I have faced countless conversations with B2B business owners questioning whether there’s any value for B2B companies in social media.
Here are 3 practical reasons why social media absolutely makes sense for B2B businesses.
Social media is ubiquitous. Whether you prefer Facebook or LinkedIn or Instagram or any of the countless alternatives, there are communities of millions (and sometimes billions) of people looking to share and consume content.
From a marketing perspective, it’s easy to see how a B2C or consumer-facing company can navigate those waters comfortably and get their message out to the masses. This is primarily obvious because much of the content already shared on social media is consumer-focused in nature.
When it comes to B2B, it appears that connection is less obvious. From the conversations I’ve had, it seems many business owners assume their message will get lost among a sea of cat videos or they believe business is only conducted between the hours of nine and five—and who has the time during business hours to scroll through a social feed?
But, it’s important to remember that…
Your B2B Clients Are Consumers, Too
Whether you bosses out there like it or not, many of your staff peruse social media during work hours. The usage analytics prove it. They may be doing so for work purposes or, simply, as a quick mental escape.
For many, it’s the primary mode of communication between them and their family members. And for others, it’s a source of news and keeping up-to-date.
Regardless of motivation, the fact remains that social media is enjoyed often and by those you do business with.
If marketing 101 teaches you to communicate your message to your audience, then go where your audience spends a lot, if not most, of their time.
Disruption Is Not Just For The Next Big Idea
While the buzzword “disruption” isn’t as hot now as it was a few years ago, we all agree that it remains a worthwhile goal. Disrupting your industry with the next big idea has many positive upsides.
But, disruption in the literal sense—or, better yet, interruption—can be powerful, too.
See, I’m suggesting inserting your messaging in the middle of your audience’s thoughts.
Sticking with the social media theme, this means getting your announcements, branding, or shared posts in front of the target audience while they’re innocently scrolling through their social feeds.
The real beauty here is that it’s not time-dependent. These disruptions don’t have to occur during regular business hours. As a matter of fact, I suggest you time some of them outside of regular business hours.
Keeping your business top-of-mind can, many times, be more effective when it’s less expected. And, when the messaging is not surrounded by the congestion of other work-related chatter.
Social Networking Is [Still] Networking
Many of you are familiar with in-person networking. Most of you probably find it a business necessity, as I do.
The process of meeting fellow businesspeople, sharing what you do and what you offer, and finding opportunities to provide services as well as procure them, makes networking time well spent.
Sometimes we let the complexities of technology cloud our understanding of traditionally simple concepts.
Social media facilitates social networking and social networking is simply networking. When you remember that and take your focus away from the tech and direct it to the actions, you’ll realize this social stuff isn’t as complex and foreign as you may have thought.
With that said, if networking is networking, you can more easily understand the value social media can bring to your business.
Of course, in each of these communities, there are certain etiquette considerations and social nuances that may be best left to a marketing professional to navigate. But, as long as you, the business owner, understand the effort is worthwhile, you can let the marketing folks do what they do with an elevated level of comfort.
These three reasons why B2B needs social media I classify as “practical” simply because they are. And, I wanted to highlight these thoughts because a common Google search doesn’t often bring up these concepts.
Instead, you’re likely to find such arguments for social media as building brand awareness, generating leads, and SEO assistance.
While all of these are true, they’re not any less relevant to B2C businesses.
As a takeaway, I hope you now see how social media can help with your B2B marketing with a bit more clarity. And I hope you feel inspired to get your business out there!
To learn more about marketing your small business, check out our What you need to know to market your small business article.