As a long-time Business2Business marketer, I know that sometimes the world of business-to-business marketing can feel like the Sahara desert. No fancy consumer product launches. No product placements in blockbuster movies. No Super Bowl ads.
It's hard for something that started as "industrial marketing" to seem sexy or exciting in any way, shape or form. It's all about the steak and not the sizzle.
At least, that's the superficial view.
One thing I realized very early on in my marketing career is that whatever you're selling, the decision to purchase it (or not) is going to be made by a human. A real live person with emotions, hopes and dreams. Someone like you who has successes and failures, good days and bad.
B2B marketing is not about selling to businesses, but to the people who work for those businesses. Behind every RFP, procurement team and competitive bidding process, there are people who want to hear your story. They want to understand why your company, your brand, can better meet their needs.
The process may not always be glamorous, but it is always about connection. That's where social media comes into play, and that's why Social Media for B2B Branding is so important.
Not to be Ignored
In the early days of social media, many Business2Business executives ignored it, making the assumption that it was "for consumers only." These executives were quick to dismiss social media as a fad more fit for consumers than for building a B2B brand, and they couldn't have been more wrong.
In fact, several progressive companies took the lead and have done well using social media to build their B2B brands. We'll take a look at some of these prescient leaders in future blog posts, and we'll also explore reasons that it is so well suited for companies selling in the Business2Business space.
Savvy B2B Embraces Social Media
This column will address not only why businesses operating in the Business2Business space should take social media seriously but also - and more importantly - how to leverage social media to build a B2B brand.
In the coming months, I'll discuss how an effective Business2Business social media strategy plays a role in branding, addressing hands-on topics like:
- Creating B2B Brand Ambassadors with Social Media
- Using Social Listening to Strengthen Your B2B Brand
- How to Protect Your B2B Brand on Social Media
- Using Social Media to Tell The Story of Your Brand
- Making Your B2B Brand Personality Come Alive
Together we'll delve into case studies and examples of winners and runners-up in using social media for B2B branding. I'll share best practices for applying social strategies to your B2B brand, and we'll uncover tips and tricks to make the job easier.
Get Out of the Desert
Ultimately, social media for B2B branding is about bringing new life to your business. It's about getting out of the Sahara and into a refreshing environment where connections and communities help Business2Business brands thrive.
Some of the critical goals of B2B branding via social media include:
- Building better relationships with partners, prospects and customers.
- Attracting prospective customers and compressing sales cycles.
- Monitoring competitive positioning and ensuring you're ahead.
- Establishing thought leadership in your industry.
- Building brand awareness and preference among decision makers.
Social media makes all of these things possible. Hang around a bit and we'll explore how.
Burning questions? Topics you're eager to hear about? Please share in the comments. I'm looking forward to connecting.
This monthly Social Media for B2B Branding column is contributed byJoellyn "Joey" Sargent. As principal of BrandSprout Advisors, Joey helps organizations dramatically improve the impact of their marketing efforts, creating vigorous growth and powerful brand presence. Drawing on more than 20 years of executive experience spanning start-ups to the Fortune 500, Joey offers fresh ideas to build brands, engage customers and increase market share. She is a writer and frequent speaker, presenting at conferences around the world on strategic marketing, branding and social media strategies.