The use of social media sites has been continually increasing, and this is expected to continue to grow further. As of 2017, 71% of all internet audiences use social media platforms. And by 2021, the total number of users on social media sites is expected to reach 3.02 billion.
Most B2C companies have been successfully utilizing social media platforms in their marketing strategy to grow their businesses for a long time. Given the popularity of social media platforms, there’s huge scope for B2B companies to leverage social networks too.
B2B companies need to use social media platforms to understand their potential customers. This can help them create social media campaigns to target the right people at right time.
However, each social media platform is very different and serves different purposes. So you need to understand the best B2B social networking sites individually in order to generate leads, and grow and expand your business.
In this post, we’ll take a look at 6 of the best B2B social networking sites to help you grow your business with successful social media campaigns. Let’s get started.
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LinkedIn is one of the most popular and widely used B2B social networking platforms today. It provides professionals and decision makers with an opportunity to connect with other professionals in their industry to learn and grow together.
With features that allow sharing of content, engaging with audiences, and recruiting talent, it’s a handy social media platform for B2B companies.
According to a CMI report, more than 95% of B2B companies use LinkedIn in their content marketing strategy. As of 2017, there are over 500 million members on LinkedIn. This presents a huge opportunity and indicates the social media marketing potential of this platform to positively impact your business.
What are the benefits of using LinkedIn as a B2B social network other than to boost brand awareness and generate leads? Let's take a look.
1. Reaching Decision Makers Easily
B2B sales are way more complicated than B2C as they usually involve multiple stakeholders and decision-makers. LinkedIn provides you with an easy way of connecting with such individuals directly. Such professionals are always looking for new, capable, and potential opportunities. So if you can engage them effectively, your job becomes a lot easier.
But, how can you find these professionals?
To find them, I recommend using Leadfeeder. This tool lets you find out which companies visited your website and through various sources. As a result, you’ll know which companies are following your brand on LinkedIn, and you can reach out to them and grow your brand online.
2. Promoting Product Launches
If you are a B2B company, LinkedIn is one of the best social media platforms for launching new products. More than 90% of B2B companies prefer LinkedIn for their product marketing.
Since most of your targeted audiences are present on LinkedIn, you can easily reach them. All you need to do is engage with them by posting interesting articles or ideas related to your industry. Once they are invested in your business, it becomes easier on your part to optimize your social media marketing strategy for when you launch and promote your new product.
3. Strengthening Relationships
LinkedIn is a great platform for social media marketing because it allows you to interact with other proficient professionals. It allows you to share your content, views, and/or opinions on relevant topics. This triggers reactions from your audiences and is a great way to kick-start a relationship.
It also allows you to initiate one-to-one interactions with fellow professionals. Keep posting interesting and relevant stuff at regular intervals. This will help you strengthen your relationships with your followers.
4. Expanding Your Horizons
LinkedIn provides you the opportunity to connect with other companies and professionals from the same industry. You can gain knowledge and learn their unique experiences by simply following and interacting with them. This will also keep you up to date about new trends in your industry.
With more than 300 million monthly active users, Twitter is a place to “see what’s happening.” According to a CMI report, 87% of B2B marketers use Twitter for social media marketing. And so, Twitter makes its way to the top B2B social networking platforms for implementing content marketing strategies.
The biggest obstacle with Twitter, however, is getting noticed by the right set of individuals or companies. By using relevant hashtags, you can combat this issue and increase your brand awareness. The more frequently you tweet, the greater are your chances of increasing your brand's visibility and awareness.
Here are some benefits of using Twitter for your B2B company:
1. Humanizing your Brand
You must humanize your brand in order to stand out among your competitors. Post tweets that trigger emotions and push your followers to start engaging with your content. Try to post attractive and appealing pictures, blog posts, or videos. Refrain from sending automated tweets as this will look spammy, and you don’t want that.
But, how can you find such content regularly?
It can be a challenge to find attractive content on a regular basis for your Twitter posts. However, tools like Crowdfire make content creation of this type very simple.
