Making social media work for B2B selling.
In marketing for B2B selling, your real targets are not businesses, but people. People who are behind the purchase decisions process and have to be the focus of your social media efforts. With social media, there may be no specific targets. Basic premise is to build on the intangible aspects of your business, like branding and product expertise, through social media. While it is cost-effective, it still requires an investment of budget, professional resources, and most importantly, time.
Unlike the more popular methods of SEM and SEO, selling through the social media platform is less adopted because it requires patience. In order to create value for your customers, a tremendous amount of time needs to be spent to nurture them. Time spent helping your customers with key issues, guiding them towards smart decisions through insights and compelling perspectives become tremendously valuable to them.
By constantly working on providing content, the strength and value of your content will improve. The more content created, the more feedback the content will generate, eventually resulting in your customers receiving the content they need. Once your audience relies on your content, a community will form around your business, where interactions between your business and your customers take place.
Social media is powerful in the sense that it allows you to establish relationships with customers through interactions that allows for intimate mutual understanding that improves sales. This highly interactive engagement between customers and your business, enables the sales teams with higher quality leads than those generated via simple Facebook posts or LinkedIn ads. These high quality leads are usually generated through a trail of your business displaying subject matter expertise.
For example, a customer had a difficult industry related issue solved by your company, with the results display on a public platform like social media. Chances are, another business with the same issue will come across your solution, and will turn to you for your help in solving their problems.
This allows for a more focused, but softer selling approach towards your prospective customers. By engaging them through small conversations and shifting the conversation away from your business to your customers, your business can understand them and their needs better, leading to improved sales.Once customers get the service they demand, they will begin to trust your business as one that provides real value for their business, and will spread the word within their circle or industry. Once your customers start seeing the value created, they will be more inclined to return to your business, eventually becoming recurring income for your business.
According to Hot Wire PR, 1 in 4 decision makers turn to Facebook to look for information when they’re making a purchasing decision. The core reason is that they rely heavily on third party feedback and experiences when making purchase decisions—especially the opinions of their colleagues and peers—which they trust more than the companies they’re buying from.
When your business is deemed more reliable than the competition, word of it will spread to other potential customers allowing for quick follow-up sessions with them, instead of your business having to go through the traditional cold call approach. As of today, social media is not just a flash in the pan. It has become the norm—like cloud computing or digital transformation—and needs to be invested in by businesses big and small.
If budget is tight, your social media selling strategy can start with Facebook, as studies have shown that B2B decision makers prefer information from Facebook over Twitter or Linkedin. Regardless of the platform chosen, businesses need to ensure that social media is a staple in their sales and marketing budget, as it has an incredible high ROI if done right.
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