By Ricardo Rocha, Marketing & Communication Director at Noesis
Initially, a widespread bet by brands focused on the B2C business, platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, among others, are increasingly powerful positioning (and business!) tools for B2B companies. Social selling is increasingly a reality. And in this sense, I identify four fundamental reasons why B2B companies should invest heavily in social networks.
1. Social networks increase customer awareness of the organization
B2B companies should use social media channels as the foundation of any content marketing strategy. These are preferred channels to address the main "pains" of your customers' business and present the solutions and projects associated with your offer. Through the publication of talks, e-books, newsletters, infographics, reports, and other content, it's possible to reinforce the brand's credibility, positioning it as an expert in the field.
Likewise, an intelligent gated content strategy, combined with digital campaigns with promoted and highly targeted content (promoted/paid posts), will make a difference in attracting new leads and developing the business. In this way, social platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and especially LinkedIn, must be seen as essential for the growth of B2B companies and must be central to their marketing strategies.
2. Social networks are crucial, both for attracting and retaining talent
The stakeholders of an organization, in most cases, use social networks both professionally and personally. Therefore, it's essential to define and implement employer branding strategies that include these communication channels.
As far as talent retention is concerned, it's essential to give them a voice on the company's social networks, whether through the promotion of articles of their own, through their participation in workshops, lectures, and talks, or through initiatives focused on sharing experience and the day-to-day of the organization.
In this way, we can value our professionals and promote their personal brand and recognition in the market, with obvious benefits for their motivation and engagement with the organization. At the same time, by positioning your talents as specialists in a specific topic in the market, you will also indirectly reinforce the brand's credibility with potential customers.
In terms of attraction, on the one hand, employees are the best "vehicle" to spread your brand's value proposition as an employer (employee value proposition) and position the company as an attractive organization for new talent. On the other hand, by disclosing and sharing its culture, environment, and internal initiatives and the projects it develops, and the clients it works with, it is also positioning itself in the market as a relevant company and gaining credibility with candidates or potential candidates.
3. Business partners are on social media
According to a study by Facebook, social media marketing helps B2B companies effectively collaborate with their trading partners, as business executives are 74 percent more likely to be present on social media.
Business users use social platforms – especially LinkedIn – to coordinate activities, build social connections, create a network, and generate trust. LinkedIn is, nowadays, the largest online platform for business and business networking. How can you not explore it?
4. Social networks are the gateway to the company's website
Social networks can promote a particular organization in several ways. Firstly, by sharing new and disruptive projects on their social media pages, companies can build a positive reputation with their followers, becoming opinion leaders in the market where they operate.
On the other hand, by increasing brand reputation, social networks are often the first contact of prospects with the company and a "gateway" to your website. Much of the traffic to a corporate website comes from social networks. An effective branded content strategy will exponentially increase website visits and requests for contact/information about your products and services.
In this way, the benefits of social media for any business are evident, even for B2B businesses with long and complex sales cycles. This is especially true if we consider these channels as an effective lead generation and nurturing tool (and not simply as a communication channel where generic and insipid posts are made). A consistent content marketing strategy, based on the availability of relevant content, "delivered" at the right time, to the correct targets, and through the proper channels, makes all the difference and is fundamental in the lead journey. Using social media makes perfect sense, being an effective channel in any of the "stages of the funnel", whether in the awareness/education phase (top of the funnel), consideration (middle of the funnel), or purchase (bottom of the funnel).