Many B2B technology companies in South Africa have yet to fully embrace social media, perhaps believing that it does not give them exposure to the right target audience.

Or it might be because they have yet to find the right digital agency that understands who they are and what they do.

Given the nature of the industry in which they operate, it’s important for these companies to look beyond just the social or digital capabilities of the agency that they want to partner with.

They also have to consider the proficiency of the agency, and the staff involved in running the account, to have a clear understanding of technology – beyond consumer products – and to be able to understand the technical language and jargon that forms part and parcel of the industry.

Social media for business

Contracting with an agency that understands B2B technology not only helps companies to raise awareness about their products or solutions, but to also craft messages that focus on the business value behind the technology on offer.

This is especially important because successful social media campaigns are about more than just products and services – they’re about giving the company a human face, and by telling stories that help build overall brand awareness and loyalty, gaining trust, and promoting social sharing.

By working with a specialist agency, B2B technology companies can make better use of social media to show expertise through amplification of thought-leadership and opinion pieces, and to connect and engage with the relevant tech journalists and publications, industry leaders and associations, and even potential clients.

A specialist agency can also work closely with the client to gain maximum traction by aligning social media messaging – and timing – with traditional marketing and advertising campaigns.

Being social also has another key element – participation by employees, who are a company’s most valuable brand ambassadors on social media.

Followers are more likely to take action or engage when there’s an added human voice, and an agency can help the company to set up simple, straight-forward social media policies that give employees the leeway to use social media to share content, and also provide comment in their area of expertise.

Increasing evidence shows that the use of social media can be as equally beneficial in business-to-business as is the case with business-to-consumer, and B2B companies would do well to capitalise.

With the right agency partner, companies can seize the opportunity to build brand awareness, and also capture and engage with the next generation of customer – one who views the social presence of a company to be just as vital as a telephone number, website or email address.

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