How to Choose the Right Social Media for B2B Marketing
Posted on July 26, 2013
Filed Under Brand Building, Facebook, General, Internet Marketing, LinkedIn, Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Networking, Social Networks, Traffic Building
In any B2B marketing strategy, the end goal is lead generation. The key to success lies in building credibility and asserting your leadership in a desired industry. Therefore, any B2B marketing strategy begins with a workable and solid social media plan. The brand will need a strong social media presence aligned with its B2B marketing strategy in terms of promise, value proposition and end goal.
The best social network for B2B marketing depends on the following factors:
1. The audience of the social site
2. Your target audience
3. Type of content on the social site
4. The purpose of the social site
5. The tone of the social site
Now, let us look at each of the leading social media networks to evaluate their features and suitability.
Google+ is rapidly escalating as a social site for businesses with over 350 million active users as of March earlier this year. This places Google+ ahead of several social networks including YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn in terms of the population of active users.
For businesses, Google+ has special advantages. Any content posted on Google+ can potentially rank higher in the SERPs. Feature-rich content like online videos and images embedded within written content also gains more exposure.
If you are using Google+ for B2B marketing, feeding content to your Google+ account from your YouTube channel or Pinterest board is a good idea. With Google’s social site, you can also create a business page.
Google’s Hangout application is yet another useful bonus for B2B marketing. Equipped with nothing more than a webcam and an audience, you can hold video conferences with business owners talking on Google+. Note that these video conferences can subsequently be published on YouTube.
The drawback when it comes to Google+ is that the social site is more of a content delivery system than a way for businesses to promote engagement.
LinkedIn is a social site that has plenty of what Google+ lacks. It is the perfect platform for businesses to build relationships with other businesses as well as customers. LinkedIn was, as a matter of fact, created to be a platform for business professionals to interact and in recent years, LinkedIn has reached 225 million active users in approximately 200 different countries.
The advantages of using LinkedIn for B2B marketing are several:
– Personal branding for business executives
– Sales development
– Business development and
– Marketing opportunities
The key to marketing success on LinkedIn is to use the social site daily to provide support for your connections. Also worth considering is the B2B advertising option on LinkedIn. A business can run an ad by a number of criteria including location, industry, company and other such demographics.
Twitter is the perfect social network for busy business professionals. Being a real-time information network, it is quite useful to get a message out there quickly and easily.
Over the web, B2B marketing can be boiled down to three components:
– A strong online presence
For all three components, Twitter can be useful.
Twitter is also a place on the web where news breaks. It is therefore THE best social media tool for covering live events such as tradeshows, conferences and conventions. The Twitter hashtag feature also makes it easy to search for particular subjects and speakers.
Non-written content like online videos when created with a brand and its target audience in mind can be an incredible tool for any business’s social media marketing strategy. YouTube, being a Google product and a video-serving platform is the best place for B2B marketers to post video content. Videos that are successful with the YouTube audience can go on to drive a sizeable number of inbound leads,
YouTube links are embeddable in written content posted on websites. This makes YouTube a very powerful B2B marketing tool. These links can also be used on the other social sites like Google+, Facebook and Twitter.
Last but not least, Facebook, which is the number 1 social network for B2C marketing can also be used as a B2B marketing tool. The social site can be used for online promotions and event management. An important B2B marketing feature of Facebook is the possibility for e-mail marketing opt-ins on the business pages of the social site.
With all of these social networks in mind, the best B2B marketing network is undoubtedly LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is, hands down, the best social platform for B2B marketing developed purely to promote B2B relationships. The other social sites are also all useful because of the value they add. They should definitely be in your B2B marketing toolbox.