The idea of using social media to engage with potential customers is nothing new. Yet despite the number of statistics supporting social media’s influence on business growth and brand loyalty, there’s a prevailing misconception that social media is only for B2C brands.
The truth is, digital communications platforms can have an equally positive impact on B2B business goals. While B2B companies have been slower to grasp the power of social media in connection to their product and service offerings, 2014 was a pivotal year, as social media adoption grew within the B2B sector.
According to a compilation of 2014 social media statistics from Business 2 Community, 87% of B2B brands use social media to engage audiences, with 76% of those companies maintaining blogs. What’s more is B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads than those who don’t.
As the traditional marketing landscape continues to evolve, B2B brands that embrace social media and adopt new ways of doing business will thrive in today’s digitally connected society. If you’re curious as to how social media can become an extension of your current communications program, consider the following social media tactics for B2B brands:
- Relationship building: Social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, are a digital Rolodex of professional connections. Imagine how much stronger your sales force would be if they were trained on how to use digital communication platforms, such as LinkedIn Groups, to scout for prospects, build relationships with referral sources and generate qualified leads.
- Thought leadership: Social media enables brands to become publishers and exercise thought leadership within their respective industries. With the ability to produce and distribute company news, milestones and successes, organizations can create ongoing touch points with their target audiences. The result is a client nurture program that keeps key audiences in the loop.
- Recruiting: Keeping your pipeline filled with promising potential hires is key for sustaining business growth. Companies are beginning to explore non-traditional ways of engaging employees and leveraging social media platforms to attract, and even scout, top talent.
There are several social media applications that align with broader B2B business goals. While such efforts are definitely a long-term play for brands, they can add an incredible amount of value to any communications program.