Do you think that your B2B company has no place on social networks? While the relevance of social media for B2C companies is no longer in question, some still doubt its effectiveness in B2B. However, working on your online presence is essential for any company. However, for this presence to be optimal and useful, it is imperative to carefully select the social media where you want to appear with the help of an M&A advisor. Your choice will depend on the products or services you sell, the people you want to reach, and the message you want to convey.
The Importance of Social Media for Your B2B Business
With over 4 billion social media users worldwide, it’s a safe bet that the human you want to talk to is out there somewhere!
By bringing together so many Internet users, social media allow companies, even in B2B, to gain visibility, generate leads, retain customers, promote products or services through online advertising services, maintain their brand image, grow their network, and attract customers to their website. Social networks are a fast, widespread, and inexpensive marketing tool.
Some statistics to consider:
- 86% of B2B companies are present on social networks, but only 32% of them are active.
- 81% of B2B decision makers are on social networks and trust them in their purchasing decision.
- The cold call achieves an efficiency rate of only 2.5% and costs 60% more than other methods.
- More than 45% of customers prefer to turn to social networks to contact a company rather than using email or the phone.
For your social media presence to benefit your B2B business, you need to select the right platform and implement a content strategy.
What are the most used social networks in B2B marketing?
It is difficult to choose which social media to be present, especially in B2B. To help you choose, here are the most used social platforms.
Our list of the best social networks for B2B
Here are, in order of importance, the most effective social networks to accelerate the growth of a business in B2B; discover their strengths, weaknesses, and best practices to adopt.
With more than 3 million companies registered, LinkedIn is the professional social network par excellence. 80% of B2B leads from social networks come from LinkedIn.
The professional page allows companies to display their activities and news. This is the place to be for networking and monitoring your industry. It is also an excellent platform to work on your brand image and increase the influence of your company. Also, note that LinkedIn participates in natural referencing and will help you appear on Google.
On the other hand, as with all social networks, LinkedIn requires that you spend time there for it to be effective.
LinkedIn company page:
- Complete your profile
- Add your customers, suppliers, employees, and people related to your business to your network
- Interact and share your news on discussion groups
- Post interesting articles regularly
Facebook is not just a social network for personal use; 84% of B2B marketers use it! Facebook allows companies, even in B2B, to reach a large number of people. With Facebook [CT1] ads, it’s even possible to precisely target the people you want to reach.
On the publications side, you can use your creativity on Facebook by publishing texts, videos, images, and lives that will help you get in touch with your prospects and exchange with them. Facebook will allow you to humanize your brand and position yourself as an expert. However, Facebook does not offer very good organic visibility to businesses. To be seen, your posts must generate a lot of interactions. Otherwise, you will have to pay for advertising.
Facebook business page:
- Properly expand your profile and set up your account
- Create your product catalog
- Avoid self-promotion
- Share valuable and quality content
- Opt for visual content, such as videos and photos
- Encourage interaction to increase visibility
YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, and after Google and Facebook, it is the third most visited website in the world. Having a presence on YouTube improves the organic visibility of a business.
It can be interesting to use YouTube to increase your brand awareness by doing interviews, sharing customer testimonials, and creating tutorials or explainer videos, for example. Videos, in both B2C and B2B, are an excellent communication medium.
- Take the time to fully configure your account
- Work on your branding on YouTube by creating uniform banners and icons
- Organize videos by category to improve user experience
- Create informative and quality videos
- Write attractive descriptions
- Add captions to your videos
- Follow good SEO practices because YouTube is the second search engine
More specific social networks
There are also more specific social media, which are only used by certain sectors of activity.
Twitter is an essential social network for monitoring news from certain industries. Thus, several B2B decision-makers are there;
- 85% of marketers use this social network
- 50% of them consider it an effective lever
Twitter is still an integral part of B2B social media marketing strategies if you are a news outlet or a media-heavy company. Otherwise, Twitter is not the best platform to be present on.
- Post tweets several times a day to be visible
- Retweet, but add your two cents
- Use relevant hashtags
- Add interactive content: images, videos, etc.
If Instagram is far from being the most intuitive social network for B2B companies, it still offers a great opportunity. Instagram has over 1 billion users worldwide. What attracts marketers the most is the impressive engagement rate! It is said to be 60 times higher there than on Facebook.
It is possible to do paid advertising thereby precisely targeting the audience from Facebook’s Business Suite.
Instagram is a “show rather than tell” visual storytelling platform. It is the ideal place for a company to present:
- its story to a target audience in a compelling, memorable, and engaging way
- social life and corporate culture to strengthen HR marketing
- his latest achievements in both B2B and B2C
Instagram business page:
- Take care of your “branding”
- Use the link in your bio to send followers to your website
- Present professional and creative photos
- Choose hashtags wisely
- Reshare user-generated content
Pinterest offers companies the possibility of creating professional pages on the platform. It’s a place of excellence to develop a graphic universe around your brand. The pins you publish will lead to a landing page to increase traffic to your website.
