Social media has transformed the way businesses and consumers communicate and build relationships. One-directional communication like flyers, catalogs and brochures remain integral to a company’s marketing strategy, but social media offers an additional opportunity to connect with your buyers in real-time.
Social media has turned the supplier/buyer relationship into a two-way street offering consumers an opportunity to ask questions, leave reviews and act as brand evangelists for stellar products and services.
Social media has emerged to be one of the most effective ways for business-to-business (B2B) marketers to engage with decision-makers, influencers and industry leaders. In fact, LinkedIn reports over 630 million professionals and decision-makers gather regularly on the platform to discuss ideas, partnerships and more. And, nearly 50% of the world’s population are active on social media, with 54% of browsers using social media to research products before they buy (Hubspot).
The world of social media is not new, but implementing it in your marketing strategy can feel a little daunting. Here are three simple ways you can use social media more effectively in your business:
Stay up to date on industry-related news, trends and competitors
According to a 2019 Pew Research Center report, 55% of adults now get their news from social media either "often" or "sometimes.” Why is that percentage so high? Because social media is convenient, accessible and available at the touch of a button.
Here’s one way to use social media to your benefit: If you think you’ve spotted a trend, but you’re not sure whether it will catch on, social media allows you to watch what your competitors are doing and follow industry news sources. This will help you capitalize on emerging news, trends and opportunities.
That said, you can also use social media to share your company’s newsworthy headlines such as company news, product releases and industry updates your customers may care about.
Stay connected and build more meaningful relationships
Whenever you attend an industry event or meet with a new supplier, you likely collect business cards. Instead of tossing them in your bag or uploading them to your CRM system and promptly forgetting about them, social media platforms like LinkedIn can help you find those new connections and begin nurturing those relationships, essentially striking while the iron is hot.
Over time, your interactions with those contacts on social media can develop into trusted partnerships. Share their content on your newsfeed, connect them with someone they would benefit from knowing, and share resources they would find helpful and useful. What’s important to keep in mind is that you shouldn't expect anything in return. You are staying at the forefront of their mind, and you’re showing them you’re a credible and trusted connection.
Social media can also help you maintain good relationships with customers. When you post relevant, insightful content on social media sites, they will feel like your company is there to help them solve problems. This inspires loyalty, which supports your company’s value proposition.
Find talent for your company
In NetPlus Alliance’s recent Industry Outlook report, many distributor members said they struggle with finding and keeping talent. Highly skilled talent is hard to find, yet vital to managing a successful distribution business.
LinkedIn is considered a great recruiting tool for finding qualified candidates and provides advanced search features and smart suggestions to help you build out accurate job descriptions, minimizing poorly matched applicants.
And it’s relatively easy to use, as well. To find the ideal employee, simply post jobs directly on LinkedIn, actively search for candidates using specific keywords related to the job description, use InMail (a premium account feature that allows direct messaging to LinkedIn members that you’re not connected to), and browse the connections already in your network. By utilizing social media in your recruiting strategy, you can ensure a strong pipeline of candidates for current and future roles.
Social media is here to stay, why not use it to your advantage?
Social media is both a cost-effective and easy way to increase brand awareness, build authority, nurture relationships, source top talent and so much more. With social media, you can position yourself as an idea generator, a trend mapper and a strategic compass for all of your business ventures. If you would like more information on how you can use social media in your marketing efforts, please reach out to me.