Many times B2B IT companies are not investing in their social media presence because they don’t see quick wins out of it in terms of sales and business development. They will focus on cold calling, paid advertising, business networking events and things that have traditionally brought in new business.
While those tactics are effective, and key to maintaining a good marketing and sales funnel, they shouldn’t prevent companies from also turning to social media. We believe it is important to make steps towards integrating social media channels into a tech marketing approach. Here is a couple of examples of how social media can support the marketing mix of B2B tech and software companies.
Social Media boosts SEO
Social media profiles of companies rank in search engines – often among top results. Also, links shared on Facebook and Twitter are used as a ranking signal. For businesses, this is an opportunity to include some of the relevant search keywords in Facebook updates, Tweets, LinkedIn announcements etc.
With Google+, things seem to be less clear these days. Google recently announced it would shut it down for consumers, and make it an enterprise product. Yet, for some businesses it could still makes sense to have a Google+ profile, as Google will display profile info in the right-hand sidebar at the top of the search results page. So, until further notice from Google, this could still be an opportunity to put forward any things you want to pop out about your company in Google search.
Social Media helps content distribution
Quality content is the foundation of every successful B2B social media strategy. The better the company is at content marketing, the better it will be at social media.
Share content on your profiles to inform your followers about latest blog posts, product developments, press coverage, events you’re attending. Keep them up to date with your company’s latest news. This way you can increase visibility, and if you link social posts back to your website, you can earn some website clicks too.
You can also consider sharing infographics and short case studies, which link back to your company site. Video clips shared on company social media channels can improve engagement and reach. For third party articles you’re sharing on your profiles, you can use a tool like Sniply to add a CTA to every link you share. This way, you’ll also get to steer a portion of visitors to your own website.
Social media can boost your company image
Sometimes, social channels can feel more personal than a web page. When doing their research on companies, some people may go straight to LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter. Make sure your social media profiles and posts reflect your company culture, values and strong points.
Nowadays, screening of a B2B tech company will invariably include a LinkedIn profile checkup. This is an opportunity to put forward any information that could be relevant for prospective buyers and business partners.
Social media profiles can be powerful employer branding tools. They can target current and future employees. An organization's image in the eyes of its internal stakeholders is something that successful companies are constantly aware of, and look to improve. Companies employing or seeking to employ millennials have been faster in making social media channels work for employer branding purposes.
Many of your employees are probably experts who have a good network within your industry. If they don't have it already, they are likely in a good position to start building it. If you guide them through content sharing and best social media practices, it can broaden your business reach and earn the attention of existing and potential clients.
Make sure the content you share is relevant, and that it addresses specific needs of the audiences you are targeting. This will make it much easier for employees to share the content further, expand their own network and promote the business at the same time. It's useful to invest time into basic social media education for employees, or share simple tips and tricks. Some companies are helping their valuable employees establish themselves as thought leaders in their filed of expertise. This is a smart move because, after all, by expanding their own network and influence, they will multiply positive effects for the company as well.
Social Media can actually bring in sales leads
For B2B tech companies, opportunities to bring in sales leads through LinkedIn go way beyond buying ads or promoting posts. Sure, there are gains from paid advertising. However, building a strong, organic base of followers is equally important, if not more important in the long run.
Seasoned B2B sales and marketing professionals have been investing in their social media presence on all fronts - building their personal and company LinkedIn profiles, connecting with similar businesses and target audiences, educating their teammates to do the same. They've been involved in discussions relevant to their business and expertise. They've learned how to use LinkedIn for companies screening, leads prospecting and qualification. Creating and maintaining groups on LinkedIn is another valuable tactic to support lead generation programs.
Reality is that social media has a lot to offer to B2B tech companies. It doesn’t automatically create buzz, and it will take some time to unleash its real power, but we strongly believe it is well worth the effort.
Are you happy with the current role of social media in your business? Do you see room for improvement? Get in touch!