In fact, “social media can be MORE transformative for a B2B company than a B2C company. This is because B2B has a smaller potential customer base, a higher average price point, and a customer decision funnel that is more influenced by word of mouth and reputation” – Jay Baer, President of Convince & Convert.
In an age where an up-to-date online company brand is key, where buying decisions are influenced by online surveys, where enterprises are consciously redesigning business models due to digital disruption… does designing a PR and marketing strategy for a B2B company not necessitate a strategic social media campaign as part of the long-term mix?
I am sure you’ve heard someone say, that “to remain relevant, your business needs to be more digital”… and, “to retain customers, you need to embrace omni-channel in your contact centre and sales cycle”.
Why is this relevant?
This is how I think about it: More business professionals needing to work with online tools, equals more decision makers actively engaging or needing to understand the impact of digital tools on their business. This then equals more business professionals curious about how relevant social platforms could enhance their business, increase sales, retain customers etc., right?
Let me give you a personal example. My dad, a director in the construction industry, is not on Facebook or any other social media platform. He uses Excel for his project planning and has no idea what a hashtag is. But, he owns an iPhone 6s and has a daughter that works in B2B technology communications who he trusts for tips on what app to use or what software programme to consider.
Additionally, many, if not all, business professionals own a smart mobile device. By default, having the “internet in your pocket”, allows any business professional an easy transition to engage or to be influenced by social media marketing. Well-designed social media campaigns take into consideration that any consumer with decision-making power is likely to be influenced by a social media ad, post, or a trusted contact that is active on social media.
The main point that I’m trying to bring across is that even though most business professionals might not be on social media 24/7, they have various influencers that impact their decisions beyond traditional advertising platforms like television, radio and print. In addition, think about a family business where the younger generation is potentially being groomed to manage the business and needs to start marketing to their peers.
They are our future technology buyers. The question is: Is your brand already talking to them?
In the words of Anish, “Social media for business-to-business companies is slightly different – it’s no longer about a quick sale, or using creative videos in the hope that they will go viral. B2B is characterised by long lead times and high value sales; as such, social media cannot be carried out in isolation, but must complement a company’s broader public relations and marketing strategy.”
He believes that the real business value lies in capitalising on brand awareness and credibility built through traditional media, allowing for a business-to-business company’s social media content to act not as an advertisement for products or services, but as an amplifier of thought leadership and expertise.