There’s an old myth that B2B companies don’t belong on social media. (“It’s all cat memes. We’re a serious company. We can’t be on that.”)

Not true, grasshopper.

Here’s a quick quiz to see if your business should be on social media, even if you’re a B2B company:

  1. Is your competition on social media? (The answer is yes. If they’re smart.)
  2. Are your customers on social media? (Yup. they’re there too. 2.8 billion on FB, 760 million on LinkedIn, 330 million on Twitter, 1 billion on Instagram.)

In other words, if your business deals with PEOPLE, then they’ll be on social media. And so should you.

It gets better. Studies have shown that 75% of B2B buyers and 84% of executives use social media to make decisions. Your business customers and potential partners are on social media RIGHT NOW looking for reviews, opinions, connections, referrals. 

The old adage ‘people buy from people’ is true, especially in B2B, where purchases are often the start of a long term business relationship, rather than a one time transaction.

That’s Reason #1 for B2B customers to be on social media: you get more influence. Having a powerful presence on social = more influence and authority, which equals larger purchases and less friction in the sales process

Why Else?

Social insights. Aka: what are people saying about you and your competitors?

The gossip around the water cooler space has gotten rather large these days. And it’s distributed across various channels.

If you want to know how your company is perceived by others, social media lets you listen in on conversations. An aggregator like Hootsuite can help you gather intel on where you need to brush up on your company’s image, and where you’re going strong.

Listening to the chatter online about your industry also gives you a way to jump in, offer advice and build connections.

Find your People

Now you’re convinced even B2B companies need to go social, let’s get into the nitty gritty. Let’s say you’re publishing awesome content, positioning yourself as an authority and trusted advisor…but you’re putting all your best stuff on 4Chan.

Not a good plan.

You need to go where your people are. For most businesses, the obvious choice is LinkedIn, followed by Facebook. However, it does vary, depending on your business. Highly visual businesses (photography, design) may be better suited to Instagram or Pinterest. Thought leadership and high level consultancy may be a better fit for Twitter. Youtube is a brilliant channel for explaining technical subjects and product demonstration.

Now is the time to put on your research hat and go see. The most efficient ways to do this are:

  • Just ask. Survey your customers about where they hang out online
  • Go look for your customers on different platforms
  • Scope out your competition’s social media – where do they appear to have the most traction?

Don’t just jump in – sit around and plan

It’s not enough to simply Do Social Media!

That’s fine if you’re a private individual wanting to check Gran’s still alive and waste time on cat memes. B2B social media needs to be strategic.

That means you begin with the end in mind.

Before posting any content, make a plan that clarifies:

  • What are your business goals? (aka what does success look like?) 
  • What metrics will show you’ve achieved that goal?

…And then work backward from that point to outline the steps that will get you there.

This usually takes the form of a content marketing plan, a publishing calendar, and a schedule for social media reports to keep you on track.

Don’t be Boring

“We, the company that manufactures high quality, corporate, blah blah blah…”

Click! That’s the sound of your customer moving on to something more interesting.

Just because you’re a B2B company that doesn’t mean you can’t have personal, opinionated, interesting marketing. In fact, that’s exactly what you should aim for. The No.1 crime in any media is being boring. Social media more so than most.

Holly Chen, the former Group Growth Marketing manager for Slack, puts it well: “Ultimately, when we market to a business we’re still talking to a person,” she says.

Scroll down any LinkedIn news feed. If your content doesn’t stand out like a clothed person at a nudist convention, you’re being ignored. So get interesting.

How to be interesting on social media

Ahem. So glad you asked.

So (drumroll) here’s the secret…

…It’s not about you.

Yes, really. It’s that simple. If you’re talking to your audience on social media, you need to engage with what interests them.<

Even if you sell a widget so boring it would put a caffeine infused toddler to sleep, your customers will listen to you if you talk about what interests them, what concerns them, what will make their lives better.

At Drizzle Digital, we love dreaming up campaigns that dazzle customers and unlock the power of social media for your business. It’s our happy place.

If you’re a B2B company that wants to become a social media powerhouse, let’s talk!