A 3-minute guide to B2B social media success

We’ve all heard the excuses (and probably said them ourselves)—B2B sales cycles are too long or that the buying process is too complex for social media to be used as an effective driver of inquiry or sales.

But the truth is, as any marketing professional would attest, whatever medium B2B buyers are spending as much as 65% of their online time using is a valid medium for selling to those targets—as long as you tailor your approach to the strengths of that medium. And social media has plenty of strengths any B2B marketer can take advantage of to build brand awareness, position against your competitors and, more importantly, generate valuable business leads.

Of the B2B firms that are active on social media, most limit activities to customer support functions or to push links to company press releases—usually mirroring efforts across all of their social channels. But this effort is minimally useful, if not negative, in its value to the business.

Each major social channel offers unique opportunities to connect and inform, and businesses that tailor their approach, tone and content to those channels generally see more and higher quality engagement. Here’s your 3-minute guide to B2B social success:

LinkedIn

Make one-on-one connections with potential prospects, join and engage with industry groups, and use the blogging functionality to share your custom content. If you have a budget for paid advertising, LinkedIn offers highly efficient methods for micro-targeting users based on industry, company affiliation, geography and more.

Twitter

In addition to basic social listening and customer support, B2B companies can use the platform to build brand awareness by sharing quality content, following industry-related hashtags, engaging in discussions around those tags, and positioning your brand as a thought leader by sharing both your own editorial content as well as “found” insights.

Facebook

Of course, Facebook can be used for basic brand awareness. That’s the easy part. What opportunity most B2B marketers miss are the retargeting capabilities available in the Facebook advertising platform. You can serve paid ads and sponsored posts to only those users who have engaged with your content previously on other channels—improving your frequency of engagement with little to no waste.

SlideShare

A properly annotated and tagged, high-quality presentation deck can “pre-sell” a prospect (premium account users can even add a “get in touch” link to the end of their presentations) and help minimize the time and resources your sales team expends on each transaction.

YouTube

Most B2B buyers (especially younger buyers) prefer not to be, “sold to,” and to educate themselves prior to ever contacting a potential vendor. Using YouTube to share product demos, explainer videos, and tutorials can provide extensive amounts of contextual and background information in an easily consumed (and easily shared with superiors) format—perfect for highly complex B2B.

Wondering how you’ll find the time and resources to get it all done?

Since 1985, Magnani Continuum Marketing has made it easier for organizations selling in highly technical and complex markets to deliver the most effective and seamless traditional and digital brand experiences. We’re more digital than advertising agencies. More strategic than digital marketing shops. More creative than management consultants. And a heck of a lot easier to work with than almost all of them. We’ve helped some of the largest corporations in the world, and some of the most exciting new startups. And we’d love to talk with you.

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