Content Discovery Smackdown: Hootsuite vs. Buffer vs. KloutContent Marketing Minds: Ingredients of the Tastiest Content [Nutrition Label]From the Corn Field to the Digital Era: Content Marketing Starts with TrustContent Marketing: Is 2014 Really Shaping Up to Be the Year of Video?
Your Customers Aren’t Listening! How to Create Consumer Dialogue that Converts4 Tools for Nonprofit Social Listening and Reputation ManagementThe Promising Role of Social Listening in Treating Health IssuesThe Importance of Social Listening for Brands
- Public Relations
Facebook Testing a Way for Users to Buy Products on the Platform7 Website Tips to Attract More Shoppers to Your PagesHow eCommerce, Augmented and Virtual Reality Will Redefine the Retail ExperienceSearch Query Analysis to Increase eCommerce Website Conversions
- Content Marketing
Technology & Data
Social Startups: Bizible Connects All the Dots from Marketing Contributions to RevenueCreating the Perfect Profile for Your Social Media Marketing EffortUsing GPS and Localization for Social AnalyticsAnalytics and Prospect Intel: Discovering Your Ideal Prospect
- Big Data
- Tech & Innovation
3 Security Risks You’re Taking Every Day While Using Social MediaShould the President Have the Power to "Pull the Plug" on the Internet?How Safe is Your WordPress Website From Hackers and Other Malicious Attacks?
- Software & Tools
- Small Business
- Social Organization
Celebrating the Grand Re-Launch of Social Media Today! SBH Podcast Episode 8Why Should You Care If Your Employees Are Thought Leaders?Beyond Engagement: The Art of Managing Social-Media Risk in Employee Advocacy
Why All-in-One Social Media Management Systems Don't Cut It for Social Customer ServiceWhat You Should Know About Customer, Digital, and Contextual ExperienceSurging into Q3: How to Make It Better Than Q2Is How You Serve Your Customers Costing You Business?
Join us September 15th in Atlanta for The Employee Advocacy Summit and learn how to unleash the power of your employees.
Post your event here and we'll share it with our community. If one of our members is featured, we'll promote as well on their profile.
- Marketplace & Webinars
The SMT Marketplace
Your resource for exclusive content and insights from Social Media Today, and opportunities to reach our community of professionals.
The Social Business Book Club brings you books, discussions, and insights from today's to business thought leaders.
Join interactive talks and and panel discussions with leading thinkers and practitioners on social media and networked business, or browse the catalogue of recorded sessions - all completely free.
Reach Social Media Today's community of marketing and communications professionals in an editor-approved context with a native advertising package.
How to Choose the Best B2B Social Media Marketing Channels
Posted on April 7th 2014
By now, most businesses are fully aware of the importance in utilizing social media in their online marketing and that they need to be prudent about the channels they use both in terms of cultivating the right image and reaching the right audience.
This advice presents a unique challenge for B2B companies because most of the discussion around social media is about reaching the general public and not other businesses. What channels are best used for B2B social media marketing?
LinkedIn is generally the first and sometimes the only social network that B2B companies think of. It's designed specifically for businesses and for professional contacts, and more than 90 percent of B2B marketers in North America use the site. Its members tend to be decision makers within their companies as well as older and more affluent.
LinkedIn drives a huge amount of traffic to corporate websites compared to other social media, and in addition to marketing opportunities like targeted ads, it offers an excellent way to connect though its groups and over personal email.
However, LinkedIn is not the only option for B2B marketing. Many experts point out that failing to harness the power of other types of social media is often a result of companies forgetting that they are still ultimately marketing to other people. Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and YouTube can all be ways of making these professional connections.
Twitter can be an excellent place for professionals to chat in short bursts and seek new business prospects.
In B2B marketing on social networks, if LinkedIn is more like a day at the office, Twitter is the work-sponsored cocktail party where a mix of professional and appropriate social exchanges can lead to connections and new business. One advantage of Twitter over Facebook is that it allows more for one-on-one exchanges.
Facebook by contrast may be somewhat less effective, but it does offer opportunities to interact with other groups and organizations. Event announcements and online promotions can be carried out over Facebook and business pages can get opt-ins from email marketing.
One good way to decide whether investing energy into B2B marketing via Facebook is by checking the activity of target companies and populations on the site.
One of the main advantages of Google+ is the extent to which its usage is tied into higher search engine rankings. Actions such as sharing content there can raise a business's profile. Business pages give companies the opportunity to build relationships with one another.
Making business connections or even making friends on a YouTube comments page is highly unlikely, but the site's video capabilities can be an excellent way to market some services and products. Keep in mind that videos can be uploaded to YouTube and then embedded in numerous sites including the company blog or website. Good video can drive inbound leads.
From the outset, have a social media marketing plan: it’s really important to find out where your target audience is, as this may not always be on a mainstream social platform. There is an abundance of less well-known social channels and business niche forums in which you can participate in and contribute to. Additionally, if your business produces great content, then it is more than likely your audience will want to find you.
B2B marketers should be wary of trying to maintain too many social media accounts; they should identify two or three that are best for their purposes. By targeting the right platforms in the right way, they should see a significant return on investment.