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The main difficulty of SMM promotion in the B2B segment is that the audience of social networks is end-users, not companies. But do not forget that the decision to buy, in any case, is made by a person. A certain person who, unlike B2C customers, is guided not by personal emotions of “want-can-buy”, but by rationalism and calculation related to the interests and benefits of the company.
But this does not mean that B2B companies do not need to go to social media. On the contrary, according to the research of JatApp software solutions, they should, and there are many compelling reasons to do so. Here are some of them:
- Social networks have a much higher reach of the target audience than other communication channels.
- It is possible to post publications with any frequency to attract the attention of the target audience.
- Direct communication with the target audience can significantly increase the level of trust and loyalty to the company.
- A wide range of different types of content can be used for marketing purposes: texts, photos, video, audio, surveys, interactive.
Social networks can help the B2B segment to achieve such goals:
- Awareness of the target audience about the company.
- Brand recognition.
- Creating a positive reputation for the company and neutralizing negative attitudes on the part of clients.
- Stimulation of the target audience’s interest in the company’s product.
- Reaching out to potential customers and direct interaction with them.
In order to achieve these goals successfully, and conduct an effective SMM promotion, you must initially move in the right direction. To develop a concept for promoting a company to the B2B audience, you need to take four steps.
4 Main Steps to Developing a B2B Social Media Strategy
1. Identify your target audience
Before starting any activities in social networks, it is necessary to analyze your target audience in detail and make a portrait of it. In order to clearly understand where and whom to look for. If we talk about B2B companies, these are:
- Individuals who make purchasing decisions. These may be the owners of the company, the company’s managers, and the heads of departments.
- Current employees looking for possible customers and partners.
- Potential employees.
Next, having identified your target audience in order to choose the right platform for promotion, it is important to answer the following questions:
- Which social networks are most popular among your target audience?
- What type of content does your audience prefer? What kind of content can best represent your business?
- What type of communication does your target audience have on social networks?
- How active is your target audience, what is their level of engagement?
- What basic tools do you plan to use in your SMM campaign?
- After answering each of these questions, you move on to compare the findings with the capabilities of each social network.
2. Choose a platform for promotion
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The success of your B2B business promotion largely depends on how well you choose the right platform to interact with your target audience. Let’s look at the most popular social networks and their advantages for the B2B segment.
Facebook. On Facebook, business page owners have access to convenient email marketing tools that allow them to send newsletters to their subscribers. On their page, a brand has the ability to use a wide variety of content to attract its target audience. Organize events and gather their potential customers, who are easy to find thanks to the fine-tuning of their targeting.
Instagram and other visual-type social networks. If you can visually communicate to your target audience what your company does, it makes sense to opt for this social media format. You can visually, with the help of interesting photo content, show the achievements of your company, demonstrate the product line or simply share entertaining moments from the company’s behind-the-scenes life.
Twitter. Microblogging service is a very convenient tool for promotion in B2B. You can find potential clients and group them into private lists. And Twitter’s search algorithm and use of hashtags make it possible to promptly distribute information to the target audience about events and share company news.
LinkedIn and other sites for business networking. Focus your attention on the decision-makers who are your target audience. Demonstrate expertise in your niche. Publish content that will build trust in your company and generate interest in your products. Use your newsfeed to inform your potential customers about company news, promotions, and events.
YouTube and other video hosting sites. Using video content opens up a wide range of opportunities for B2B companies. A video can clearly demonstrate the manufacturing of your products and their operation. Conduct a video tour through the company and its branches. Shoot an interview with the CEO and experts of the company. Post videos of your customers’ successes with their testimonials.
Geolocated social networks such as Foursquare. If a B2B company works on a regional level, a local presence is very important. And the presence on such sites will give you an additional advantage.
Niche social networks. Social networks with a narrow focus, for example for accountants, marketers, lawyers. Depending on your niche and the goals of your marketing strategy, these resources can also make a significant contribution to the promotion of your business.
Whichever social networks you choose, actively use all available features and functions of the platform on which you are planning your promotion. This will help increase the profitability of your business and help you achieve your goals more quickly.
3. Determine the promotion script.
After you have chosen a platform, you need to decide what scenario of promotion will be the best for your company. The following communication channels can be used for interaction with the TA in social networks:
The personal brand of the owner or CEO of the company. People tend to trust faces and live communication more than impersonal brand pages. They like to watch the achievements, ups and downs, and some moments from the personal lives of popular and successful people. Having built the personal brand of the business owner or manager, you can use it as a public opinion leader. The main thing to remember is that the personal brand and the company brand must be connected.
Official brand page. The business page publishes materials on behalf of the company: news, useful articles, entertaining posts, surveys. Contests and online events are held. Targeted advertising is also run through it.
Thematic group. People with similar interests gather here, communicate with each other, exchange opinions, share experiences. On the pages of the thematic group, useful, professional information related to the same activities as the brand is published. But it’s not directly a company page. After recruiting a sufficient number of participants in the group, the company gets its own TA.
Closed Group. Access to this group gives clear advantages to its members (current or potential clients). For example, a significant discount, free participation in events, pleasant bonuses, and the opportunity to receive expert advice.
4. Determine a set of marketing tools
The right tools will get you closer to your goals much faster, saving not only time but also your budget. Here are the most basic and effective for promoting a B2B brand in social networks:
Content marketing. Think about what information your target audience needs. The main thing is that the content you publish is useful and interesting to your potential customers. Take into account their professional interests, problems, needs. It could be successful cases, product manuals, expert opinions, informative articles. Don’t forget about entertaining content, but try to make sure that subscribers don’t just get entertaining information, but also something useful for their business. Use videos, quotes, gifs in your posts. Conduct themed contests and quizzes. Post video greetings to your employees and customers. Most importantly, remember that any content in the B2B segment should be in touch with a professional component.
Targeted advertising. These days, almost everyone has their own social media page. Accordingly, your target audience is likely to have personal pages, too. If you have a proper portrait of your target audience and you know who these people are, then it shouldn’t be too difficult to reach them with targeted advertising. You set up an ad campaign based on criteria such as industry, job title, various behavioral factors, interests, and communities that your target audience may be subscribed to. Precise targeting settings allow you to accurately calculate even the most sophisticated business audiences.
Advertising in groups. Analyze which groups your target audience is a member of. It may be professional associations or interest groups where your potential customers are most active. Make a list of these groups and negotiate with their administrators to place your ads with them.
Public opinion leaders. These are experts in specific topics or simply popular, famous people, whose opinion is an authority for society. By attracting these people for advertising, a B2B company gets brand recognition, access to its target audience, and, of course, sales. It is important to analyze the market and find opinion leaders who are relevant for your business, well known, and authoritative for your target audience.
Retargeting. A marketing tool that allows you to target ads to your audience who have already visited your website. This audience is more “warm” than those who are not yet familiar with your company at all. Most likely, these people already know about your company and products, and the likelihood that they will be interested in the subject of the ad is quite high.