12 Ways B2B Companies Can Use Social Media to Their Advantage

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Sites like Twitter and LinkedIn’s communication features aren’t only beneficial for small businesses with a specific client base. B2B companies can use them to their advantage as well. That’s why we asked 12 members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) the following question:

“What B2B social media tips can companies use to communicate with potential customers?”

Here are some YEC community members’ B2B social media tips:

1. Create Valuable Content

“Most social networks allow you to tag other accounts. Create content that is valuable to a prospect and tag them. This is a great way to show them that you exist. This technique is most effective if you can show off your company’s skills and what you can do for your prospect with the content you share.” ~ Andrew Namminga, Andesign

2. Provide Them With the Value They Need

“As a B2B, there are a variety of ways to communicate and appeal to current and potential customers. Unlike B2C, your social media may not be full of viral posts, but it is still important to “humanize your brand” and offer a personal, creative appeal. Create content such as e-books, videos and articles that are full of valuable information specific to the needs of your target audience.” ~ David Tomas, Cyberclick

3. Focus on Brand Identity

“It’s easy to see why humorous, inspirational or amazing content drives engagement. Social media at its best focuses on what we care about most deeply. This is true for B2B companies and each of us personally. This doesn’t limit a company from focusing on sales or conversion but provides a lens to present the content in a way that’s meaningful to customers and prospects.” ~ Curtis Thornhill, Apt Marketing Solutions

4. Show Expertise

“When potential customers are seeking a partner, they want an expert. And often, they look long before they decide to purchase. Creating consistent, relevant content that illustrates your expertise, approach, culture and core values will help keep you top of mind whenever potential customers are ready to make a decision. When they research options, they will find your company.” ~ Angela Harless, AcrobatAnt

5. Use Different Mediums

“Using social media, you can utilize great graphics/visualizations, videos, and blog posts to show your customer your platform (or solution). Share content on how your product can create value for them, solve a need, or save money, time or other resources. Keep a pipeline of interesting content and examples of your solutions for potential customers intrigued about your service.” ~ Nemoy Rau, US Biometrix

6. Network and Broadcast Company News

“Word of mouth can be a powerful tool. Social media can help you create a strong network of influencers and top organizations to position yourself as an expert and influencer in your industry. You can also broadcast exciting company news, participate in industry/charity events, and write articles or blog posts that provide potential customers insight into why they should want to work with your company.” ~ Andrew Kucheriavy, Intechnic

7. Listen Across Social Networks

“With the myriad of social monitoring tools available, B2B companies can listen and monitor to conversations online. Using tools such as Mention or Brandwatch, youcan find potential customers talking about your competitor or even asking questions about a particular problem that your product or service solves. You canengage them directly. They’ve already started the conversation.” ~Jon Tsourakis, Revital Agency, LLC

8. Humanize and Relate Breaking News to your Brand

B2B companies should create and share content that humanizes their brand onsocial media. It is most effective if the content tells a story that supports your brand and shares something about the company values/mission. Figure out a way to make breaking news relate to your brand and then create media that supports the message. The news grows quickly on social media and can spotlight your brand.” ~ Peter Boyd, PaperStreet Web Design

9. Identify What Connects You

“Skill set and reputation matter. But people do business with folks they like and with whom they have some shared interests. That said, identify your targets and find similarities. Do they share photos of team building? Chime in and share a few of yours. If you were networking in person, you’d look to identify what you have in common. Social media is no different.” ~ Megan Smith, Brownstone PR

10. Create Trust

“Ever research a restaurant or business’s Facebook page to see how active they are as a way to determine the quality of their product/service? This is a very common research step these days that many businesses fail to comprehend. Having socialmedia pages isn’t enough. They must be used as a platform for building trust and backing up your UVP — or the potential customer will move on.” ~ Wesley Mathews, High Level Marketing

11. Use Surveys to Reach Out

“Since social media is designed around sharing opinions. It’s a good idea to leverage this intent through the use of surveys to reach out and communicate with new customers. Not only do you get the benefit of collecting intelligence on what potential customers really want, but you also have a list of names and contact information to share evidence that you can fuflill their desires.” ~ Murray Newlands, Due.com

12. Have Real Conversations

“Too often, we forget that social media is, at it’s core, just another tool for conversation. Rather than spending all of your time “broadcasting” your thought leadership and ideas, invest in starting one-on-one conversations with people you want to get to know. Setting up private Twitter lists based on account names or keywords and then sending personal messages is a great place to start.” ~ Alyssa Conrardy, Prosper Strategies.

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

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