B2B social media marketing (business to business) is similar to marketing to consumers in many respects, but different in strategic ways. Let’s take a look at how to maximize the return of your B2B social media marketing.
B2B Social Media Marketing – Similarities
In B2B social media marketing you’re trying to reach other businesses rather than consumers. But, you’ll still need to create a strategy which considers who you’re talking to, establishing SMART goals, and determining how to reach those goals.
You’ll also have to work hard to engage your target audience with relevant, valuable content. A focus on creating interesting, informative, or entertaining content brings traffic to your site and spreads your reputation much more effectively than using social networks as a means of spreading PR about your firm.
Just as with B2C social media marketing (business to consumer), you’ll need strategies to bring traffic to your website. These B2B social media marketing strategies include:
- Sharing your content and engaging your target audience on social networks and social bookmarking sites
- Using sound SEO (search engine optimization) strategies to make your content findable in organic search
- Integrating your website, social media marketing, and email marketing strategies
- Monitoring analytics to track and improve your social media marketing strategies
Despite these similarities, B2B social media marketing often has differences, too.
B2B Social Media Marketing – Differences
Looking at this great infographic from Marketo suggests some major differences in successful B2B social media marketing strategy.
1. Importance of your blog
I’m a huge believer in a blog as the cornerstone of your social media marketing strategy for almost any business, but, in B2B social media marketing, a blog is even more important. That’s because a blog gives you a platform for building your brand and creating your online reputation, which are necessary to sell more sophisticated B2B buyers.
While Facebook and Twitter dominate in B2C marketing, LinkedIn holds a big share of marketing mind share in B2B social media marketing. And, Google+ is breaking into the B2B social media marketing world since they introduced business pages. Pinterest, Slideshare, and local review sites such as Google Local and Foursquare are also important in the B2B social media marketing scene.
3. CRM integration
Because B2B social media marketing efforts are often driven by a search for leads rather than online sales, integrating your B2B social media marketing efforts with CRM software such as Salesforce.com is an important consideration.