What Can Social Media Do for my B2B Company?

Leaving a comprehensive social media strategy out of your marketing efforts is a big mistake for B2B businesses. In today’s digital world, the sales process is shifting online for the majority of industries, with one study finding that “most customers are 57 percent through the buying process before the first meeting with a company representative.” The same study found also found that “61 percent of all B2B transactions now start online. And 58 percent use social media as a research channel.”

Consumers across all industries are becoming less responsive to cold-outreach and more independent in their research on companies they might do business with, and products they might purchase. Social media channels like LinkedIn and Facebook, and social media service providers like Buzzly Media offer B2B companies many valuable ways to reach customers online.salesperson shaking hand

Social media virtually eliminates the learning curve and gives your customers an almost immediate idea about your brand and your brand’s values before they even make contact with a sales person. This is valuable in the sales cycle because customers who have some interest in your brand (but not enough to convert) may be searching for your company online to learn more before they commit. Social media will offer them softer, more relatable content to ease them into your company culture and let know what to expect when they do decide to reach out.

Social media is one of the best tools available to strengthen your brand’s status as a thought leader in your industry. By connecting with influencers, posting timely industry news updates and weighing in on relevant issues, your brand’s credibility will rise dramatically over time. Brand-building, however, is just one element of a social media campaign and should reflect that customers like to see educational content that is more informational than it is brand / sales-centric.This builds trust and will help them remember your company when they are ready to make a purchase.

You would also be strongly advised to consider social media marketing if you are trying to drive valuable traffic to your website and landing pages. Buzzly Media clients have had great success in generating leads through the careful development of laser-focused landing pages. It’s a great way for someone to engage with your brand without committing much time. The easier you make it for people to hop in your sales funnel, the more leads you’ll have overall.

customer doing online searchSocial media will also help your website’s ranking by increasing the number of sites linking in, otherwise known as “backlinks.” These tell search engines that your website must have valuable information on it if others are spending time putting your links in their content, and it’s great for boosting search engine optimization. Remember, “94 percent of business buyers do some form of online research” when looking over their options.

And finally, the best part of social media is that it’s social! Having digital presences for your brand and its executives will allow you to connect with valuable industry contacts and start building relationships online. We know that “more than 90 percent of decision makers never respond to cold outreach.” A great way to move right past the cold outreach part of the sales cycle is to network online and give your potential customers a face to your brand. This will make you and your company seem more familiar when the time comes to sell.

The most important thing about establishing a digital presence for your brand is having the right information available to people at the right time. You never know how or when customers are searching. If it’s on Google (which is quite likely), then you want to make sure you are ranking high for generic industry keywords and have the social media profiles to back it up. If it’s late at night (or in a different timezone) when a potential customer can’t make contact with a human salesperson, you want them to get that same personalized experience through your social media.

A comprehensive social media strategy is the way to take your B2B business to the next level in today’s digital world. When you decide it’s time for a thoughtful and effective dive into social media marketing, let the fabulous people at Buzzly Media know! We’re always ready to help and will respond to your request with surprising speed.

Already have a social media presence and want help to improve it? Sign up for a free audit with Buzzly Media on our site and our experts will deliver their recommendations. 

3 Creative Pinterest Campaigns to Replicate

Here’s an industry secret: looking at the strategies and campaigns that are working for other brands is one of the best to brainstorm what will work for yours. While Pinterest is often overlooked in social media marketing strategies, it actually has a diverse audience, can improve your site’s SEO and it drives a significant amount of ecommerce activity.

 

screenshot of pinterest analytics

Each one of your pins should included a branded hashtag and a link back to your website–that way you know that every person that sees your pin has been exposed to your brand name and has the opportunity to convert to web traffic on your site.

Pinterest boasts an impressive 150 million users, 87% of which have purchased something that they have seen on the platform. Pinterest users consist of mostly women (45% women to 17% men), but 40% of new signups are actually male.

