B2B, BtoB, or Business-to-Business refers to business transactions that occur between businesses.
This is different than B2C, which refers to business transactions that occur between a business and a consumer.
For example, a company that manufactures frozen yogurt soft serve machines will sell them to a restaurant. That’s B2B. The restaurant will then sell frozen yogurt to people. That’s B2C. Get it?
B2B companies, therefore, sell their products or services to other businesses. Like B2C companies, they also rely on marketing tools to help them make their profits. While social media has become a major marketing avenue for most B2C companies, B2B companies are lagging behind this trend. But, that’s a mistake. B2B companies should not overlook the impact of social media marketing.
We are here to dispel some of these myths.
Myths of Social Media Marketing for B2B Companies
1. There’s no point
The only things you see on social media are selfies, animal memes, and heated political posts, right? Though all these things can be found on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, social media is far more than just that.
Social media is about interactions. In fact, people are now spending, on average, 15 more minutes per day on social media than watching TV. And more people use Facebook on a daily basis than watch TV.
B2B companies may be selling to businesses, but they are selling to people at businesses. These people interact through social media, and are influenced by what they see on social media.
Oh, LinkedIn–it is one of the most common, and the most successful, social media platforms for B2B companies. We aren’t saying not to use it. As marketing expert, Neil Patel, points out, “LinkedIn does for B2Bs what Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest have all failed to do. It forms professional connections based on a single goal.”
However, there are many options other than LinkedIn that B2B companies can take advantage of: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc….
That’s because social media marketing isn’t just about lead generation. It’s about creating a whole identity and brand. It’s about letting people know who you are. Content, in the form of blogs, videos, ebooks, etc… is a great way to build brand identity, and it can, and should be shared via social media pages.
3. The business is too boring to appeal to people
It’s true, many B2B businesses don’t hold the same glamour or excitement as B2C companies such as Apple, Tesla, or Starbucks, but that doesn’t mean that B2B companies have to be dull.
Your social media pages and blogs will be dull if you make them dull. The key is to think outside of the box. For example, a company that sells copy machines and printers to offices could post quality Instagram pictures showcasing the variety of places and workspaces that their products show up in. Think Flat Stanley.
Check out this article from HubSpot for some more innovative ideas.
4. You should only post about your company and its services or products
That’s what you do with traditional television, radio, and print ads, right? Give information about products and upcoming sales that your business offers. Many B2b companies also rely on cold calls, which involve informing a potential customer about the business.
Remember, what we talked about above? Social media marketing is not just about lead generation, it’s about brand cultivation. Therefore, who ARE you as a company? Take time to think about it before beginning to post.
Share articles that your potential customers might be interested. Write helpful content for your target audience. If you want to use humor, make the commitment, go for it, and post some jokes. Consider using platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat to show some “behind the scenes” at your office. Overall, humanize your company and make it a company that people want to interact with.
5. Social media marketing means just assigning anyone to post a new status on Facebook every day
It’s so tempting to just randomly assign one person at the company to run the company’s Facebook page. I mean middle schoolers are adept at social media, how hard can it be? That is a big mistake.
Social media marketing is an enormous trend, and it’s not going away anytime soon. Take the time to invest in someone who can help to make a comprehensive social media marketing strategy. In fact, this is a task that can even be outsourced to an individual or a marketing company.
Social media marketing is not something that should be an afterthought.
I’ve spent some time answering phones at a reception desk, and I received quite a few calls from businesses wanting to become our new paper suppliers, offering to upgrade our phone systems, and selling pens with our business’ logo printed on them. For most of those calls, I answered, listened politely, informed the representative that our needs were all met, but I would be sure to contact them if we needed any new suppliers.
You see, B2B companies can’t just rely on cold calls, meetings, and sending loads of samples. B2B companies need to hop on social media.
Looking for more help with your business? Contact us at Lucid Advisory and Finance.