Since the advent of social media, business owners across all industry sectors embraced online networks for their ability to reach new customers. In fact, social media impacted lead generation marketing so much that countless businesses leapt into the space and began managing their own profiles. Today, approximately 90 percent of companies are actively engaged in social networking sites and nearly 74 percent perceive social networking as valuable, according to a new infographic from Manta.
What’s more, the survey of over 600 small business owners also found that 42 percent of owners say that 25 percent of new customers discovered them through sites like Facebook. This makes social media all the more crucial. That said, if deploying B2B marketing campaigns, there are some distinctive differences between how you should engage on social sites and how you would appeal to an average consumer audience. Below are three tips to improving B2B marketing through social media.
1.) Be patient – The B2B sales cycle is longer than the B2B process. Therefore, you can’t be impatient with your leads and expect them to buy immediately. Initiate conversation with prospective buyers and supply them with enough information that they feel confident in your products or services. Supporting the research process of buyers and giving them time to make decisions on their own can also leave a good taste in the mouths of your leads.
2.) B2B leads are different – When marketing toward other businesses on social media, you have to realize that the accounts you’re engaging with aren’t always managed by a single professional. In fact, in the business world, company profiles are often updated and checked by multiple users, and your engagements should be adjusted to accommodate the business – not just one contact.
3.) Share content – Since the B2B sales cycle is longer, you need to do more to build rapport with buyers. Content is a great educational resource that you can offer to readers to improve their customer experience. Even if your company doesn’t create content itself, you might benefit from publishing links by other organizations as long as they support what your brand is attempting to convey to prospective leads.
When building a network of professional partners and clients, social media is an essential tool in the process. However, platforms like Facebook and Twitter are only effective when you understand how to use the technology to your advantage. These three tips can help you get started, but it’s up to you to find ways to connect with your target audience.