May 17, 2012 | By:

Social Media for B2B

It’s an incredible challenge to manage social media for business-to-business (B2B) customers and quantify their return on investment. B2Bs, especially small businesses, need to have someone working in-house on sales to build personal relationships, but how can they also utilize social media to drive interest and customers?

By definition, the target in B2Bs is other businesses- the lead could be the secretary of an important company or a top executive. Whoever it is, they are scouting out information to use in their business’ day-to-day life. Because of this, we have to handle them differently by positioning our client as the expert in their field. This strategy is not always about the direct sale of the product, but rather establishing a relationship between the client, their community, and their industry.

Social media for B2Bs must focus on the broader spectrum: organizations the client belongs to, governing bodies, associations, memberships, etc. We have to engage and interact with them while also indirectly targeting their consumers, who can become major advocates even if they aren’t the direct target.

One of the biggest challenges for a creative agency (like Ilfusion) is that we must perform research and get to know the client’s industry: how their business works, who are the major players, and how best to reach them. Our job to reach the target audience, being in the right place at the right time when those targets need our client’s products.

Populating social media platforms and blogs is extremely important in B2B marketing because writing original content is the key to setting the business as the ultimate expert. Through blogs and social media, we establish a relationship between our customer’s business and the industry. Social media helps drive traffic to their blogs and websites. Even if someone isn’t looking for them at one specific time, chances are that later down the road they will and we want our customer’s business to come to their mind.

In the end, measuring ROI is extremely difficult for B2B clients, but once you have established a metric system for measuring reach, engagement, and interaction, you can factor in numbers like cost per lead, creative time to develop messaging, engagement time, and monitoring time, all of which will show a return on social media investment.

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