Is it possible to use the internet and social media for B2B?

Creating relevant content is already difficult: for B2B, it could be even more challenging.

When we talk about social media, a very common subject is analytics, metrics, ROI, leads and viral content, among so many others. However, we all know that, more than using the analysis tools, there is a primary question that needs to be addressed: the content generation itself.

When content creation is focused on consumers we need to reflect on lifestyle, expectations, needs, motivation, etc. But how do you target an industry formed by companies, when we need to talk to a small, skilled and specific group of buyers that don’t have much emotional connection to the buying decision?

The main characteristic of the B2B industry is a low emotional involvement in the buying process – the person is purchasing for the company, not themselves. Price is always a main consideration in anyone’s buying decision, but for this target, it is even more relevant. Buyers and managers usually have savings targets and they negotiate high volumes in terms of money, products, and contracts.

Another difference in B2B is that you target your client during working hours, not during the lunch break, and even less during the weekends. How can you assure at least minimal success in social media with a scenario like that?

Firstly, you need to keep in mind that there is no magic spell to manage B2B social media. After all, every business is unique. When we talk about business between companies we are dealing with commodities, outsourcing contracts, high technology equipment, bids and much more.

Secondly, you need to understand exactly who your target is. The decision-makers inside your client company could be people that work in human resources, engineers, doctors, pharmacists, etc. It’s a common mistake to think that, when generating content, you need to focus exclusively on business. The people you are targeting may be primarily professionals, but they are also individuals with their own interests, distinct from the company as a whole. We are not saying you that you need to go viral and start sharing cats pics with your clients in your professional medium! But you can think outside the box and relate professional content that is interesting to them, mixing with broader content and your own branding.

The third step is to align the themes to the local and global branding strategy. What, in essence, does your company sell: Innovation? Efficiency? Reliability? This statement needs to be very clear in every single aspect of your communication because it will be the ultimate guideline to your company’s positioning. Nowadays, B2B advertising is full of traditional and artificial language, emblazoning the product’s features. And if your product or service doesn’t have anything truly unique to sell, don’t try to make something up. Be honest with yourself, take a look around your company, and start to communicate the strengths that you actually have and the ones that you are working towards achieving. As a rule, the B2B product market is usually similar, and if there is no clear differentiation between companies, any advertising effort will go unnoticed.

The next step is to sit together with the sales team, make a list of potential clients and set up a strategy for how to approach them to open this communication channel.

Ultimately, the key step (and this could actually be the first one as well), is to be aware that more than B2B or B2C, when we talk about social we should be talking about H2H – human to human.

Silvia Oshiro
Marketing Communications Manager
& BRains Co-Founder

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