Social media has bridged the communication gap for B2B businesses, offering faster response times and greater access to information for their customers. In an increasingly connected and social world, customers are expecting brands to be there when they need them. In fact, in 2017 75% of B2B buyers used social media to support their purchase decision. By using social media, B2B marketers have the opportunity to connect with customers in a timely manner, expand their marketing messaging reach, and join relevant industry conversations.
Examples of Social Media Use for B2B Marketing
Driving leads through Paid Advertising
Social media can be a successful place to drive leads for B2B brands. In fact, 54% of B2B marketers said they’ve generated leads from social media.
According to Hubspot, building the best lead generation strategy for your business is more about understanding tried-and-tested channels, and finding the most effective combination of tactics for your unique goals. While LinkedIn is the top social platform for B2B marketers, Facebook is also a great place to drive leads through advertising.
Hubspot offers an example of a successful lead-generation social ad from FreeAgent, a small business accounting software company. By asking only for the data that they need, FreeAgent was able to obtain a wider initial lead base that they could qualify later in the funnel.
Joining Conversation at Industry Conferences
When working for a machine tool manufacturer, we would utilize Twitter to drive leads to our booth by using the conference hashtag. We would also join conversations with others at the conference by searching the conference hashtag and tweeting at other businesses or people in attendance. Before the show, we would post on our Facebook and LinkedIn timelines to promote our presence at the show.
While at the show, we successfully used Facebook Live to showcase products in action in order to drive traffic to the booth. Instagram was also used to post real-time photos at the show, then utilize the conference hashtag to join the conversation.
New Product Launches
Utilizing Facebook advertising was one way that we were able to promote the launch of a new product. By targeting specific, relevant audiences, we could provide informative information on social media to let those audiences know about the new product.
Posting organically, we were able to hype up the product to gain traction before the product was available for purchase. Once the product was in stock, we posted to product pages on our website to drive leads and purchases of the product.
Fast Customer Service and Support
In a world where 78 percent of people who complain to a brand via Twitter expect a response within an hour, it is important for B2B brands to be monitoring social media in order to connect with their customers.
Slack is a great example of a B2B brand using social media to drive customer service. On days when the platforms goes down, the marketing team takes to Twitter to provide real time status updates and field incoming customer questions. By utilizing Twitter, Slack is able to provide real-time support in an easily accessible, and scalable way.
Opportunities for Social Media in Today’s B2B Landscape
Today, over 50% of B2B buyers are millennials who make an average of 12 searches online when looking for new products and services. B2B companies need to utilize a strategic social media approach to reach the changing B2B buyer. Through paid social advertising, Facebook groups, LinkedIn prospecting, and other social tactics, B2B organizations can utilize social media to grow sales and create a better overall customer experience.
McLeod, B. (2018). 75+ B2B MARKETING STATISTICS TO KNOW IN 2019. Bluecorona.com
Schoening, E. (2018). 5 B2B Brands That Show Us How Social Media Should Be Used. Demandgenreport.com
Smith, K. (2019). 126 Amazing Social Media Statistics and Facts. Brandwatch.com
Whittington, R. (2014). 5 Statistics About B2B Demand Generation with Social Media That You Need to Know. Rickwhittington.com
Lambert, S. (2019). The Best B2B Lead Gen Campaigns for Every Channel. Hubspot.com