A few years ago the sentiment was that if you didn’t have a website than you weren’t in business. Having a website designed gave current and potential customers a way to get to know the business they were getting ready to do business with, check out services and find a way to get in contact with you.
Today, it is a given that you will have a website BUT you also need a social presence. Don’t think that just because you are a business to business service/product provider and not B2C that you don’t need to take advantage of social media. You need to use social media to prove to potential customers that you are an industry leader… that you know what you are talking about.
Here we are going to give a few reasons as to why B2Bs need to utilize social media, but first we want to make a point. If you do nothing else, make sure that your company blog is talking about industry related information. A nice combination of original and curated content is best, but talk about what is happening now, trends, issues and how your company would handle them.
The reason is twofold, your rankings will sky-rocket. Remember when a company sits to do a search for someone to address a need they have, they aren’t going to scroll through pages of results. They are going to take a look at the first few results on that first page, and you may be surprised to find out that they are going to pay more attention to the website results that are ranked organically. The latest stats report that businesses that maintain an active blog receive 67% more leads through their website and 57% of companies that use their blog have acquired customers from blog generated leads.
Don’t make the mistake in thinking that only your marketing person needs to promote your company, get all of your employees involved. Encourage them to refer people to the blog content in conversation, email and social networks.
A Few More Reasons to Use Social Media
1. A customer needs to see a company’s name 7 times (on average) before they trust that company enough to do business with them.
2. 89% of consumers view online sources of products and services reviews as trustworthy
3. 63% of consumers are more inclined to buy from a site that has product ratings and reviews
4. 75% of B2B buyers say that social media will influence future purchases
5. A company using its blog to create interesting content and promote internal content can increase their monthly leads by 8 times.
6. 91% of Fortune 500 companies use social media as part of their marketing mix
7. 82% of your potential clients online can be reached socially through social networks
8. 72% of marketers have reported that they are closing more business deals because of social media
Keep In Mind
The point of social media is to engage your potential customer. You engage the with interesting relevant content. Calls to action that lead them to more great content are important. Social media, especially social networks is NOT about selling. If you do nothing but talk about how great your company and your product is you are going to lose potential customers and possibly current ones.
If used right, social media can be a great, very low cost and effective marketing tool for your small business.
Blogging is one of the best ways to build up a following on your website. I tell my clients again and again, one of the best things you can do to improve your search engine rankings and traffic is to add a blog to your site, have it set up properly, and post to it regularly. You see, the way a search engine works is that it looks for websites that offer up fresh content. Sites with blogs that are updated regularly are more favorable to search engines than sites without blogs.
Many people get stuck with their blogs and come to me saying “I’ve written all there is to write on my business topic!” Too many business bloggers make the mistake of focusing only on the one topic that brings in business- and then they run out of things to write. You have to think outside the box and think about what else it is that your blog readers/visitors would be interested in. One of the best things you can do to help increase and retain visitors is to become a source of information for them. For example, if you own a bakery- you’ll certainly blog about cupcakes, muffins and brownies… But what about giving your readers recipes? How about writing about low fat options your bakery offers? Your readers would also probably be interested in learning about the recent school fundraising event your bakery sponsored, and about how you donate your day old bread and sweets to a local homeless shelter.
Can’t relate to the bakery blogging? Okay then, let’s say you own an auto body shop. You may want to blog about the new engine mount you just got, or the 66 Mustang you just had in the shop that you found a nest of black widow spiders in (thanks Bill!). You can also blog about the NASCAR race and the feud between Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick, and make fun of the way they drive! Make more sense now? Become a source of information and entertainment for your readers and they will want to keep coming back. Keep your blog topics diverse, yet still something your customers can relate to and you’ll genuinely offer a great experience for your readers, as well as make search engines more likely to direct more traffic to your site.