B2B Social Media Marketing
Four Ways that B2B Social Media Marketing Builds Brands and Generates Leads
You want to build strong, risk-averse brands to support inbound lead generation? B2B social media marketing can help, since it provides an avenue for any company, not just large enterprise businesses, to build strong brands.
Here are four important ways that social media builds brands:
1. Social media increases brand awareness. It lets you easily and effectively share and publish your company's best practices and expertise on B2B social media marketing, without the requirement of getting past "gatekeepers", such as editors. Social media makes peers of these gatekeepers, and the content quality and ideas determine what gets promoted. Great content can be distributed widely. When prospects read it, they also learn about your company and solutions you have to offer.
2. B2B social media marketing builds reputation as a thought leader. And, thought leadership content is an excellent way to build your brand, as well. Prospects trust thought leaders who can demonstrate an understanding of their problems and show them how to solve them. Although a reputation of thought leadership will never mitigate risk as well as referrals, it's an easy way to build brand awareness and increase the prospects of a response to future demand-generation efforts.
3. B2B social media marketing encourages promoters. Word of mouth referrals is the best way to generate leads - prospects trust them from their peers instead of other sources or channels. Fred Reichheld and Bain found that companies with higher Net Promoter Scores grow more than 2.5x than their competitors. B2B social media marketing helps create promoters in the following three ways:
- B2B Social media marketing helps people share the, "remarkable expectation-beating experiences" they experience with your organization. This can be donate through reviews on external sites (such as the salesforce.com AppExchange), responding to inquiries on LinkedIn groups or Twitter, commenting on your own community site, or through other outlets that customers use to interact with other prospects.
- Social media can create experiences that people want to talk about. A good piece of writing, a funny or informative video, a useful tool are some of the things that people may want to share with others. Although it doesn't promote your solution openly, there is a "spillover" effect that gives credence to your organization.
- Social media makes it easy to share on your website (e.g., one click share), and it makes the referrals more relevant because the links are shared by trusted friends or coworkers.
4. B2B social media marketing can improve your SEO ranking. Buyers typically trust the websites with the top ranks on a search engine. Even if they don't fully comprehend the mechanics of ranking, prospects do get the wisdom of crowds is at work behind the scenes. Since inbound linking is like a currency. B2B social media marketing plays a pivotal role in increasing your organic rank - as a source of links through the blog, and as a way to promote your own content and encourage other relevant inbound links.
The action item for marketers here is simple - take some of the budget that normally allocated to trade shows, lists and other lower-performing demand-generation vehicles, and reallocate to generating relevant content and the efforts to promote them. By sharing your company's expertise in social media, you improve broad awareness and affinity for the brand.