It helps you curate the best images and articles from across the web. You can also add any RSS feed you want and start curating from it right on the platform. The tool also lets you schedule and publish your content on Twitter so that you are always up to date and can grow your reach on it.
2. Getting Noticed
Twitter is one of the best B2B social networks to start conversations with your potential customers or other industry experts. However, make sure that you’re reaching out to relevant people and are consistently creating positive first impressions. You can even send personalized messages to your potential customers for better communication.
3. Increasing Engagement
Engaging with followers might seem like a tedious task but it is essential for your B2B company. It will help you gain the trust of your followers and encourage them to interact with you more often. And it will also help you position yourself as an expert, decision maker, and leader in your industry through relevant content sharing.
You can organize a Twitter poll to create engagement with your followers. You can even start a weekly hashtag campaign for your Twitter chat and ensure that you always reply to your followers. All such efforts can increase your follower engagement and generate leads.
Since the time of its inception, Facebook has evolved immensely – from adding new languages to introducing new exciting features. Facebook has come a long way in improving its user experience and providing opportunities for marketers to promote their businesses.
What’s more, you ask?
As of 2019, Facebook had nearly 2.5 billion monthly active users. So it is not surprising that the B2C companies are successfully using Facebook in their marketing strategy to promote their business. However, if you are under the impression that B2B companies don’t use Facebook for business, you are wrong.
42% of B2B marketers have admitted that Facebook is the most effective B2B social networking platform for their companies. Here are some of the main benefits of using Facebook as a B2B social networking platform:
1. Cost-Effective Strategy
Facebook is the most cost-effective social media marketing platform for B2B companies and is especially beneficial for small businesses or startups. You can promote your business and interact with your potential customers by creating a free Facebook page. You can run ads and promote your posts for a budget that you can decide for yourself.
But, how can you run ads?
You can choose to run ads using Facebook Ads Manager. However, I recommend using Brevo(formerly Sendinblue) for your marketing strategy. This comprehensive tool lets you design Facebook ads creatives, select your target audience, set your budgets, and even helps you track your campaign. Using the insights from the campaign, you can optimize it to improve your results.
2. Customer Support
If you have a presence on Facebook, that’s an added bonus to your customer service. Your business can easily receive queries from your customers and resolve them quickly and efficiently. This can increase customer satisfaction levels and help in strengthening relationships.
3. Increase Traffic to Your Website
Facebook allows you to add your website URL to your Facebook page. Your posts on the page can give your customers a glimpse of your products and other relevant information. This will encourage your potential customers to visit your website if they are interested in making a purchase.
4. Interact with Existing and Potential Customers
Facebook allows you to interact with your current as well as potential customers. It helps you convert your prospects into loyal customers through regular engagement.
You should mention your business contact details on your Facebook page so that customers can contact you easily. Interacting directly with customers creates a personal connection that strengthens the relationship.
When it started out, Instagram was meant to be a platform to share photos with friends and family. However, it has rapidly evolved beyond personal use and is being widely used by businesses today.
What’s more, you ask?
As of September 2017, Instagram has over 800 million monthly active users. According to a report by Simply Measured, 48% of brands are using Instagram for their social media marketing. It is expected that in the years to come, brands will increase their marketing strategy budgets for Instagram marketing.
Image Source – Statista
With features like live video, location tagging, and hashtags, B2B companies can capitalize on and grow their businesses on Instagram. On Instagram, you can showcase your human side. With user-generated content, you can build long-lasting relationships with your followers.
Let’s look at some of the reasons why Instagram is one of the best B2B networking channels:
1. Share Behind-the-Scenes with Your Followers
Your followers would love to see your work culture, office routines, and learn how you run your business. On Instagram, you can artistically smudge the lines between personal and professional. This will encourage your followers to learn more about your business and push them to visit your website.
To get the most out of your behind-the-scenes posts, you should post when most of your audience is active.
For this, you can use tools like Combin. It has a powerful Instagram post and Stories scheduler that publishes your content automatically when you want it to be published. This will ensure that you won’t miss out on publishing your content when it matters the most.
