The Best B2B Social Networking Channels To Grow Your Business

The use of social networking channels has been continually increasing, and this is expected to continue to grow further. As of 2017, 71% of all internet audiences use social networking channels. And by 2021, the total number of social network users is expected to reach 3.02 billion.

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Image Source — Statista

Most B2C companies have been successfully utilizing social networking platforms to grow their businesses for a long time. Given the popularity of online social networking, there’s huge scope for B2B companies to leverage social networks too.

B2B companies need to use social networking platforms to understand their potential customers. This can help them target the right people at right time. However, each social media platform is very different and serves different purposes. So you need to understand the best B2B social networks individually in order to grow and expand your business.

In this post, we’ll take a look at 6 of the best B2B social networks to help you grow your business. Let’s get started.

1. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is one of the most popular and widely used B2B social networking platforms today. It provides professionals with an opportunity to connect with other professionals in their industry to learn and grow together. With features that allow sharing of content, engaging with audiences, and recruiting talent, it’s a handy platform for B2B companies.

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According to a CMI report, more than 95% of B2B companies use LinkedIn for content marketing. As of 2017, there are over 500 million members on LinkedIn. This presents a huge opportunity and indicates the potential of this platform to positively impact your business.

Image Source — CMI

What are the benefits of using LinkedIn as a B2B social network other than boosting brand awareness and leads? Let’s take a look.

1. Promoting Product Launches

If you are a B2B company, LinkedIn is the best social platform for launching new products. More than 90% of B2B companies prefer LinkedIn for their product marketing.

Since most of your targeted audiences are present on LinkedIn, you can easily reach them. All you need to do is engage with them by posting interesting articles or ideas related to your industry. Once they are invested in your business, it becomes easier on your part to launch and promote your new product.

2. Strengthening Relationships

LinkedIn is a great platform that allows you to interact with other proficient professionals. It allows you to share your content, views, and/or opinions on relevant topics. This triggers reactions from your audiences and is a great way to kick-start a relationship.

It also allows you to initiate one-to-one interactions with fellow professionals. Keep posting interesting and relevant stuff at regular intervals. This will help you strengthen your relationships with your followers.

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3. Expanding Your Horizons

LinkedIn provides you the opportunity to connect with other companies and professionals from the same industry. You can gain knowledge and learn their unique experiences by simply following and interacting with them. This will also keep you updated about new trends in your industry.

4. Reaching Decision Makers Easily

B2B sales are way more complicated than B2C as they usually involve multiple stakeholders and decision makers. LinkedIn provides you with an easy way of connecting with such individuals directly. Such professionals are always looking for new, capable, and potential opportunities. So if you can engage them effectively, your job becomes a lot easier.

2. Twitter

With more than 300 million monthly active users, Twitter is a place to “see what’s happening.” According to a CMI report, 87% of B2B marketers use Twitter for content marketing. And so, Twitter makes its way to the top B2B social networking platforms for implementing content marketing strategies.

The biggest obstacle with Twitter, however, is getting noticed by the right set of individuals or companies. By using relevant hashtags, you can combat this issue and increase your brand awareness. The more frequently you tweet, the greater are your chances of increasing your brand’s visibility and awareness.

Here are some benefits of using Twitter for your B2B company:

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1. Getting Noticed

Twitter is one of the best B2B social networks to start conversations with your potential customers or other industry experts. However, make sure that you’re reaching out to relevant people and are consistently creating positive first impressions. You can even send personalized messages to your potential customers for better communication.

2. Humanizing your Brand

You must humanize your brand in order to stand out among your competitors. Post tweets which trigger emotions and push your followers to start engaging with your content. Try to post attractive and appealing pictures, blog posts, or videos. Refrain from sending automated tweets as this will look spammy, and you don’t want that.

3. Increasing Engagement

Engaging with followers might seem like a tedious task but it is essential for your B2B company. It will help you gain the trust of your followers and encourage them to interact with you more often. And it will also help you position yourself as an expert and leader in your industry through relevant content sharing.

You can organize a Twitter poll to create engagement with your followers. You can even start a weekly hashtag campaign for your Twitter chat and ensure that you always reply to your followers. All such efforts can increase your follower engagement.

3. Facebook

Since the time of its inception, Facebook has evolved immensely — from adding new languages to introducing new exciting features. Facebook has come a long way in improving their user experience and providing opportunities for marketers to promote their businesses.

As of 2017, Facebook has more than 2 billion monthly active users. So it is not surprising that the B2C companies are successfully using Facebook for promoting their business. However, if you are under the impression that B2B companies don’t use Facebook for business, you are wrong.

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Image Source — Statista

42% of B2B marketers have admitted that Facebook is the most effective B2B social networking platform for their companies. Here are some of the main benefits of using Facebook as a B2B social networking platform:

1. Cost-Effective Strategy

Facebook is the most cost-effective social platform for B2B companies, and is especially beneficial for small businesses or startups. You can promote your business and interact with your potential customers by creating a free Facebook page. You can run ads and promote your posts for a budget that you can decide for yourself.

2. Customer Support

If you have a presence on Facebook, that’s an added bonus to your customer service. Your business can easily receive queries from your customers and resolve them quickly and efficiently. This can increase customer satisfaction levels and help in strengthening relationships.

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3. Increase Traffic to Your Website

Facebook allows you to add your website URL to your Facebook page. Your posts on the page can give your customers a glimpse of your products and other relevant information. This will encourage your potential customers to visit your website if they are interested in making a purchase.

