Social Media B2B Methods for Small Business

There is plenty of talk, chatter, and online articles about how you can use social media to your marketing advantage with customers. However, it seems most of these articles and resources are aimed at how a small business owner can utilize social media to promote their business with the final consumer. But what about those small businesses who sells products or services business to business (B2B)? Can social media work for them too?

The answer is yes! In fact, methods for using social media for B2B companies are not that much different than for retailers. However, the approach for B2B companies is a little different.

How does a small business owner change focus to promote their company to other trade and retail industry clients?

Define Your Customer

As with any successful marketing effort, your first step should always be to determine who your target customer is. After all, B2B companies are not aimed at end-consumers, but rather other businesses who will resell your product, your use your products in the manufacture or assembly of something else.

Always remember to narrow your focus when making this determination. For instance, do you sell organic beauty or and health products? Don’t assume every beauty retail store wants your product. Keep your focus to those with similar target customers who enjoy organic products.

Build Your B2B Contacts

Just like any business needs to build their customer base of contacts on social media sites, so should you do the same with your B2B contacts. Good social sites to build B2B contacts are LinkedIn and Facebook. Both of these sites are filled with businesses trying to promote themselves. Find the ones who meet your target B2B customer and get them added to your contacts and network lists.

Join Groups

Another great way of gaining contacts is through online groups, chats, and bulletin boards. Find the types of groups that fit under the definition of your B2B industry. Join in on conversations.

Make comments and responses to pertinent hash tags (#) on Twitter. Use major search engines to find trade or industry groups that post discussions relevant to your products or services. LinkedIn has many groups aimed mainly at increasing the networking capabilities of the members.

Show Your Expertise

The key is not to start collecting contacts and immediately sending out message after message about how great your company is. Collect your contacts, but let them come to you through your expertise. Post responses to questions. It’s fine to promote your product or service, but only if it is relevant to the topic. And don’t be afraid to post questions and stimulate discussion in your area of expertise.

Strategic Information You Should Post

What type of information should you post about and share through your social media accounts? Here are a few ideas:

  • Articles – Did you write an article for your business blog or other online article database? Post a link and a brief description.

  • Presentations – Got a snappy presentation about an important or hot topic? Post it online and share the link on your social media accounts.

  • White Papers – A white paper on a special industry topic can be very relevant. Write a white paper and share it with your B2B contacts.

  • Reports – Got a report about an important topic or issue? Post it and share it.

Be an Organizer

Why not use your social media accounts to organize get-togethers, informal meetings, and networking events? Being the catalyst for a B2B networking event can increase your profile and put the spotlight on your business – not to mention the additional contacts from other companies wanting in on the action!

Always Analyze Your Metrics

Remember with any online marketing, whether it is targeted to end consumers or B2B customers, you must monitor the effectiveness of your efforts or they become wasted. Use online tools like Google Analytics to measure traffic when you post links to your website.

Also, a great tool to measure your social media posts is through Hootsuite. Not only can Hootsuite help manage your posts on multiple social media sites, but it provides tools to monitor your mentions by other users, tracks your daily posting views, and gives you insights to which tweets or posts are most effective.

Social media marketing is not just for end consumer retail stores and services. Social media can be very effective for B2B companies trying to increase their industry profile, raise awareness of their products, and expand contacts. Use these tips to help you get your B2B business noticed on social sites.

Today's Free Templates

Confidentiality Agreement Form

Most businesses will need to have a confidentiality agreement for one reason or another. Use this sample to craft a confidentiality agreement for your business.

Fast Food Restaurant Business Plan

Start your very own fast food franchise with a little help from this sample fast food business plan. See how you can craft a solid plan of your own.

Affiliate Disclosure

This post may contain affiliate links to help us pay for running the website. See our affiliate disclosure for details. Thanks!

Free Marketing Plan

Download our free marketing plan example to create a detailed plan for your business. Includes sample text, charts and tables.