social-media-for-b2b

5 reasons B2B companies should use social media for their business.

Let's face it, social media are the forefront of new business and especially for B2B businesses. 

During the past few years, a lot of B2C companies have put a lot of effort into connecting with their customers online.

However, B2B businesses are having trouble to create an active social media presence with an engaged audience. 

The main reason? They don't see the benefits of using social media for their B2B activities: the sales cycles are too long, their product is not as attractive as most B2C products, etc.

As a software tool for B2B (employee) advocacy, we see that B2B businesses that use social media thrive in the digital age.

That's why we have listed 5 reasons why B2B companies should use social media to generate more business. 

B2B customers are on social media too.

First of all, you need to understand the different social media channels and their audiences. 

While Facebook is the most popular social media platform, it isn't necessarily the best platform for B2B companies to advertise on.

As a B2B company you're going to get better results from LinkedIn, the world's biggest community of professionals. Take a look at this infographic by Accion to get up to speed with the different social media platforms that are around:

social media infographic

Note: this is an infographic from 2015 with outdated data but it still holds up pretty well as a rule of thumb for which social media platforms you should use for which purposes. Also, Google decided in 2019 to shut down Google+, so don't get too excited about using that platform in 2020.

Social media brings customers to your website.

Don't get mistaken. Being active on a social media platform doesn't automatically mean that you're going to drive thousands of people to your website overnight.

Although you'll see some quick wins when you start posting on social media, you have to play for the long run.

Having a successful social media strategy is only as good as the execution of it. That's why there are so many variables you can test until you find the right mix of actions that will drive a lot of traffic to your website.

One of these actions can be to create a community of ambassadors, people who are willing to share information about your company with their social network. This way, you can instantly get more reach with your message and attract more traffic to your website. 

Although you'll see some quick wins when you start posting on social media, you have to play for the long run.

Keep an open mind towards other social media platforms. 

It's not because you're a B2B company that you'll only get business out of LinkedIn. There are many social media platforms, and every day there are new ones posted in the App store.

Think about TikTok for example, the highly popular application by developer ByteDance. The social media app, which was founded in 2017 as a western counterpart of Douyin, got over 2 billion downloads to this day. 

tiktok

Even though they target a younger audience (13 - 20 year olds), you shouldn't dismiss them because of it. Remember, Facebook used to be for the younger generation and now almost half of the population is active on that platform.

Take a look for example at these guidelines on how to use Pinterest for B2B businesses. It might seem like a curveball at first, but you can get a lot of traffic from other networks that aren't designed especially for B2B business.

You can turn an online connection into an offline connection.

Common belief is that you've got to know someone before you ask them to become an online connection too. After all, this is what we've taught ourselves over the years.

Social media are considered something personal, especially when it comes to Facebook. And with the whole Cambridge Analytica scandal, people are more concerned with their privacy than ever before.

That's not how B2B social media platforms like LinkedIn work.

man sitting at desk

Many people on LinkedIn are actively reaching out to people that they find interesting or that they want to do business with. LinkedIn is all about connecting with people and expanding your professional network. 

Pro tip: don't get too salesy. It's a common beginner's mistake that you go on to talk about your product or service right away. You should approach this the same way as you would with a date: get to know each other and see if you're a good fit before you ask them to marry you.

If you do it right, you might attract future employees.

There is one reason that most B2B companies don't think of when they start building their social media presence: your future employees are watching you too.

It's easy to think that social media is just for marketing purposes, but your HR department can benefit from it as well.

people laughing at work

Yes, employers do background checks on their future employees' social media presence, and the same goes in the other direction. If candidates want to know about the company culture at their future workplace, they head over to social media and review sites like Glassdoor.

According to Potentialpark's 2019 Europe report, 44% of candidates have used their social media profile to apply to a job. So having a solid social media presence can not only help you in your employer branding efforts, but also make your recruitment process a lot easier and more efficient.

Showcase your thought leadership

There's a lot of knowledge in your mind and in the minds of your employees. So don't hesitate to leverage that in your social media presence.

One of the biggest reasons B2B companies are active on social media, is because they are showcasing their thought leadership to thousands of people for free. 

If you have a solid social media following, you can significantly impact your thought leadership status. 

Don't be afraid to share your knowledge with the outside world. Instead, you should know which content you can share for free with the world. That's why you can create your own webinars, podcasts and ebooks to get people interested in your company by giving them value in return. 

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