How social media creates value for B2B companies

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Based on the growing number of companies and the ways that they use social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, there is no doubt that social media has become a must-have for B2C companies, enhancing their overall digital customer touchpoint experience.

For many B2B companies however, the use of social media is still in its infancy due to a misunderstanding of the uses and the value it can provide in the B2B context.

B2C social media helps strengthen customer relations and drives growth

A consumer shopping around for a product or service sometimes seeks out information, often involving friends or family members to benefit from previous experiences or get an opinion prior to making a purchase decision.

The development of social media enriches this process by giving consumers much easier access to a range of information, reviews from other consumers, and offering them real-time sharing and peer feedback on such content and media.

On the flip side, social media gives brands the ability to engage with consumers in deeper, more diverse ways, leading them from the discovery of the company and its products, to the purchase consideration, though to transactions and beyond.

The result is a richer and more fluid customer buying process, which if done right strengthens the relationship between companies and its customers, and generates sales along the way.

Effective B2B social media targets multiple decision-makers

Rather than targeting a single buyer, B2B companies must deal with a group of people within an organization, whom together decide what to buy.

This business decision-making unit (DMU) usually includes people from various functions with slightly different agendas. Depending on the size of the company a DMU may include the company owner, the administrative assistant, the purchasing manager, the finance director, etc.

When developing a social media strategy, B2B companies need to consider the business clients they are targeting, the key decision-makers in those DMUs and their interests, and how the purchase decision-making process works.

Social media can create value for B2B companies in several ways

With a good understanding the decision-makers to address, B2B companies can create an adapted social media strategy, within their global marketing plan, that helps  foster customer relationships and drive growth in many ways. This can include:

  • Engaging selected decision-makers to create and promote product, brand and corporate cultural awareness
  • Strengthening client relationships by offering exclusive and insightful information and innovative content to followers
  • Enhancing the user experience by addressing the specific needs of particular segments by using targeted content delivered over the media channels delivering the most impact
  • Converting interested parties into buyers through tailored  offers, limited-time promotions, etc.
  • Offering clients a direct, no-hassles customer service channel
  • Providing an open forum allowing clients to exchange views and ideally generate referrals
  • Allowing B2B companies to tweak, enhance and create new offerings by examining the real-time behaviour and expectations of their clients, thus strengthening their customer relationships

Ultimately the social media marketing programs established by B2B companies depend on their marketing strategy, their attitude towards digital touchpoints, their ability to execute, extract and measure the value of those initiatives, and the capabilities offered by their external marketing and social media partners.

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One Response to “How social media creates value for B2B companies”

  1. Successful companies mix digital and traditional channels to satisfy their clients and achieve business objectives | Merkado | Technology Marketing Leadership Blog Says:

    […] suited for some purposes than others. Before a business or marketing leader invests in a range of digital channels, they should figure out what they really want to achieve. Do they want to boost awareness of their […]

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