Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Why B2B Companies Need to Be on Social Media

By: Kristen Paquet, Account Executive, Leonard & Finco Public Relations

I’ve heard this statement more than once: “Social media doesn’t work for B2B so I don’t need to worry about it.” I have to say that those who make that comment come by it somewhat honestly. I’ve been to seminars, webinars and have read countless articles where examples of successful social media cases seem to stem from the business to consumer relationship; making those that run a B2B feel underwhelmed at what social media has to offer them.

But that doesn’t mean a B2B company should feel like it can’t be a part of the social media “cool group.” You just have to look at it differently.

Why should you be on social media as a B2B?

Because your audience is. Just about every demographic is represented in some way on social media. Facebook alone has over a billion users; half of which check in and post updates on mobile devices. Social media has become another resource for people to get their news, look up information, get advice and find inspiration. The key is to know where your audience is. If you are a B2B perhaps a platform like Twitter or LinkedIn are better tools for you whereas a site like Pinterest, where 97 percent of the users are women looking to buy, may not be your best choice.

Because you can build partnerships. You may not be selling a product or service directly to the average consumer, but you do have a voice as an expert in your field. Share it by offering advice, posting related articles and information and building partnerships and connections with others in your industry. Having an online presence outside of your website will help elevate your company brand, gain trust with the public and your colleagues and can help solidify your reputation as a reliable resource. 

Because it can do more than just market. Social media has gone way beyond being a tool that only the marketing department uses. It is quickly becoming an office productivity tool for other areas of a business; the fastest growing area being customer service. Social media is another avenue for people you do business with to either praise you or complain. Many B2Bs have seen this and are taking steps to get their customer service team connected, listening and responding. Another area of where social media is proving to be helpful is with sales leads. Sales teams have the opportunity to keep networking via social media channels keeping them top of mind with potential new clients.

Social media isn’t going anywhere. In fact, new ways to utilize its potential are being tapped into by businesses (B2C and B2B) everyday. Why not harness the possibilities for your own company?

Does anyone have an example how social media has worked for their B2B company? Please share your story!


Eilidh MacRae said...

Social media is definitely the next step for any business. Not only does it increase your audience do end but it puts in in immediate contact with a whole generation.
Social media is also great for your company's SEO as well.

Eilidh MacRae said...

*no end.

Josepf J Haslam said...

Hi Kristen,

I have many examples of Social Media success for B2B! The Trick is to step back and first figure out "where" your targets are on social media and where they are most likely to want to hear from you.

For example, please, do not talk with me about business on Facebook, that's not why I'm there, however, please find me on LinkedIn, I expect it.

Last year we had 80% business growth attributed to Twitter. Yes, Twitter. Late fall I started to optimize LinkedIn and now I routinely get 2-3 quality leads a week coming to me from my profile. B2B Social Media works, done right.

@Josepf on Twitter and /josepfhaslam on LinkedIn.

Alian@ B2B said...

I think in this modern era if anyone ignores social media then he can't run his business smoothly. We all know that social media is one kind backbone of any business in web.