How to use social media to build B2B relationships

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Social media is a powerful tool utilized by many marketers to tap into their audience base. The power of social media lies in the fact that it taps into the public. By leveraging social media platforms, you can build a strong and long-lasting relationship with your customers.

The public at large is present on social media. However, if you run a business consultation brand, your target audience is B2B customers, not the general public. This can pose a massive challenge for reaching out to B2B customers and building a relationship with them.

But, even so, it can be done. This is exactly what we’ll be discussing in this post.

Why B2B Fits Social Media?

I am sure some of my readers are skeptics. Social media has a reputation for being a platform for fun and the general public, however, guess what? It is also perfect for your B2B customers. Here’s why:

  • Clients are on Social Media Platforms: The general public is on social media platforms. This also includes your potential clients, because they are part are part of the public too.

  • Long Sales Cycle: As a business consultation, you have a long sales cycle and clients don’t commit immediately. In such a long sales cycle, building relationships, even digital, couldn’t be more important.

  • Complex Purchase Decision: Making a decision to purchase your business consultation service requires information. Through social media, you ensure that interesting information reaches your B2B audience.

And, to add some data figures to the argument:

Source: http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/

The Right Platform

Let’s start with the most obvious point: the right platform. There are certain platforms online that built for the sole purpose of professionals connecting with each other.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn, obviously, has to be on top of this list. LinkedIn is built for professional interaction, from the design to the content to the profile data. LinkedIn has a strong focus on professionalism.

Twitter

If you thought Twitter was just a B2C platform, then you assumed wrong. Twitter is a different kind of animal that can’t truly be qualified as a B2C or B2B platform – it’s a mix of both.

Twitter has a high focus on high quality content that targets the right audience.

SlideShare

This underrated social media platform is actually popular among professionals. Considering that business professionals love presentations and SlideShare is about sharing, presentations, you don’t want to miss out on it.

Facebook

Thought Facebook wouldn’t be a part of the list? While Facebook may primarily be for the general public, your audience base is also on Facebook. To use Facebook effectively, you have to ensure understand Facebook’s algorithm and make your posts reach the audience you want.

 

Source: http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/

Sharing Content

There is a huge difference between how B2B customers and B2C customers consume information. Their idea of engaging content is very different. B2C customers are looking for content to distract and entertain them. On the other hand, B2B clients are looking for helpful information that can improve their daily lives.

How do you bring them informative content? Apart from the usual posts, social media is about sharing content. Share:

  • Blog Links

  • Whitepapers

  • Infographics

  • Whitepapers

  • Webinars

  • Presentations

  • Videos

You can create your own content, or pick up content from other platforms and sites. You don’t have to just build social media relationships by just creating unique content, you can also curate content created by others. The aim is for your social media profiles to become a resource point which your followers frequently check.

Source: http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/

Make sure you are providing valuable content to your users, which brings us to our next point.

Informative and Valuable Content

Your activity on your social media profiles needs to offer informative and valuable content.

If you run a business consultation, then your B2B target audience is budding entrepreneurs. So, the question you need to ask yourself is: what information are they seeking? They would be searching for information on:

  • How to turn an idea into a business

  • How to get funds

  • How to be the best boss

  • How to recruit

  • How to market the idea

  • How to operate a business

The list goes on and on. This is the type of information which is valuable to your audience and this is exactly the information you need to provide.

Provide information to your users in snippets to garner their attention.

Frequent Posts

A key aspect of social media, regardless of whether your audience is B2B or B2C, is having an active profile. If you want to consistently appear on your followers’ feed, you need to have frequent posts. The more frequent your posts, the more your followers engage with you. Their action, in turn, tells the social media algorithm that these followers want to see more of your content, and it results in them engaging with your business consultation brand even more.

You should have at least one post per day on your social media profiles.

Engage your Followers

Social media does not just have to be a one-way street communication. You can interact with your audience.

  • When they comment on your posts, make sure you reply

  • Join groups and interact with them and offer advice

  • Organize online groups which your brand can lead

Brand Personality

Finally, the biggest piece of the puzzle is to bring out your brand personality. People build relationships with personalities, and not business organizations. Is your business consultation brand – quirky or inspiring?

A brand personality is a core belief that the whole of your business consultation should imbibe and it should be reflected in your social media profiles too.

All of the points mentioned in this post are organic points. Organic social media is a slow growth. If you want to increase your followers and your engagement rapidly, you could choose inorganic growth. You can use a combination of organic and inorganic social activity to take your business consultation brand to new heights. Your social media profiles should not be idle. Utilize and leverage them correctly and you will be able to not just gain followers but also truly build a digital relationship with your B2B audience.

 

Ali Salman is an online marketing strategist who have worked with Coca-Cola, Extreme Pita, Mucho Burrito, KIA, Honda and other Fortune 500 companies. Ali Salman now heads Rapid Boost Marketing - Canada's fastest growing search marketing agency. RBM clients include Fortune 500's and medium size businesses across North America. Ali as RBM CMO leads his team in building and managing quality, high-performing and cost-effective interactive campaigns and programs for our company's customers and partners. In his career, he has significantly improved campaign performance for large brands such as Government of Alberta, Liberal Party, Workopolis, Cathay Pacific, as well as medium to large retailers and high-tech B2B-enterprise niches. Ali and his team develop online promotional concepts that spark viral growth through search and social media for RBM clients, devising strategies that use search engines and more to reach key demographic segments in the ways they're most likely to be receptive. Ali Salman also oversees corporate marketing initiatives for Rapid Boost Marketing, including strategic communications counsel, public and analyst relations and client education programming.

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