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Is it necessary, and if so, what are the best social media channels?

Most business owners are very aware of social media marketing and the impact it has had on business to consumer marketing, so I often get asked by commercial and industrial clients whether or not it is appropriate and worth the time for their B2B business. My response is almost always a resounding “Absolutely – Possibly!”

Many would argue that it is almost always the right thing to increase marketing spend, especially on “Social,” but those are often salespeople and marketers, and not business owners trying to juggle an overburdened staff, high demands and limited time. To justify whether or not this is an appropriate recommendation, I try to answer a few simple questions with the client first.

  1. Are you confident that if you send someone to your site with social media, they will have a positive experience, find useful information and be funneled into completing one of your pre-determined goals?Are your current content marketing goals for your website being met? Quality, relevant, and optimized content is one of the most important factors for good rankings and a quality user experience. Is your site, for the most part engaging and has a clear call to action? If these conditions aren’t being met, then any time considerations for social media are better spent on creating a better web experience.
  1. Are you willing to spend 30 minutes to an hour each day on your social media marketing? To be successful with social marketing in the commercial industry it takes time to build positive relationships and write quality posts – blogs – etc. This is not about posting family pictures or talking about the great weather (or bad weather if you live in Rochester). If you are not willing to make a conscious effort to set goals and spend the necessary time to achieve them, then it will more than likely not pay off. Additionally, as you build your audience it will become more than courtesy engagement, but actual potential customer expectation.

If the answer to these questions is an easy yes, then it’s time to look at what social channels would be best for that particular industry. I most often propose LinkedIn, LinkedIn Sales Navigator and YouTube.

Of course there are many other platforms for social marketing, and I do advocate a basic presence in a few of the others, but for true B2B sales marketing and lead generation I choose LinkedIn, and then, if there is commitment and extra resources –  YouTube. With approximately 1.3 billion visitors a day, this Google owned channel can be extremely useful in building and engaging an audience, as well as helping to create a better user experience on your website with instructional and promotional videos. With that said, if your goal is to build your brand and not necessarily generate leads, then many of the other social media channels are fair game.

In a recent study as indicated on this chart from Sprout Social, B2B marketers are seeing increased effectiveness in numerous social channels.

As seen here, social media is not just for friends and family and business to consumer marketing; it is also becoming increasingly useful in business to business relationships.

So, if you can answer a few basic priority and needs questions, and decide that you have the time and resources, then there are numerous platforms available to build your business. Who knows, you could even have a little fun along the way and build long lasting relationships!

In my next blog I will be detailing the benefits of LinkedIn Sales Navigator and why it is my favorite recommendation for B2B social marketing.

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