We constantly see all sorts of tips and suggestions for implementing communication strategies and social media marketing for SME (small and medium-sized businesses). However, most of them tend to be aimed at companies whose clients are persons (B2C). The plot thickens when it comes to deciding what to do when your customers are other businesses (B2B).
If you are a B2B company you have to clarify your reasons for being in social networks and understand that what you do in the 2.0 world must also be framed in the Marketing Plan and therefore respond to your business strategy.
The first thing to figure out is where your customers or, rather, your partners in your customers are. That means you need to know where those partners are when acting as such (not in their private life). There is a high degree of probability that they are in LinkedIn (for example, according to data provided by this social network, in Spain there are over 3 million professionals with an active profile and growth prospects are spectacular). Participants in this network basically seek to develop their professional network. Therefore, you must ensure your key people is also there and your company has a well-defined and focused corporate profile. According to the research of ESTIC, 78% of Twitter accounts are using them for professional purposes.
A study by research firm Semiocast shows that UK is the fourth-largest country for Twitter users in the world. And many of them are using it for business… As in the previous case, you should ensure that key people in the relationship with your customers are active on Twitter. In many cases it is also advisable to open an official corporate account.
Make no mistake. It is very difficult to generate B2B business directly through social networks. However, through the actions already suggested above, you can significantly improve your networking. You can also work on improving the engagement between your brand and your customers. To do this, a good recommendation is to develop quality content relevant to them. As many social media gurus say "content is king". The best option is usually to create a blog that complements the information already provided in the company website. It is about offering quality content on a regular basis and a space for debate and conversation (indeed, in recent times is heard more and more "conversation is king").
The blog is a powerful tool to strengthen brand identity. Sometimes, your own employees may be those who generate the content. At other times, it should draw on a community manager who can help you with these tasks.
Slideshare, Youtube and Flickr
To complement the information posted on the blog and feed to Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, you can explore the possibility of publishing regularly in:
Slideshare: This is a social network where users share presentations and videos. Most of the contents are for professional purposes. You can upload in this network all presentations about products, services, etc. of your business.
Flickr: This is a network where you share pictures. There are plenty of opportunities to publish photographs here. For example, images of your last customer event, your products and facilities pictures, etc.
Youtube: As in the two previous cases, there are many opportunities to create audiovisual content in your company. Today, with a simple Smartphone, you can make a reasonable quality video to share with your stakeholders.
If your company sells to other companies and has not been raised to address a social media strategy, do not wait any longer and get to it soon. Remember the key is to offer relevant content to the customers and give them a reason to keep coming back and participating in your 2.0 different spaces. If you can get this, you will be greatly increasing the relevance of your brand. The business should come later.