The Benefits of Social Marketing for B2B Companies
While some business-to-business organizations may think it’s not for them, today’s digital age makes social media marketing an increasingly critical component of an integrated plan. If you are a manufacturer, part of an industrial organization, or you’re leading a B2B marketing initiative, you may be asking questions like “Is social marketing for us?” or “How do I get my company to understand the value of social media marketing?”.
We are here to help. When one considers that the average person in the US spends more than 10 hours a day in front of a screen, and that 77% of people engage with social media platforms, it is almost illogical to not be doing social media marketing.
Our team has compiled five benefits that B2B companies can achieve through a smart social media strategy.
1. Support Your Brand – a smart, well-planned social media presence supports an organization’s brand image. Much more than just news items and tradeshow events, good social media marketing for B2B companies includes knowledge, expertise, benefit positions and more. Your social feed is a place for you to highlight the news and details you want your brand to stand for. And best of all, you get to define it and present it exactly how you want.
Of course, supporting that brand means you are also prepared to address customer comments. It will take time to grow your followers, and fast support of your social profile is necessary to ensure a quality experience. You can’t “set it and forget it” with social media. Actively monitoring and maintaining them is just as important as being there.
2. Engage Your Customers – a strategic newsfeed should create opportunities for engagement. By presenting current topics, informative articles and engaging discussions you are able to pull your customers closer to your brand. In addition to scoring a touch point with the customer, where your brand is in their newsfeed, you may even get them to click to your website and read more content from your organization. Potentially you are putting information in your newsfeed that answers that very question the customer thinking is about.
3. Stay Connected With Your Customers – daily engagement in many social media platforms is high, and that engagement stretches across age, role and gender demographics. The traditional concept that B2B social media marketing is only to target young engineers and consumers is no longer (if it ever was) relevant or accurate. It’s important to remember that today’s consumer requires 8+ touch points to convert to a lead. Social media marketing for B2B companies is a great opportunity to create touch points, and as noted above, with a smart and well thought out plan, those touch points are high-value opportunities to engage.
4. Give Your Organization A Personality – modern consumers are bombarded by messages, and quite often B2B companies have stiff competition from similar products and services in the marketplace. It’s important that your brand has a personality – something it stands for – giving a face to that organization. Personality allows consumers to make emotional connections with your company. These emotional connections are strong drivers in the sales process, and sometimes overlooked by B2B companies that have very detailed and technical differentiators. While we love to see a B2B organization having a little fun in their social media personality, emotional connections can be created many ways – demonstrated through positive experiences like community involvement, through presentation of corporate stewardship and work beyond the organization, or even by showing that the company is a nice place to work. Emotional connections could very well be the differentiator that tips the scales in your favor for that order.
5. Recruitment – many of the above points are customer-focused benefits of social marketing for B2B companies. However, in this extremely competitive labor market, a social media feed that demonstrates your organization as a positive place to work can reep untold benefits. During the evaluation process, potential employees will undoubtedly refer to your social media feed to learn more about the company. B2B organizations have a great opportunity to demonstrate that their company is a good place to work in the social media feed. For manufacturers, it’s a place to highlight that you are not of the dreaded three D’s of manufacturing: dark, dirty, dangerous; and for technical organization it’s a chance to show your people are not chained to their cubicle chair all day.
The overarching benefits of course, is to show that your organization is a great place to work. Social media news feeds include employee-focused events, like company picnics, training, holiday activities in the workplace environment – and maybe even a few happy employees themselves. Giving a face and a personality to the company can help with recruitment significantly. And, as your employees start to engage with your organization in their news feed, the more your brand exposure will increase. Those employees are likely “friends” with a large number of potential new employees.
Social media marketing is increasingly becoming a critical component of the strategic campaigns for industrial, manufacturing and B2B organizations. In business for almost 2 decades, Stifel Marcin has the expertise to help you and your B2B organization take the leap into the social world. Give us a call, or even like us on Facebook or LinkedIn, and find out how we can help you create impact and return with a smart social marketing campaign.