In Part 1 of our Blog “The Relationship Between Social Media Marketing and B2B Companies” we examined the “need to haves” versus the “nice to haves” when it comes to B2B social media. We also took a look at how a company’s social media assets such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube are rapidly moving into the NEED TO HAVE category. In part 2 of our blog we are going to dive right in and explain why enhancing your web presence using social media will ultimately lead to making a sale.
The most important takeaway from part 1 of this blog was: When B2B companies have a social media presence, their existing customers and potential new customers have more ways to find information. Part 2 of this blog is all about how we optimize what happens after existing customers and potential new customers find that information.
THE ESSENCE OF A SALE
You can’t begin to sell until your customer raises an objection. Therefore listening is the key to making a sale. By listening to your audience and using good questions, your salespeople will have a better, easier, simpler way to convince someone to change their position. This process is the beginning of your relationship with a new customer. Any professional sales person will agree that the most powerful weapon for making a sale is listening and getting to know your potential customers so you can establish a trustworthy relationship.
BUILDING A RELATIONSHIP
Because trustworthy relationships turn into sales, B2B companies need to develop relationships. Social media helps you develop new relationships quickly, easily and on a much grander scale than any other form of media, but like in any relationship, there are rules.
THE RELATIONSHIP RULES OF SOCIAL MEDIA
- Find and share great content.
- Add value by educating your audience.
- Post fresh and relevant content for others to share.
- Communicate. Answer questions posted to your social media channels quickly.
- Listen. Don’t just broadcast your message.
- Learn, influence, and participate in conversations.
- Dedicate time and resources to your social media efforts.
- Be trustworthy without misrepresenting yourself. Never abuse or misuse social media.
- Monitor your social media interactions and use what you learn to optimize future campaigns.
- Commitment. Stay the course and grow your social media presence.
Your existing customers and potential new customers share a lot of information online; by using your social media assets you can monitor and listen to what they are saying. Overtime and with an ever growing social community, you will be able to honestly engage in a two-way conversation with existing customers and potential new customers. Once you have developed a trustworthy relationship within your social community you will have a much easier time telling your audience about how your products and your services solve their problems or satisfy their needs.
MAKING THE CONNECTION
Making the right connection with the right potential customers is what really separates mediocre B2B social media from great B2B social media. While research suggests that Facebook is the best social media platform for B2C sales, and LinkedIn is the best social media platform for B2B sales, there should be no limit to which channels your business uses to connect with existing customers and potential new customers. Blogs and live chats on other websites are also great places to make connections. All B2B companies need to find where your target audience is having conversations (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook) and have a presence there too. Once you have found where your target audience is having conversations and establish your social media presence, all companies must engage the individuals that match your existing customers profiles.
CONNECTION TIP: You can easily conduct a search on most social networking platforms or use a tool like socialmention.com to find out who’s talking about your industry or using keywords that relate to your products and services.
Acknowledge when someone in your social community says something bright or helpful. Comment on existing customers and potential new customer’s statuses and posts. Reply to their tweets, “retweet” them and answer a question or share something they say with your social community. By contributing to their conversations you add value to their network and further strengthen your relationship with them. This little gesture and engagement leads to natural reciprocity and a relationship in which both sides agree to do something similar for each other; you follow them and for they follow you back, you retweet them and they retweet you. Ultimately this grows your social media community organically which in turn increases your company’s overall web presence.
SEAL THE DEAL
When social media campaigns are executed correctly, social media will drive conversations that boost your company’s relationships with existing customers, while expanding your reach to new customers. If you take the time to invest in a social media strategy and plan you can build a greater web presence for your company, improve your search engine results organically and create better opportunities for making a sale. You need to really listen to what your customers and potential customers are saying on social media. Listening can open doors and start a conversation without having to make a single cold call. When you listen and engage your target audience in a conversation they are already having, and share content and provide content and solutions to their challenges your social community will know you care about them and will be more receptive to you and your company when the time comes to seal the deal.
If you liked this Blog and want to learn even more about “The Relationship Between Social Media Marketing and B2B Companies” Download Our FREE whitepaper “How to Enhance Your Internet Presence with Social Media” or check out any of our other FREE resources in our Marketing Resource Library.
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