 

Every once in awhile, we see a campaign that really takes advantage of the benefits Pinterest has to offer. Below are three campaigns that have inspired us and might do the same for you!

Campaign 1: Mastercard – #AcceptanceMatters

It all began with NYC Pride in June of 2013, when Mastercard used a sort of play on words with “acceptance.” Mastercard has been accepted everywhere for over 25 years, and they wanted to make the conversation around acceptance more dynamic by asking their customers via social media to tell them why #AcceptanceMatters.

Our idea was straightforward and organic to the platform: Develop inspirational word art that evoked the spirit of #AcceptanceMatters and partner with some of the platform’s most prolific pinners to spread the content,” wrote the marketing team behind the Pinterest campaign. Mastercard kept their content simple yet aesthetically pleasing, making sure that it resonated with the already-active Pinners.

mastercard in woman's wallterThe result was incredibly successful. They had 13,000 repins in just nine weeks, and their Pinterest board gained 171 followers. The pins continued to circulate through 24 levels of repins, and 15 influencers shared their content.  People throughout the world connected with Mastercard’s message of tolerance and acceptance. Not to mention, the pins were a perfect addition to the thousands of “inspiration” boards already out there!

Even if your brand is much smaller than Mastercard, you should still be able to identify a core value that will resonate with people. Remember, when Mastercard began their campaign on Pinterest, they had no followers. Influencers played a huge part in helping to spread their message throughout the site – your brand can find influencers, too!

 

Campaign 2: Uniqlo Hairdo

Uniqlo Hairdo Campaign exampleUniqlo is a Japanese clothing company who took to the feminine appeal of Pinterest to market their fall and winter 2014 fashion line in a unique way. DIY hairstyles have always been an incredibly popular topic throughout the Pinterest world, and were also a hit with Uniqlo’s target audience. With this in mind, they created 16 DIY hair tutorials and paired the end result with the clothing that they thought best fit the look.

The board gained nearly 15,000 followers by assimilating a trending topic into their content. Lovers of hair and fashion came together to follow and repin their Hairdo board. It became what their marketing agency called a “social style catalogue” and helped women think of “head-to-toe outfits.”

Although Uniqlo doesn’t sell hair products, they combined an aspect of Pinterest that already had high popularity with their clothing line to gain more views and repins. Staying up-to-date with Pinterest’s trending topics, from DIY ideas to Star Wars, can be incredibly helpful for your business to find new content opportunities and capitalize on relevant trends. Get creative!

 

Campaign 3: Honey Bunches of Oats, Happy Mother’s Day – The Pinterest Way!

Honey Bunches of Oats has always promoted kindness. In their Mother’s Day Pinterest campaign, they continued on that path by giving Pinterest users the option to give their moms the gift of a personalized Pinterest board.

To begin, they created boards full of fun Mother’s Day graphics, such as quotes, different ways to say Mom, designs, flowers and even a board of 250 popular names so that users could add Mom’s name to her board! Additionally, they provided a unique service: if a user didn’t see their mom’s name in the board, they could send a note or email to Honey Bunches of Oats and they would create the graphic. Once users populated their own unique Mother’s Day boards, they were encouraged to send the boards to their moms.

This brand created over 300 requested name pins and provided something of value to their followers. It was not overt advertising, but giving something in the spirit of a holiday.  If you have the resources to offer something digital and/or customized to your audience, you can give back to your followers in the same way. Bonus points if you can tie in a holiday relevant to your brand!

screenshot of top audience interests on Pinterest

Here are some of the top interests of the Pinterest audience to get you started!

 

Unique Pinterest campaigns are a great way to get organic followers for your brand. Pinterest users appreciate well thought out and visually appealing content, so if you have developed an idea that will resonate with your audience and can tie in with the current trends on Pinterest, you can create a hit!

If you get stuck, or need help coming up with a creative Pinterest strategy unique to your brand, contact us! We’re happy to help!