How to Start Social Media Activities in B2B Sector?

photo credit: Cakehead LovesIt can be tricky to start with social media activities in B2B companies if the traditional communication strategies work fine, and also taking into consideration the specifics of communication in this environment mentioned in my previous post. You will have to overcome the management skepticism and prepare yourself for a challenging strategic planning.

At the same time, even though you can be very positive about this channel of communication, you should not drop all the existing communication activities in favor of social media, no matter how attractive this may seem to you.

Image Credit: Cakehead Loves (cc)

 

If you are only in the beginning of your social media path, here are the 4 simple ways for B2B companies to start with Social Media:
(source: Jeffrey L. Cohen “4 Ways to Integrate B2B Social Media into Marketing Plans”)

  1. Create a Social Website
    A B2B website is the most likely destination for the prospects and customers with any campaign. A call-to-action from any source drives a visitor to the website for more information, to download a white paper or ebook, or even to contact a sales rep. The first thing you need to make sure is that your website supports the marketing campaign. Whether you have a landing page for the specific offer, or just a clear path from the home page, make sure they can find what they are looking for. Making your website social includes providing other remarkable content, usually on a blog, allowing visitors to share and spread your content, and links to your social profiles, along with what visitors can expect when they follow or like your company.
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External Communication: Social Media in B2B environment

image credit: B2B MarketingBusiness-to-business and business-to-customer communication strategies are different. Some say that communication is communication and whether you are targeting with your communication end consumers or business decision makers, you are still simply communicating to people, and that’s it.

However, people buying a product for personal use vs. purchasing for their company are very different types of customer. The purchase motivation is different and they need different information in order to make the decision to buy. Using customer-focused strategies in B2B environment will make the company lose money, and in the worst case, – lose customers.

Image credit: B2B Marketing

Laura Lake writes: “when you market to a B2B you will realize these businesses work hard to streamline the buying process in order to save time and money. This often explains why a B2B purchase is based more on logic and why a consumer’s purchase is based more on emotion.”

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Social Media in Internal Communications

photo credit: Krishna DeInternal communication is the function responsible for effective communication or trade among participants within an organization (source: Wikipedia).

Lee Hopkins in his blog define internal communication as “a subset of effective business communication, which is built around this simple foundation: communication is a dialogue, not a monologue… Internal Communication, in a business context, is the dialogic process between employees and employer, and employees and employees.” (Source: Lee Hopkins “What is Internal Communication”)

Principles of internal communication in B2B and B2C environment are pretty the same; the complexity of the topic is the only difference. B2C companies are building both on their brand and the image of their products, while B2B companies are more about their brand and reputation (compare the hotness of such communication topics as steam turbine service vs. super car service).

photo credit: Krishna De (cc)

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