Digital & Social | 3 minute read
Take a moment to think about the companies making a positive impact on social media. I bet a few big brands come to mind such as Innocent Drinks, Lego, Paddy Power, Tesco, Airbnb and Cancer Research UK, to name a few.
Many B2B businesses don’t believe they can make the same impact as B2C brands on social media because they don’t think the same rules apply. We take a look at the myths surrounding the use of social media and why you, a B2B business, should ignore them and make the most of the social platforms.
1. Myth: Social media is best suited to B2C brands
Actually, the opposite is true. B2B customers will look at reviews, recommendations, content and what other customers are saying about you on social media. B2B companies also tend to have a higher than average price point and a longer sales funnel, all of which is highly influenced by word of mouth and reputation. Therefore, if you have positive communications about your business and products online, this will stand you in good stead when it comes to purchasing decisions.
2. Myth: Social media won’t drive lead generation or create sales
The B2B sales funnels are lengthy and often complex. They usually involve multiple decision-makers and a lot of research. Which is why B2B businesses should be using social media to share content about products, case studies and testimonials to drive buyers to get in touch. Gated content is also an effective tool for capturing lead information. Provide access (via social media platforms) to free whitepapers and reports, but only allow documents to be downloaded once an email address has been given – with consent of course. This is an effective way to gain high quality and engaged leads that are more likely to turn into sales.
3. Myth: My customers aren’t on social media
Really, have you checked? According to a recent report, there are at least 3.8 billion people using social media across the world. The report also estimates more than half of the world’s population will be using social media in some form by June this year. So, your audience is on social media. We’re pretty certain of that! What you might not know is what platforms your customers are using, what platforms they’re most active on and what platforms they’re likely to engage with your brand on. This is easily solved. Send out a survey, ask your customers what social tools they use, what sort of content they’d like to receive from you, and how they make their purchasing decisions. Then use all of this valuable data to create your social media strategy.
4. Myth: You can’t measure results on social media
This is a total myth. Social media is actually one of the most measurable of all marketing tools. The real challenge is knowing what to measure. There’s engagement rates, click-through rates, sales uplifts, the list is endless. Be clear on your business, sales and marketing goals before you define how you use social media and ultimately, what you measure.
B2B businesses proving social media can work
Now we’ve busted the myths, here are a few examples of B2B businesses successfully using social media to drive leads and create brand advocates:
- Adobe uses Twitter to engage and converse with its target customer
- IBM uses YouTube to provide ‘smart’ problem-solving videos
- Mailchimp uses LinkedIn to share resources and support for small businesses
- John Deere uses Facebook to humanise its brand with customers
Author: Rhianna MacGregor, Account Manager