Social media has been openly and successfully utilised by lots of consumer brands to promote their products to their target audience. What better way to reach out to the consumer than making a top brand readily available to communicate with their community and build goodwill towards their brand and product?
When it comes to marketing departments in B2B companies however, they are often less quick to adopt the different methods of social media available to them. Their first argument would often be whether social media is effective in actually reaching business buyers. Do B2B products and services make the same connection with buyers that a solely consumer brand might do?
Strategies used by businesses connecting directly with the consumer such as social media competitions, ‘checking in’ and receiving discounts, and other similar initiatives generally tend to have no worthwhile use in a B2B world.
With that all said, social media is an important part of B2B marketing. B2B buyers can implement social media tools throughout their purchasing journey. Problem solving and content in the research stages can all be achieved and supplied via social media. Customer experience confirmation and comparisons of both products and vendors are also vital sources of information during the purchasing journey that social media can deliver if used correctly.
Where trade publications and industry analysts can offer a more official line of reporting and commentary – social media in the form of bloggers can provide real hands on opinion based on direct experience in dealing with the relevant parties.
Therefore, although the general use and methodology of the use of social media in a B2B company might often be completely different to that used in a consumer facing environment, it still offers invaluable uses, particularly as a resource where you can find information and opinion based on actual experience of dealing with the relevant parties. B2B companies need to utilise social media as the buyer is using it, and they will most likely expect you as the vendor to be using it as well.