the B2C, but ultimately you are trying to generate sales. Simply shouting “Look at me!” online is not enough to attract attention in any industry.
B2B marketing strategies can be forgiven for dismissing social media as a B2C game, but there is a lot of crossover between the two. It’s true that the B2C market has had many successes with social media, but the same potential is there for B2B businesses. Besides, the Internet is a veritable pool of knowledge, so why not take the opportunity to learn from each other.
In the end, you’re aiming to build a community, whether this is a team of loyal customers, or a network of valuable clients. When you think about it, it’s all about winning people over.
Winning them over with content
Content is the cornerstone of all good B2C and B2B social media marketing. The production of what is known as “winning content” is the bugbear of many businesses. It’s crucial you get it right. Your content is what engages your readers. In the B2C market it’s about keeping the brand fresh in their customers minds and constantly driving them towards a sale. In B2B marketing, your content is what makes your company the one the other companies want to do business with.
Your content expresses your expertise, your core values – it is a reflection of your business. The numbers of businesses taking on B2B marketing strategies are growing, with increasing numbers investing in content with plans to invest even more. Keeping up with your peers is going to give you the competitive edge.
So how can you win them over with your content? Well first you have to produce enough of it, and secondly it has to be the right kind of content. Not just static, flat content – look at how B2C social media strategies work at engaging their audiences. Create content that interests your readers, something that will attract your kind of people and keep them engaged while you have them. Your B2B social media should be just as much focused on engaging content and promoting your business.
Building your community
You readers are more than just faceless page views – they have the potential to be so much more. Providing you have won them over with your content, they are going to know exactly what your company is about. Those you reach through your B2B marketing go on to become your online community.
Community can mean different things in B2C and B2B marketing. B2C communities are generally consumers following their favorite brand where they are encouraged to buy through promotions, campaigns and online sales. B2B communities are networks of businesses within similar industries sharing advice, information and making contacts.
B2B social media is a perfect example of how you can nurture, expand and maintain your online community and your place within it. Just as B2C companies build their brand awareness, your contacts with other businesses online you can go on to form relationships, which, hopefully, develop into valuable leads. Providing you with the opportunity to work with businesses you have grown to know and trust, your network connections become mutually beneficial relationships. In the end, is that not what the aim of your B2B marketing was?
Consider the last time you engaged with a brand on Twitter, or liked a page of hotel on Facebook. How different was that to connecting with a contact on LinkedIn? We are all on the Internet with the same business goals so it pays to look at how the other side does it sometimes.
Why not take advantage of SiliconCloud’s FREE Social Media Evaluation for your business?