2. Leverage User-Generated Content
User-generated content (UGC) is a subtle way in which customers express their faith in the brand. For example, in the image below, an employee from IBM shares a photo showing off their beautiful office spaces. IBM simply re-posted it and received more than 3800 likes. Such strategies can help you grow your followers and engagement.
Image Source – Instagram
3. Increase Interaction by Using Hashtags
By using hashtags, you can increase interactions with your followers. Hashtags help you get discovered easily and are an important part of social media marketing. You can even encourage the use of branded hashtags in user-generated content. This increases your brand's visibility and awareness.
SlideShare is a renowned platform where documents and presentations can be shared. The platform is owned by one of the top B2B social networks – LinkedIn. 19% of B2B marketers use SlideShare for their content marketing strategies. SlideShare allows you to share infographics, videos, documents, and presentations.
As of 2017, there are more than 80 million professionals who use SlideShare. With such a user base, SlideShare definitely qualifies as a top resource for B2B companies. Let’s have a look at the benefits it provides.
1. Reach a Large Number of Professionals
SlideShare gives you an opportunity to interact with a large number of experts or professionals from your industry. The content posted by you is also accessible to them. So, this allows the exchange of knowledge as well.
2. Cost-Effective Social Platform
If you are a small business or have a shoestring marketing budget, SlideShare is the best platform for you. All you need to do is sign up using your email or by linking with your LinkedIn profile. It won’t cost you a dime to upload or download content from SlideShare.
3. It Improves your SEO
While uploading your presentation, document, or video, you should include relevant keywords in your content. Doing so ensures that your content shows up in the top results of search engines which helps your marketing strategy.
4. Easy to Measure
On SlideShare, you can easily keep an eye on the performance of your content. You can track the number of shares, comments, likes, and views generated from LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus. By evaluating your site analytics, you can examine the amount of traffic your website is generating through SlideShare.
Q1. What is a B2B social networking channel?
A. A B2B social networking channel is a social media platform that B2B companies can leverage in their social media marketing strategy to reach their potential customers and drive engagement and sales. These are different from traditional social media platforms as the audience is more B2B oriented than B2C.
Q2. Does social media work for B2B?
A. Yes, social media platforms do work for B2B businesses. However, you need to know your target audience well and leverage only those platforms where they’re present. The most popular B2B social media marketing platform is LinkedIn.
Q3. What are the best social media platforms for B2B businesses?
A. The best social media platforms for B2B businesses are:
Q4. What should I post on social media as a B2B brand?
A. Some of the different things that you can post on social media platforms as a B2B brand are:
- How-to guides
- Buying guides
- Industry reports
- Special offers/free trials
- Industry-related tips
Q5. How do you create a B2B social media marketing strategy?
A. To create a B2B social media marketing strategy, you can follow these steps:
- Identify your goals.
- Understand your target audience.
- Determine the best social media platform.
- Decide on a brand persona.
- Figure out the various team roles.
- Write the strategy.
Q6. What is the goal of social media marketing?
A. There can be many goals of social media marketing. The most common ones are:
- Growing your brand reach
- Increasing target audience engagement
- Boosting lead generation
- Growing sales and revenue
Q7. Where B2B marketers are winning on social media platforms?
A. B2B marketers are winning on LinkedIn and Facebook. These two channels have proven to be great channels for B2B marketers to boost their social media presence and brand awareness.
Q8. How to use social media to drive traffic for B2B companies?
A. To drive traffic to your website, you can:
- Share links to your blog posts.
- Add links to your product pages.
- Regularly share content to get people to visit your company page.
- Run paid promotions.
- Share links to ebooks.
- Launch webinars.
Ready to Grow Your B2B Business?
B2B companies have realized the power and the potential of social media platforms. When done correctly, these B2B social networks platforms can boost your business by increasing your brand’s visibility and social media presence. There is no better way of gaining customers’ trust and building relationships than using social platforms.
However, you need to ensure that you post the right type of content on the right platforms. You must tweak your social media marketing strategy according to the social media sites you are using or planning to use.
Can you think of any other B2B social networks to grow your business? Let me know in the comments below.