- Ensure the quality of the images you post
The best performing pin images are:
- Vertical images: the best aspect ratio is 2:3 and 1:3:5
- Images with multiple colors receive 3.25 times more pins than images with a single color
- Create infographics and optimize your image descriptions
How to choose your social media in B2B?
Among all the social networks available, the most used in B2B remains LinkedIn. However, that does not mean that the others are irrelevant. Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest can be very effective for some businesses. It all depends on the target clientele, business goals, and creative resources you have.
The question of the audience
To choose the best social media to promote your B2B business, you must first ask yourself about your target customers. You need to ask some questions to yourself:
- Who is my target customer?
- Who is the decision maker for my target customer?
- How old is she?
- What are his interests?
- Where is she on social media?
Now that you have defined your target, choose the social media where you should be present based on the answers to the previous questions. Never forget that you have to be where your target customers are!
Remember that your social media audience won’t just be your customers. It’s an ecosystem to build a strong employer brand and reach your customers’ customers.
Your creative resources
The two limiting elements of a good online presence are human and financial resources. These two elements will directly impact the results of the marketing strategy. What you must remember:
- Creating a community, commitment, and notoriety is a long-term job. If you choose to be present in social media, you will have to do it for the long term, so invest in resources.
- To get results, the secret is a recurrence, which means posting regularly. It is necessary to adapt the number of social media where you are present and the number of publications to its resources.
- While videos are great on the web, if you don’t have the resources to create videos regularly, YouTube may not be the best social media choice for you.
- And, on the same line, if you don’t have the resources to post content multiple times a day, you should avoid Twitter.
Case 1: a company specializing in IT management
Let’s take as an example a company specializing in IT management that offers several personalized business solutions to optimize the IT environment of its clients.
Its target clientele is local. These are small and medium-sized businesses that own computer equipment.
This company has chosen as platforms to reach its target customers:
- Facebook allows him to present various articles and videos to make his prospects aware of cybersecurity, digital transformation, etc. They also take advantage of its visibility to publish job offers and boost its notoriety.
- YouTube allows it to upload informative videos for its customers which it publishes on its website in the form of a Vlog. This solution allowed him to create a great reputation on the web. This type of information is highly valued by its customers.
- Instagram is used for HR marketing. The company presents photos of social life and office life, to facilitate the recruitment of new employees.
Case 2: a company specializing in human resources
For this second example, let’s take the case of a company specializing in human resources. They offer companies support services for the management of their human resources, the recruitment of personnel as well as training related to HR.
The company has two (2) target, customers:
- businesses, small and medium-sized, that have recruitment and human resources needs
- job seekers or people who are employed but are interested in changing jobs
This company has chosen as platforms to reach its target customers:
- With LinkedIn, the company manages to reach a maximum of managers and leaders to share their vision of HR and the importance of employees for all companies. This social network also allows them to keep a good watch on their industry and solicit potential candidates for the positions to be filled. In the latter case, the company subscribed to LinkedIn Recruiter to facilitate its research.
- Facebook allows him to present various articles on good practices in human resources. It also allows the company to advertise for vacancies, which works very well for positions requiring less qualification.
Case 3: a business distributing hair products for salons
Next, let’s take as an example a company that distributes hair products intended for professionals in hairdressing salons.
The company has two target customers:
- hair salons and hairdressers
- salon end customers, mainly women
This company has chosen three platforms for its promotion:
- YouTube allows him to upload training videos explaining how to use their line of products. These videos are used mainly on their website.
- Instagram and Facebook are used to develop brand awareness among customers accustomed to having their hair done in salons. Both platforms serve:
- to share photos of the results obtained with their products, but also to share the achievements of partner salons. This helps to create enthusiasm for the brand among the end customers of the salons.
- to promote salons using their range of products to Internet users to generate greater demand in salons for certain targeted products.
Case 4: a graphic design agency
Take for example a graphic design agency. It offers its clients various services: brand strategy, identity design (branding/brand image), graphic charter, logo design, publishing design, packaging design, etc.
Its target clientele is national. These are small and medium-sized businesses that have graphic design needs of all kinds.
This company has chosen three platforms to enhance the aesthetic quality of its work:
- Facebook and Instagram are used to showcase the company’s latest achievements, but also to humanize company communications. She, therefore, publishes a mix between production and photo of the team at work
- Pinterest is used as a graphic designer’s portfolio/artist’s book. It makes it possible to group the company’s achievements by theme.
Social networks are an excellent marketing tool for all businesses, even those in B2B through M&A advisory. On the other hand, it is advisable to choose carefully those that you wish to develop to have the expected results. Never forget to regularly ask yourself the following basic questions:
- What are my goals with social media?
- Who do you want to join? Who is your target clientele?
- What kinds of content will you post?
The answers to these questions will help you determine which social network will be the best fit for your B2B business. But never forget that you have to go gradually! You don’t have to be everywhere. When you master it, then you will be able to start another one.