b2b-social-mediaSocial media is no longer the ‘next big thing’ in the world of digital marketing. In fact, it has arguably become a platform which many businesses feel they cannot do without.

Thousands of the world’s largest B2C companies have invested wholly into social media marketing and there are plenty of studies which show that it is proving worthwhile for the majority of them. Yet, in the world of B2B marketing, some decision-makers still remain sceptical.

Some owners of B2B companies have convinced themselves that there is no proof of a return on investment. Others believe social media marketing would be futile because their prospects aren’t on social networks.

Yet, for me and many others, this is an argument that doesn’t hold too much weight.

Social media is about people

This is the main argument which decision-makers at B2B companies use to say that social media is a waste of time.

“Social media is about people and we’re targeting businesses”, they might say.

Yet, it’s people that ultimately need to be convinced that their company is the right one with which to do business. No matter how large a corporation is, a sale comes down to the opinions of individuals – and statistics suggest that these individuals are likely to be social media users.

Discovery

With this in mind, social media remains a top platform on which to be discovered by potential clients. It remains the most obvious platform to share blog content, company news and other marketing material.

It is also one of the best platforms on which to network with potential clients, make new contacts and teach others about your business.

At the very least, social media should help B 2B companies generate more leads for their salespeople to try and close. There’s a high chance that you could learn a lot by networking with others in your industry as well.

Brand image

Social media gives B2B companies a chance to show off how passionate and knowledgeable their workers are about the business in which they work. It’s a great platform to discuss the latest trends and issues affecting the industry and a critical tool for sharing blogs, videos or whitepapers.

With customers and clients expecting problems to be solved immediately nowadays, social media also gives B2B companies the opportunity to improve their customer service and solve people’s problems in the public sphere.

Most marketers know the importance of putting a face to a brand, and social media is a great medium for doing exactly that.

What social media websites are important for B2B marketers?

Many B2B companies are getting involved with discussions and publishing key information on LinkedIn. It is primarily known as a social network where professionals can search for new job opportunities. However, company pages reportedly receive at least six times more impressions from users who are simply seeking information about a company. New features like Sponsored Updates and Company Page Analytics should aim to encourage businesses to publish this information more often.

With a user base of billions, it’s getting harder and harder for business owners to ignore Facebook. The website has great analytics on its Business Pages and is a great platform for those looking to ensure their content is shared as widely as possible.

Google+ should certainly be considered, if only for the SEO benefits associated with it. Content written by authors with a strong reputation on this social network is often pushed higher up the Google SERPs, as are articles which have been recommended by users’ Google+ contacts.

Twitter and Pinterest are two other examples of social media websites which are continuing to grow and could potentially play a useful role in B2B marketing strategies.

It’s certainly worth exploring what a social media marketing strategy could potentially bring to a B2B business. However, if decision-makers decide to utilise this form of marketing, they should ensure that they put the necessary time into making it work. Often, half-baked social media pages can do more harm than good to a company’s reputation.

Nevertheless, if done properly, they can be a vital asset for businesses in any field.