How social media can help your B2B business generate leads

Digital360 on 5 May 2017

It’s time to debunk the myth that social media marketing only works for B2C. The main concern B2B managers have about social media is that B2B content is just dull and boring – but this is not the case. Social media may be great for B2C customer engagement, but it’s also one of the top ways to give your B2B business a face, and to generate leads.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the first stop for business leaders, managers and CEOs when they go to make purchasing decisions. It’s made for relationship and contact building, and LinkedIn’s groups feature is great for networking within your industry, no matter how niche.

The key to turning a conversation into a transaction is building awareness around your brand. To generate leads, you’ll first want to build a thorough, engaging profile, offering as much information about your business as you can. Build your presence by frequently engaging in groups and forums, and take advantage of LinkedIn’s new ‘company pages’, where you can link back to your company website and increase its traffic.

Although this social media marketing platform is the most professionally-oriented, remember to let a little personality shine through so you stand out from the rest. The downfall of LinkedIn for social media marketing is that networking interactions don’t happen as often as they would on Facebook or Twitter. Spam is also a huge problem, and it’s important to avoid becoming a ‘spammy’ businesses yourself.

The trick on LinkedIn in is to make your page about ‘them’ – your audience – and not about you or your business. Tailor your content and activities around your target customers, and show them how your business is the best choice for them.

Twitter

Unlike Instagram and Pinterest users, Twitter users don’t align with a specific demographic. In fact, many Twitter users use the platform for professional reasons – type in ‘CEO’ or ‘manager’ in the search bar, and you’ll see hundreds of Twitter 'bios' that read like mini CVs. Almost every major company uses Twitter for social media marketing, and it’s a fantastic platform to raise brand awareness.

The first step to generating leads on Twitter as a B2B business is to build your presence. Engage in conversations with potential customers by retweeting and replying to tweets, as well as sharing links you think your audience may be interested in. If your B2B business posts blog content, this is a great opportunity to share your own links and generate traffic back to your site.

Twitter’s list building function enables you to make lists of Twitter accounts to create your own filtered feeds. A tip for generating Twitter leads with this tool is to build industry-specific lists, and then monitor these feeds to respond to questions and engage in conversations.

While Twitter is great for increasing site traffic and raising awareness, this only works if you’re dedicated to tweeting consistently, and tweeting new content. It can be easy to sit back and click ‘retweet’, but the point of B2B social media marketing is to engage other businesses with your own. Twitter gives your brand a voice, and this is the voice that’s going to make you stand out to your potential customers.

Facebook

The next place a business is going to look for you after LinkedIn is Facebook. Although Facebook isn’t the first choice for B2B businesses, remember that having a wide-ranging social media presence – especially a Facebook presence – is a necessity these days. While the platform may not attract a great number of leads, not being on Facebook means missing out on engaging with those B2B businesses that are, and the industry-related conversations being had.

For a B2B, social media marketing on Facebook begins with managing your brand reputation. Having an active, updated brand profile is the ticket to encouraging customer engagement, which will then help you build customer trust and relationships.

Facebook is about telling your brand’s story, and there’s a whole heap of new Facebook features that encourage this. Host company Q&As or livestream events using Facebook Live. While the increasing popularity of Facebook video posts means you can use the platform for video marketing.

Facebook gives you and your business the opportunity to reach out directly to brand managers, advisers, and decision-makers, so you’ll want to make sure your page reflects the face of your company.

Final thoughts

Social media for B2B is all about targeting your audience – think about what kind of content is helpful for other business owners in your industry.

Although LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook are the major B2B social media marketing players, don’t knock the less conventional platforms like Instagram or Pinterest. If your target audience is likely to be more active on these platforms, and you can see a way you can generate leads, absolutely give them a shot – the more platforms for you’re on, the greater your brand awareness.

If you want to find out the best social media marketing strategy for your B2B, and don’t know where to begin, why not check out a social media marketing agency.