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Social Media and the B2B Marketer

Social media channels represent a proven way for businesses to reach out to consumers, but many manufacturers and contractors remain skeptical of its potential in B2B marketing success.

The truth is, social networks can add value to your company’s B2B efforts and its bottomline. Let's take a look at a few channels and discuss how they can help.

B2B marketing by Fortune 500 companies on Facebook is not new, yet it is getting more common among small- and mid-size businesses. In 2016, 30 percent of B2B marketing professionals said they rely on Facebook as the focus on their social media campaigns, while 41 percent cited LinkerIn. Facebook is a powerful platform in social media because of the sheer numbers of users, the engagement levels and the targeting possible for paid placements. With 1.55 billion users on Facebook and over 1 billion users active each day, your audience is likely on Facebook.One of the strongest and highest return-on-investment (ROI) factors is the Facebook re-targeting that allows you to show ads only to people that have visited your website. Even if your business is not depending on lead generation from a business page, not being on Facebook means not showing up in the largest social-media conversation on the planet. However, to make Facebook work for you, you must not try to fool your audience. You must be willing to be honest, vulnerable and transparent. Facebook rewards a certain rawness that we were never taught to use in business school.

LinkedIn is focused on developing business relationships, making it a natural place to begin B2B marketing. If your business doesn’t have a company profile on LinkedIn, it’s missing out on excellent connection opportunities. LinkedIn company profiles highlight products, services and available job opportunities, facilitating outreach to new talent and partners. Develop an active presence on your company page by posting press releases, relevant blogs, corporate literature and event announcements. This will increase your brand’s visibility and engage business users. Marketers can also take advantage of paid promotions through LinkedIn Ads that target specific demographics, industries and locations, capturing new leads.

Google+ is important for B2B marketing primarily because of the network’s SEO implications. Establishing a detailed company page and maintaining an active presence can boost your company’s placement in organic Google search rankings, promoting the visibility and credibility of your brand.

Businesses shouldn’t discount the power of Twitter in regard to B2B communication. It may be a fast-paced, short-form communication channel, but that enables businesses to make consistent, repeated impressions on other industry members. Business professionals are active on Twitter, using the network to discover industry news, events and other relevant content. The expansive nature of Twitter makes it a great place to develop new business connections.

Are there benefits to spending time and resources on Pinterest when you're a B2B company? Possibly. Here are a few recommended strategies to maximize its impact for your brand. Pin a board for company infographics; boards featuring products/services; a board for blog posts; a board for email newsletters; boards for employees; boards for case studies; boards for webinars/slideshares; boards for white papers; boards for videos; boards highlighting customers of the month; boards for events; boards about life at the company; boards for direct mail pieces; and boards for portfolio items. Pinterest has been growing in importance in the ecommerce world, and while that may be mainly at the B2C level, there's no reason to think that there isn't great potential for B2B commerce as well..

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