Social media B2B opportunities get very little attention in an industry focused on reaching the masses—but businesses selling to businesses (B2B) is probably one of the best uses of social media.
Using Social Media B2B Research
Whether you sell to consumers or to business, social media offers some of the best research available. Just by passively reading timelines and searching for hashtags, you can quickly discover what your potential customers want. But it gets better: social media B2B sellers can follow their specific target customers to see what they’re interested in right now. For example, if you find and follow 10 CEOs in your target market, you’ll get regular updates about what’s on their mind so that you can either build solutions to their actual problems or so you can contact them at exactly the moment they’re thinking about a problem which your solution already solves.
Social Media B2B Decision Makers
Salespeople have long had the “secretary problem” when trying to contact potential buyers. The problem is that decision makers are often protected from interruption by non-decision makers. Whole books are devoted to the art of trying to get around secretaries and other barriers which isolate potential customers, but none of that matters on social media. On social media you can often contact your prospective customer directly. Of course, so can your competition, so you need to find a way to make your tweets or posts stand out from everyone else’s. The easiest way to do that is to develop a relationship before you make your pitch. Be the first to respond to your prospect’s announcements or questions; retweet or like his or her posts; mention him or her in your own posts to your fans and followers.
Social Media B2B Validation
Marketers have long known the power of external validation—getting a referral from previous customers or impartial experts. But social media lets you take this to a new level with relationship analysis. Relationship analysis is a fancy phrase for a simple concept. When you get a happy customer with a social media account, look at their followers and see if any of them are potential customers. Then tell them that so-and-so is a current customer and is happy with your product. But there’s more.
If there’s someone on social media who you absolutely want as a customer, but you don’t have the credibility to sell to them directly, you can reverse the procedure above. Find out who your ideal customer follows, find one of those friends or followers who would be a good customer for you, and offer them your solution at a reduced price. After you’ve turned them into a happy customer, you now can use their testimonial to approach with perfect credibility your ideal customer. That’s a huge win for social media B2B marketing.
Social Media B2B Management
Keeping a close eye on everything that is being shared on social media is important for your business success. There is no excuse for missing a customers question or even a complaint for that matter when you should be using social media management software. Now days business online is an open book and must be monitored 24 hours a day.
Social Media B2B Lemonade
But perhaps the best use of social media for B2B is turning lemons into lemonade. An unhappy customer can undo in minutes the credibility you earn from hundreds of happy customers—but if you react quickly, you can flip that unhappy customer into your brand’s biggest evangelist. All you need to do is make it known that you offer support on social media. When someone has a problem, let them contact you over social media, and then make it a priority to help them as quickly as possible. Not only do these support requests automatically promote your brand, but they’ll also showcase how good you are at making your customers happy. And happy customers are social media B2B gold. Image source:1