If yours is a B2B business and you’re not yet using social media, here are some reasons why you should be talking about b2b social networks.
Whenever I approach B2B business owners in Nigeria, some are reluctant to talk about or even consider using social media in their business.
They have the mistaken opinion that social media is only for B2C businesses. They tell me that their industry is a boring industry with nothing to post that would be of interest to people on social media.
However, this is not true. Regardless of the industry, you’re in; there’s always a way for your business to participate in social media.
It all boils down to your strategy. You need to have a well-documented plan in place with regards to your social media.
Social media is just a buzzword until you come up with a plan
Your strategy must stipulate the following:
- your ideal client’s personae
- type of content you will post,
- how you will generate your content
- the specific social networks you will use
- schedule for posting to these networks
- benchmarks you will use in measuring your performance
- Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) you will use to measure your returns
As a business owner, having a documented strategy for social media that highlights all of the above will make it easier and more productive for you to engage in social media marketing.
Whenever I come across B2B business owners in Nigeria who are sceptical about adopting social media in their marketing mix, I try to encourage them to look at the bigger picture.
For instance, all businesses, whether business-to-consumer (B2C) or business-to-business (B2B), deal with humans.
Even when you say your business is B2B, your staff are humans! Some social networks, like Facebook and Instagram, have billions of users.
Therefore, there’s every possibility that your staff will belong to one social network or the other.
So it only makes sense for your business to be on social since that’s where the majority of people spend their time these days.
Therefore, if your target audience is on social networks, your business ought to be on the same social network.
As Bryan Kramer rightly says, “there is no more B2B or B2C. It’s H2H: Human to Human”.There is no more B2B or B2C. It's H2H: Human to Human. - Bryan Kramer Click To Tweet
By now, you must be wondering which social networks are best suited for B2B organisations.
The following social networks are ideal for B2B business owners:
When it comes to B2B networks, LinkedIn is the undisputed champion! With over 500 million users worldwide, LinkedIn is the network of choice for professionals worldwide. If you’re serious about building a personal and business brand, then you need to be on LinkedIn.
Gone are the days when LinkedIn was an online job board for job seekers. Today, reputable business people like Bill Gates, Richard Branson, and Jack Welch, have a profile on LinkedIn.
As a business owner, you need to position yourself as a thought leader on LinkedIn as a savvy business owner use your presence on LinkedIn to place yourself as a thought leader in your industry and for content marketing.
LinkedIn is the ideal social network for promoting your company news, product launches, growing and strengthening your professional online networking and reaching key decision makers in other B2B organisations.
LinkedIn is also the online network to be when you want to keep abreast of news and trends in your industry or to follow other business owners from other industries to expand your horizon and explore new business opportunities.
Will you like to learn how to use LinkedIn to grow your business?
With over 300 million daily users worldwide, Twitter is the social network of choice for any business owner who wants to ‘see what’s happening in the world right now’.
Twitter is one of my favourite networks for the mere fact that it’s a micro-blogging network that you use to share your thoughts in less than 280 characters! Previously the character limit was 140, but they have since increased it.
Twitter users cut across various industries and socio-economic segments. You have world leaders, politicians, celebrities, journalists and business owners.
In my opinion what makes Twitter unique is that while other social networks try to cage you in, Twitter, on the other hand, encourages users to follow the links shared by other users!
The best way to describe Twitter is that it’s like a stream. You can step in at any point during the day and be sure you’ll catch up on the latest news and updates from the people and brands you follow without the need for endless scrolling down your news feed.
Twitter is the ideal social network to create awareness for your brand, to humanise your brand and to promote your content and increase engagement with your content or brand by your followers.
Are you interested in learning tips on using your Twitter account to grow your business?
With over a billion daily users, Facebook is the place to be if you want to find your potential clients and explore new opportunities.
However, Facebook is now a pay-to-play social network! So as a business brand, if you want your fans to see your post, you need to pay to boost it.
If your fans on Facebook are real humans and not bots, whenever you boost your post, you can be sure you’re reaching real humans.
However, if you’re one of those who bought fake fans over the years, then, too bad!
In a bid to combat all the negative publicity surrounding it in recent times, Facebook is creating many measures to combat fake news and bots. So these are exciting times for business owners and marketers on Facebook.
B2B organisations can also use Facebook and Facebook Messenger as tools to boost their client service.
Adverts on Facebook can also be used to drive targetted traffic to your website at reasonable costs.
However, advertising on Facebook is not a walk in the park. You need to be sure of what you’re doing otherwise you’ll throw money down the drain and get frustrated.
B2B organisations can also use Facebook to showcase their company culture.
Use the live video feature on Facebook to connect live with your fans during critical events and product launches.
Facebook stories is another feature you can use to engage with fans of your page.
You need to pay attention when crafting your posts on Facebook because its algorithm punishes any content that it deems to be too forceful.
Your posts need to be crafted to provide value for your fans and not for the hard sell.
Facebook makes changes often. B2B businesses need to think outside the box on how to get the best out of their presence on Facebook.
