The Best Social Media Applications for Business Marketing
Contrary to what one
might expect, the presence of companies or brands aiming at B2B (business to
business) via social media is not so incongruous. It is actually much easier to manage,
provided you do not try to recreate the paradigms used with your private (non
business) consumers (unless businesses are your primary/only consumer).
What characterizes B2B
companies that use social media, is the presence of an ecosystem; an informal
community of interest around products, brands and services. What a software company, an aircraft
manufacturer or a manufacturer of electronic components have in common, is that
there is a sale that is a complex dynamic process with many
stakeholders, including distributors, suppliers, consultants, customers,
analysts, partners, etc. Social media
allows you to animate your ecosystem to provide regular information, which is
necessary for the sales processes’ correct functioning. You may give new product announcements, demonstrations,
brochures, customer interviews, and reports of events. Any occasion is good ground for an
announcement, and unlike traditional communication channels, social media is
relatively inexpensive, and non intrusive (such as marketing mail and emails). They use paperless methods that often require
very little sustained attention.
Business to business is conducted very well via
the professional social networks like LinkedIn.
Facebook is good, but don’t make it your primary jumping off point. Use it as a medium for keeping others
informed on your business, a little like an online newsletter. This social network is playful, not conducive
to serious business talk. With very few
exceptions, it is unlikely that you will succeed in reaching your preferred
business market on this space, unless you are contacting them though their
Facebook pages. Perhaps, maybe reaching
the other business’s staff individually, but again, don‘t make it your primary
business contact medium.
For selling business to business for complex items, maybe you should try a
blogging platform, or portal that references all blogs with experts on your
products. What about a social network
that will put you in contact with research and development departments and
Unlike public networks, on which a cohort of bloggers are looking for the
latest scoop, and will come down hard upon the slightest slip, there is little
chance that you will experience a "bad buzz" if your customers are
companies. They simply have better
things to do than tweet infinitely about small computer problems you
experienced two years ago. Another
company is not going to post bad comments about you because your phone lines
went down last week, because chances are that they have had the same happen to
them at some point.
Yet despite all these advantages, few B2B companies dare to approach on the
social web. If you are clever, then you
could use this little gap in business communication to your advantage. I mean, wouldn’t it be a competitive advantage
if you have yet another means of reaching your business customers over the
means that your competitors have?