It seems that many B-2-B companies are finding it rather tough to gain and retain followers on social media. Usually, the owners will look to interact with influential people, who are most likely to take crucial buying decisions on behalf of the business entities they target. But what exactly is needed to ensure a successful social media marketing initiative?
Challenges B-2-B companies face
- As the experience of most B-2-B site owners suggest, social networking is perfect for their demographic and user profile. However, it may take quite a while for their kind of target audience to attract and make the person to commit to an actual purchase decision.
- Catering to the products and niche services they provide involve significant amount of money. In many cases, more than one person is involved in this intricate process, which only elongates it.
Small B-2-B companies can employ LinkedIn.com to aggressively market themselves in a focused manner. There are other niche networking platforms for specific businesses and industry that they can use to narrow their marketing efforts.
Share expertise and domain knowledge
Sharing business insight, latest industry specific news, user friendly information or technical advice on networking sites is another way for B-2-B companies to showcase their expertise and domain knowledge. A business-consulting firm located in Princeton, N.J., uses Twitter and posts regular blog updates. According to John Lopez-Ona, the president of Six Sigma Qualtec Inc., it’s more about building mutually beneficial and lasting relationships.
Take the case of Eloqua Ltd. This marketing-software company based in Vienna, Va. charges a yearly fee between $15,000 and $800,000 for its technology. Through regular posting of status updates on industry trends and other related topics to its Facebook and Twitter profiles has allowed it to stay ‘top of mind’ among clients, according to its chief executive, Joe Payne. He quips: “There is no doubt what we do on social media generates leads; it drives people to our site. And we can see exactly where they’re coming from.”
Run innovative marketing campaigns
B-2-B entities can also run special marketing campaigns on the popular social media sites, including contests with attractive prizes to winners, to create a buzz. A web based office-supply retailer in Atlanta recently launched an interesting initiative. It committed 25 cents for a charitable cause every time a user posted an update on Twitter or Facebook mentioning it. According to its chief executive and co-founder Miles Young, the emphasis is on word of mouth.
However, such critical tasks and strategies need to be executed as part of a holistic strategy. They also need regular monitoring and fine tuning to ensure an effective your social media strategy. A dedicated team of specialists need to be in charge of the social media marketing of a B-2-B company to make it work effectively and successfully.