Pete Brand
Grand Rapids, MI

I am married to an incredible woman named Amanda and have five amazing children. I would consider myself an entrepreneur and absolutely love the challenge of building businesses. I also love the journey of personal development. I don't believe in drifting through life on auto-pilot. I believe we are presented each day with opportunities to improve and become better. I choose to embrace these opportunities and use the lessons I learn to become a better "me" and continuously strive to embrace each moment!

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Success in Business Web Strategy

Is Social Media Relevant for B2B?

By on January 10, 2011

If you are like me you’ve probably attended a number of social media seminars where the speakers guarantee you they’ll teach you exactly what it will take to succeed in Social Media.

The only problem is, once you get through the seminar you are left wondering …

How the heck do I apply this information to my B2B (Business to Business) company?

It seems to me the majority of the “Social Media Presenters” are focused more on how to build your personal brand, or how to sell your product using social media.  This isn’t all bad since there are many companies out there who can use this information.

But what about those B2B companies that are selling services?  Does this lack of education mean there simply isn’t a good application for social media in the B2B world?

Absolutely not!

There isn’t a week that goes by that I am not asked the question, “Does your company have any experience working with B2B organizations or are you simply focused on B2C (Business to Consumer)?”

I personally don’t feel there is as big of a difference between B2B and B2C as people try to make it.

If you are convinced that it’s an earth shattering difference and to succeed in B2B you need to have some crazy “ninja skills” that someone in the B2C world simply isn’t equipped with, I have a question for you…

If you have a B2B company, do you NOT have humans visiting your site?

Just because you can’t pinpoint your ideal customer as a married housewife, that typically lives in the suburbs, has 2.5 kids, a dog, and is between the ages of 29 and 35, doesn’t mean that social media isn’t relevant to your business.

In fact, I am here to tell you it can be even more relevant!

When looking at ANY marketing for a B2B organization you need to focus even more intently on the type of human that will be visiting your website.  The main difference is you’ll look less at the demographic makeup of the visitor and look closer at the profile of the visitor.

For example …

If you were selling a sales automation software you would be marketing to three distinctly different persona profiles.

  • First you’d be marketing to a VP of Sales.  This persona would be most interested in gaining insight into how full the sales people’s funnels are, how many deals are about to be closed, and what activity the sales people are conducting each week.
  • Secondly, you’d be marketing to the Sales Professional. This persona is going to be interested in how easy the software is to use and  if  they can easily automate the processes they go through each day so they can find more time to chase the golf ball around the course.
  • You’d also be marketing to the Network Administrator.  This persona is going to be interested in the compatibility of the software to other systems that are in place, how much maintenance is going to be required, but most importantly they’ll want to know how “dummy proof” it is since they’ll want the least amount of stupid questions from the VP of Sales and the Sales Professionals as possible.  🙂

When you look closely at the type of people who are deciding to do business with your company, it isn’t that difficult to begin to put them in very specific categories.  Once you’ve done that, it is easy to uncover intelligence on that particular persona and quickly identify the main problems they are turning to the Internet to solve.

I personally believe this is MUCH easier than marketing to B2C consumers.

If you are going after a particular demographic you’re forced to evaluate their specific thoughts and attitudes amidst every other thought and view they have on every thing else in their life.

When marketing to a particular persona it is much easier to uncover their professional objectives based on their position within an organization.  Once you have this information you can easily show how the solutions your company provides can assist them in achieving their objectives.

It’s easy to find out where these individuals hang out within the social media-sphere, and elsewhere online.  Once you’ve done that you have the ability to engage these people and find out exactly what they are looking for. Once you have that answer, it’s up to you to GIVE IT TO THEM! 🙂

If you are serious about tapping into the power of social media for your B2B organization, we will be showing you the exact tools and processes we use to not only identify these personas, but how to find out EXACLTY what they are looking for at our Internet Marketing Academy on January 27th and 28th in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  If you’d like more information, simply click the link above.  I’d also love to hear any success you’ve had in using social media for your B2B organization.  Leave a comment below if you have something you’d like to share.