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Most B2B companies think social isn’t for them.  They see a way to talk to the masses, not their clients and prospects.  Ignoring social misses one of the best ways to grow. 

Both Forrester and CEB have done research that tells us a large percentage of purchase decisions are made before engaging with a sales person.  How are they making these decisions?  How do customers know what they need?  Do customers understand your value?  Do they even understand what your company does?  

Social Media is an excellent way to meet any number of goals. Social gives us an opportunity to connect, influence and explain even before a customer knows they are looking for a product or solution.  For B2B companies there is no better way to grow awareness and affinity, provide value and guidance before the purchase, and generate leads.

What do you want you want social to accomplish?  How does this relate to everything else you are doing?  Social should not be the only way you are trying to achieve any of your key business goals.  Instead, social should be another way you support your business objectives.  So, start with your goals and build a content strategy around them.  A strategy doesn’t have to be a multipage behemoth that took months to create. Think of a content strategy as a guide on what you are trying to achieve, where you are going to do it, and how often.

The next step is to execute regularly.  12 pieces of content published one per month is better than 20 published all at once.  Don’t be afraid to adjust.  Twice a week too much? Go down to once a week or once every other week.  People not responding to your awareness content?  Try a new angle.

Finally, while social was “free” in the past, today it is likely going to be a paid channel for most businesses.  Paying has its advantages.  You can choose who to show your content to, when you want to show it to them, and how much it is worth to show to them.

Social is an amazing tool for growing B2B companies that focus on their goals, plan to succeed, and execute consistently.

Business-to-business Social media