A new study from Accenture, “Making Social Media Pay: Rethinking Social Media’s Potential to Bolster B2B Interactions, Customer Loyalty, Revenues and Brand Reputation,” found that a majority of B2B companies are not using the power of social media. However, social media networking is a great new place for wholesalers and manufacturers to engage their prospects and customers.
While many B2B marketers have doubts about social media effectiveness, they need to realize that Business-to-Business marketing is even more about relationships than Business-to-Consumer marketing. Whether you sell wholesale merchandise or manufacture products, you need to showcase your products and services so they demonstrate the value provided to your customers. This happens naturally when you understand your customers’ business, and they understand the value of your offering. In other words, you must convince your customers you are the expert in your industry and you know their business. This is hard to do with an ad or brochure, or even in a 15-minute sales call; however, it can be effectively done online with social media networking.
Social Media Networks Are a Great Way to Gain Trust
In social networking, it is not so much about the value of your offer, but rather, it’s about the benefits your products and services provide to your customers. Rather than trying to overwhelm your prospects with ads, newsletters, or webinars, this is a way to listen to your customers and offer value about their concerns. Your best salespeople do this on a one-to-one basis in the field. And you can do this on a larger scale by communicating the information you learn from reading industry emails about new product applications, industry regulations, and other important insights to customers on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, TikTok, or other discussion groups. Here, getting Facebook or tiktok likes for cheap can help you in improving the credibility of your business in the long run. Once you start sharing your industry knowledge through social networking, your customers will recognize you and your company as an expert in the industry and therefore trustworthy.
Your customers need the information to help them make decisions on an everyday basis. Social networking doesn’t take the time that polishing a newsletter requires. Just share your insights off the cuff about important information of interest to your customers on a blog and then tweet a link to it. Voila; it’s done.
Social Networking Is a Great Way to Demonstrate Knowledge
Social networking is a great way to “blow your horn” by showing everyone how well you know your business sector. Search engines now display social networking links in search results in real-time, which means your tweets on topics users are searching for can be seen in the top search results, even by users that do not have a Twitter account. So go ahead and show your smarts on relevant social networks. Successful B2B wholesalers and manufacturers have always thrived on using industry knowledge and specific business expertise to gain trust and increase business. Social networking is a great new way to expose that knowledge and expertise to your prospects and customers.