Though it may seem like marketing on Facebook is getting complicated, we can also look on the bright side.
It is forcing business owners and marketers to be more creative and strategic in marketing their business on Facebook.
Want to learn how to make the best use of Facebook?
YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world after Google! Users watch billions of hours of video on YouTube.
In recent times, video content has gained much prominence on social networks.
The importance placed on video content has driven us to increase the amount of videos content we create.
The critical thing to note when using video for your B2B marketing is that your videos need to be useful and informative.
You do not need to spend a tonne of money creating videos.
Just make sure that the videos you create are useful and informative.
Then they will rank high in search engine result pages and help to drive targetted traffic and engagement to your website.
You can create videos to showcase product demonstrations and testimonials, demonstrate your expertise, highlight your brand’s personality, leverage trending events and to solve problems for your target audience.
There is no more B2B or B2C. It’s H2H: Human to Human
– Bryan Kramer
Are you short of ideas on what topics to cover in your videos? Then repurpose your existing content into video format and upload these videos directly to your social media sites.
Uploading your videos directly unto your social network rather than linking to your video from your website or YouTube will improve its organic reach to your audience.
Remember to track and analyse the performance of your videos using analytics tools such as YouTube Insights and Google Analytics.
Use the data you derive from your analytics to create a strategy for your video marketing.
Using data from your analytics will ensure that you’re not just creating video content for content sake but rather creating videos that are providing value to your target audience.
At the same time helping your brand to rank high in Google search result pages and ultimately drive targeted traffic and potential clients to your website.
Want to learn how to make the best use of YouTube?
Instagram is another social network that B2B organisations use to humanise their brand.
B2B brands can use their Instagram to create awareness for their brand and the people behind the brand, i.e. your team.
Post-behind-the-scenes photos and videos. Highlight company news and product launches.
With a billion users, Instagram is indeed a platform that business owners need to consider in using to grow their business online.
You have to be creative in creating content that humanises your brand.
Even if you feel you don’t have any in-house information that is newsworthy or that you cannot create content for Instagram in-house, you can always rely on user-generated content.
Ask your clients to share photos and videos of how they are making use of your product or service.
You can then get your clients’ permission to posts this content on your Instagram account. You can also ask your clients to make short video testimonials of how they benefit from using your brand.
As mentioned above, your Instagram account is an excellent place for B2B brands to showcase their employees and brand culture.
After all, your employees and brand culture are some of the key ingredients that make you stand out from your competitors.
Use Instagram as a tool to attract new talent to your organisation.
You can showcase the benefits and perks that your team enjoy by working for your company.
It helps to attract new skills, clients and unique partnership opportunities from brands whose values and ideals are similar to yours.
With Instagram, your focus should be on storytelling instead of marketing.
Use your Instagram account as a tool to build an active community around your B2B brand.
On Instagram, hashtags are invaluable in helping to grow and build a community around your brand.
Get a hashtag that is unique to your brand and encourage your team, clients and followers to make use of that hashtag about your brand.
Your hashtags connect posts from users who are not related to your brand into a single feed. So anyone searching the hashtags you used can see your post.
I hope you have not set your account to private! Otherwise, you will be missing out on a tonne of potential engagement with your brand by interested persons.
Moreover, setting your account to private ultimately defeats the purpose of being on social media in the first place.
You can also use your Instagram account as a tool to tap into employee advocacy.
Encouraging your employees to share photos and videos of themselves at work or your company event using your hashtag is a fantastic way of engaging in employee advocacy.
It’s a win-win situation for your brand and your employees.
However, with Instagram, you have to avoid being consumed by vanity metrics!
Yes, it might seem impressive to get hundreds of likes on your content. Instead, focus on metrics that showcase real engagement such as comments on your posts and an organic increase of followers to your account.
As a business owner, you no doubt create a ton of presentations for your team, board members and other stakeholders in your business. Sharing and storing these presentations on SlideShare is a wise decision.
With an estimated 80 million professional users, SlideShare is the most extensive presentation sharing community on the Internet.
Owned by LinkedIn, it is the premier place for sharing your business presentations and PDF’s.
However, as a bonus, you can also upload and share videos and music files either public or in private.
In addition to sharing your content, B2B organisations can also discover great content on SlideShare on niche topics that will prove valuable in growing your organisation.
SlideShare is an excellent network where B2B organisations can gain targeted traffic to their website.
The presence of your brand on SlideShare will help to improve your ranking on Google.
SlideShare is also a great place to get new followers and potential customers.
However, the key to success on SlideShare is to provide educational content rather than promotional content.
Do you want to learn more about using Slideshare to grow your business?
Why Talk About B2B Social Networks?
There you have it! As you’ve seen from the above, there are several reasons you should talk about B2B social networks.
There is no credible reason to be reluctant about using social networks in your business.
Since your existing and potential customers are on social media, your business needs to have a presence on social networks. Also, advertising on these B2B social networks and other pay per click sites in Nigeria is a great way to drive targeted traffic to your website.
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