Welcome to our five part series on B2B internet marketing! Over the course of our next five blog posts, we’ll be discussing how you can promote your business to other businesses via the five channels of online marketing: social media, digital public relations, content, search engine optimization, and email marketing. Today we’ll be beginning with…(Drum roll, please!)… social media marketing!
At first glance, it can seem counterintuitive to use social media as a platform for B2B marketing. People hang out on Facebook and Pinterest for fun, not to look for solutions to their business problems. But while that’s usually true, most social media channels do have a very robust business side – you just have to know how to take advantage of it! The following platforms are your best bets for B2B social media marketing:
1. Google+: Here’s the thing. People buy from people, whether we’re talking B2B or B2C. So in order to show other businesspeople that there is a real person behind your business, too, you need to have a personal presence on Google+. Add a humanizing photo, fill out your profile as completely as possible, and be active in the Google+ online community, sharing content and interacting with others’ content, as well. The more you can engage people’s emotions, telling stories about your company and yourself, the more of a human face your business will have, which will drive online engagement, and eventually, draw customers.
2. LinkedIn: This one’s a no-brainer. LinkedIn was specifically designed as a place where business people go to network with other businesspeople. It’s crucial that you have a presence on LinkedIn. But your presence here can focus a little less on humanizing your brand, and a little more on establishing thought leadership in your field. LinkedIn is the perfect place to let your expertise shine. Make that profile as professional as possible, and then dedicate yourself to becoming a regular contributor to discussions, both through sharing your own content with connections and joining conversations happening in industry groups. Once other businesspeople begin to see you as the go-to guy in your field for information and questions, you’ll also be the first one they think of when your product or service fills a need their business has.
3. Twitter: Nope, it’s not just for Ashton Kutcher anymore. (We’re mad at him anyway, after that whole Demi Moore thing…) Twitter is another great social media channel for B2B marketing. Just as on LinkedIn, businesspeople use Twitter to share their expertise in their industry with followers. The greatest thing about Twitter is the amount of engagement it can produce. Starting a discussion is as easy as coming up with a 140-character statement or question – and others can chime in to respond just as easily. Make your tweets thought-provoking and relevant, and you’ll find that Twitter can offer you the best of both worlds: the humanizing connection of Google+ with the thought leadership factor of LinkedIn.
So if you’re hoping to expand your B2B internet marketing efforts, take a stab at using social media. And once you’ve finished creating your profiles and have engaged with a few connections, come back for our next installment of Your Ultimate Guide to B2B Internet Marketing!