4. Interact with Existing and Potential Customers

Facebook allows you to interact with your current as well as potential customers. It helps you convert your prospects into loyal customers through regular engagement.

You should mention your business contact details on your Facebook page so that customers can contact you easily. Interacting directly with customers creates a personal connection that strengthens the relationship.

4. Instagram

When it started out, Instagram was meant to be a platform to share photos with friends and family. However, it has rapidly evolved beyond personal use and is being widely used by businesses today.

As of September 2017, Instagram has over 800 million monthly active users. According to a report by Simply Measured, 48% of brands are using Instagram for their marketing. It is expected that in the years to come, brands will increase their budgets for Instagram marketing.

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Image Source — Statista

With features like live video, location tagging, and hashtags, B2B companies can capitalize on and grow their businesses on Instagram. On Instagram, you can showcase your human side. With user-generated content, you can build long lasting relationships with your followers.

Let’s look at some of the reasons why Instagram is one of the best B2B social networking channels:

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1. Leverage User-Generated Content

User-generated content (UGC) is a subtle way in which customers express their faith in the brand. For example, in the image below, an employee from IBM shares a photo showing off their beautiful office spaces. IBM simply re-posted it and received more than 3800 likes. Such strategies can help you grow your followers and engagement.

Image Source — Instagram

2. Share Behind-the-Scenes with Your Followers

Your followers would love to see your work culture, office routines, and learn how you run your business. On Instagram, you can artistically smudge the lines between personal and professional. This will encourage your followers to learn more about your business and push them to visit your website.

3. Increase Interaction by Using Hashtags

By using hashtags, you can increase interactions with your followers. Hashtags help you get discovered easily. You can even encourage the use of branded hashtags in user-generated content. This increases your brand’s visibility and awareness.

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5. SlideShare

SlideShare is a renowned platform where documents and presentations can be shared. The platform is owned by one of the top B2B social networks — LinkedIn. 19% of B2B marketers use SlideShare for their content marketing strategies. SlideShare allows you to share infographic, videos, documents, and presentations.

As of 2017, there are more than 80 million professionals who use SlideShare. With such a user base, SlideShare definitely qualifies as a top resource for B2B companies. Let’s have a look at the benefits it provides.

1. Reach a Large Number of Professionals

SlideShare gives you an opportunity to interact with a large number of experts or professionals from your industry. The content posted by you is also accessible to them. So, this allows the exchange of knowledge as well.

2. Cost-Effective Social Platform

If you are a small business or have a shoestring marketing budget, SlideShare is the best platform for you. All you need to do is sign up using your email or by linking with your LinkedIn profile. It won’t cost you a dime to upload or download content from SlideShare.

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3. It Improves your SEO

While uploading your presentation, document, or video, you should include relevant keywords in your content. Doing so ensures that your content shows up in the top results of search engines.

4. Easy to Measure

On SlideShare, you can easily keep an eye on the performance of your content. You can track the number of shares, comments, likes, and views generated from LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus. By evaluating your site analytics, you can examine the amount of traffic your website is generating through SlideShare.

Image Source — MaccaPR

6. Google Plus

With nearly 400 million monthly active users, Google Plus has the potential to compete with other B2B social networks. However, it is still underutilized by B2B companies. Only 28% of B2B marketers use Google Plus for implementing their content marketing strategies.

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As a B2B company, you need to build your presence on Google Plus for SEO. You can think of Google Plus as a social layer. Whatever content you post on Google Plus, it gets added to the search results of Google Plus circles. It also gives your videos and images greater exposure.

Let’s look at some of the benefits of using Google Plus for your B2B marketing:

1. Increases Engagement

If you want to see your business grow, you need to engage meaningfully with your audiences. To improve and increase your engagement, what’s better than Google, as it facilitates interaction in many ways, including:

  • Google Plus Circles — Google Plus Circles allow you to share and search for relevant and valuable content. They also optimize your target audiences list, which leads to better engagement rates.
  • Google Hangouts— Hangouts are undoubtedly one of the best features of Google Plus. They allows you to conduct video meeting with a maximum of 10 people at the same time. So, they give you a flawless experience of organizing podcasts, webinars, or conferences.
  • Google Plus Communities — Google communities are similar to Facebook groups. They allow you to put forward your ideas and opinions on a subject. Participating in a few such groups can give you the opportunity to listen to other experts.

2. Helps Improve SEO

Your activities and actions on social media will always have an impact on your rankings on search engines. Google monitors every activity that happens on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. However, Google Plus is slightly different from other social platforms.

When you post your content on Google Plus, don’t forget to optimize it with relevant keywords. When someone searches using these keywords, there’s a good chance that your content will pop up in the top results. So, when done correctly, Google Plus can be really effective in improving search rankings for your business.

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Image Source — Google

Final Thoughts

B2B companies have realized the power and the potential of social platforms. When done correctly, these B2B social networks platforms can boost your business by increasing your brand’s visibility. There is no better way of gaining customers’ trust and building relationships than using social platforms.

However, you need to ensure that you post the right type of content on the right platforms. You must tweak your social media strategy according to the social platform which you are using or planning to use.

Can you think of any other B2B social networks to grow your business? Let me know in the comments below.


This article originally published on Shane Barker’s Digital Marketing blog.

About The Author

Shane Barker is the Founder and CEO of Content Solutions and Gifographics. You can connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.


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