It’s been a little over a decade since social media burst onto the scene and fundamentally changed the way most of us communicated with the rest of the world. For the business world, the change has mostly been reflected in how companies communicate with consumers (B2C communication).

In comparison to B2C peers, B2B organizations have been much slower to adopt social as an integral part of their marketing efforts. Some have even flat out refused to invest any time, money, or resources because they think it is a complete and total waste.

However, there are a myriad of ways companies can use social media tactics to help grow their business when trying to target other businesses.

Establishing Business Relationships

B2B companies are much more likely to have a smaller base of followers. That means that a company is much more likely to know or be connected to the people they are trying to interact with. Using social media and content allows you to increase engagement and relationships with your following.

For example, you may know someone from your past who also follows your company’s page. You post a valuable piece of content that your old business acquaintance comments on. You remember him or her, but it has been awhile since you last got in touch. You can message them asking how they have been, setting up for a lunch meeting to grow the relationship.

You can also like a potential business partner’s status or photo, congratulate him or her on a new job or anniversary, and much more. This will humanize your relationship and can start to forge a deeper connection.

Establishing Thought Leadership

All companies should use social media to promote and position themselves as the go-to experts in their given field.

Blogs, white papers, videos, podcasts, and most importantly, social posts are all great way to establish yourself as a top resource for knowledge on the given subject matter. These opportunities will start to increase your audience. From there, high-profile journalists who are impressed by the quality of your social content may be a good fit for a business partnership (they get information; you get promotion).

On a micro level, even responding to single follower questions and comments demonstrates that your company is a thought leader in your space that wants to share their wealth.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Everything in the digital world connects. Ensuring that your company’s SEO and social platforms are working hand-in-hand is incredibly important to building brand awareness.

Search engines view company profiles as popular, familiar content that provides searchers with value, so they rank the pages usually pretty high compared to other results. Make sure your pages are optimized and consistent across all channels (don’t have different addresses listed to multiple accounts).

To further your SEO initiatives, participate in comments on avenues such as LinkedIn and Twitter, which will greatly amplify your company’s share of voice.

Now you are able to see how B2B companies can use social media to forge better quality relationships, position their company as a thought leader, and use social to help SEO. At the end of the day, B2B companies can benefit from making social media a critical piece of their marketing plans. With the guidance of a B2B marketing agency, Given time and the proper strategy, any organization can benefit from the value social media can bring.