Why B2B should care about Social Media
Blogging, Facebook, and Twitter are great tools to build relationships between your business and customers – but in serving B2B clients, the dynamic is quite different from B2C. No longer are you talking to individuals or groups of friends; rather, you’re attracting the attention of people within the larger business, with varying levels of influence. But that doesn’t mean you should pass on building your social media!
Build Credibility and Increase Traffic
Every few days, blog about your industry in a way that explains something to your customers in a way that’s valuable to them. Write about frequent questions you receive, basic tips to maintain a product you sell, or even some of the basics behind what you do and the value it gives a customer. Even if you’re not writing for a large audience at first, that’s OK – you want to have a good deal of valuable content available for when people do visit, and you’ll be seen as a credible source when employees of other companies start looking around for a company to work with in your industry.
Take this a step further and feed your blog in your Facebook and Twitter pages – now the other professionals who look you up on these services can quickly see the kind of content you’re offering and follow links through to your website. Watch your analytics as you start generating quality content on a regular basis – you may be surprised to see a larger portion of your daily traffic coming from referral links (ie Facebook, Twitter, and other shared content) rather than direct (by typing your URL into the browser).
Start the Conversation
Any experienced salesperson will tell you: it’s easier to sell to people you’ve established a relationship with than to sell by cold-calling. So start building relationships! Social media gives your customers, vendors, and network an easy way to open dialog and allows for public sharing and conversation. And while other businesses you work with may not follow your social media, chances are the employees you’re working to communicate with from within those organizations will.
Improve your Search Results
Search engines pay attention to social media. Even if a good deal of your audience doesn’t regularly use social media, using Facebook and Twitter can improve how relevant your site looks to Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. By posting regular updates in your own blog or on other social media pages and incorporating keywords that people are searching for when looking for a vendor with your specialties, you’re making your company more visible.
Finding keywords can be its own challenge. A process called Search Engine Optimization (or SEO) means using online tools to determine not only what keywords to use on your site for your industry, but also determining what you have a chance of being displayed for when a user searches for certain terms. For more on SEO, check out this great article for beginners from SEOmoz.
Keep in mind that there are a number of factors that influence how you place. Besides keywords, another factor is links back to your site. When you start using social media, you’re generating links back to your site, and giving visitors an easy way to share links with their network. So even if you’re not quite ready to dive in to SEO research, just by creating good content and having people share it you should start to see some improvement.
Do you have a great way to connect to your B2B audience on Facebook, Twitter, or another social media? Start the conversation – click “Comments” to share your opinion!