Selecting the best b2b marketing social media tools

Let’s think for a minute. Before introducing social media tools to your b2b marketing arsenal, think about your customers, who they are, what they look like, and where they congregate.

Doubtless, your target customers probably have a Facebook profile, but do they want their social downtime interrupted by your ‘targeted’ messages? Would you?

They might be using Twitter. Professional services and big finance will certainly have profiles, but most industrial manufacturing and engineering businesses haven’t bought into it yet.

Are the customers you want to reach active and easy to find on Linkedin? They may have a profile but the degree to which they engage and be visible through Groups, Answers etc is probably difficult to quantify.

Tapping into the need for information

So it would appear they need a little more teasing out. What we do know is that business professionals use the Internet increasingly as a source of information. Search is dominated by requests for information about products, services, suppliers, distributors and recruitment. Much of this still channels browsers to corporate sites rather than faddy social media sites despite search engine optimisation via social media growing as a credible online strategy.

Targeting customers using social media tools is further hampered by the fact that for all the search that goes on, most browsers stick to a routine, clearly defined, and limited set of websites for their information. Why? Perhaps, because there simply isn’t the time to take in the scope and scale of information that the Internet can now provide – and because personal security online makes browsers nervous of trying new sites.

Content marketing

So, for social media in b2b marketing, I believe we’re talking about providing information. Useful, timely, relevant and engaging information. It isn’t social media in the way the term is flagrantly used. To me, we differentiate and focus on smart, content marketing.

That means making best use of blogs, white papers, presentations for Slideshare and webinars, video and Linkedin. All generated from material should already exist within your business. It goes without saying that there is an archive of press relations material to delve into – giving you something to specifically ‘refine, refocus and repackage’.

Posts will follow on why I think these are the best social media tools for b2b marketing. Bookmark the social media thread to stay up to date.

Image credit: http://realtimetoolbox.com/marketing-tools.html

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3 responses to “Selecting the best b2b marketing social media tools

  1. Great post! Very straight to the point. I especially agree with your statement about Facebook. In my experience with social media (B2B), I’ve have a lot more luck on Twitter, from an interactive/responsive standpoint. Do you think majority of Facebook is simply just much more personal? Does it have a place for B2B?

  2. Thanks for stopping by Sarah. Twitter is indeed great for raising profile and distributing content for sure. A good proportion of my 60k readership over 18 months has come through Twitter (and Linkedin).

    I admit that there is an arguement that if most business professsionals have a Facebook that somehow makes it relevant, but I stand by the position that you’re only going to be targeting them in their downtime.

    Give it a year or two and I’m sure added functionality (Facebook blogs maybe?!) will make it more relevant. But just because it is the biggest watering hole on the Internet, that doesn’t necessarily make it the right one to invest time and effort in.

  3. Pingback: Six ways to improve social media seminars for b2b | The Marketing Assassin

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