Using social media to engage with potential customers and to build a community around your company is not only useful for small businesses – B2B companies can also use sites like LinkedIn and Twitter to their advantage too!

Much in the same way that a small business wants to grow their reputation and brand name online through social media platforms, B2B companies can also use the same tips and techniques to forge trusting and long-lasting working relationships with other businesses using the same social platforms.

Communication and consistency is the key here. A small business owner will want to build a solid trading partnership with another company that is essential to their business, so it is important for them to come across as even more knowledgeable and professional than anyone else in their sector or niche.

Here are some tips that B2B companies should take forward if they want to take advantage of what social media can do for their business:

Quality Content

Just as a small business would create useful and valuable content for their customers, B2B firms should also do the same. Many of the main social networks allow you to tag other people and pages in your content, so this is what you should do – create valuable content and tag those business prospects within it. Other businesses appreciate it when someone else talks in a positive light about them, but it also shows that company that your business exists and could be of use to them.

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Deliver Outstanding Value

Unlike B2C businesses who strive towards being overly-social with their customers, your timeline will not be littered with viral stories, celebrity news, quizzes and give-aways etc. Instead your history will show quality content that consistently delivers value over time. There is no harm in being warm and friendly towards your target audience, but instead of pictures of cats and popular memes, your posts will offer your potential business clients things like research results, reports, e-books and guides, informative videos and shared articles from industry experts, all tailored to the needs of your specific niche.

Build your Brand Identity

Engagement with your clients helps to build your authority and brand identity. Inspirational, quality and useful content drives engagement, so this doesn’t limit your efforts to only pushing for financial gain. Sharing quality information on a peer-to-peer level will help to establish your brand identity, and will help you to be perceived as someone trustworthy to do business with.

Show your Authority

Many well-established businesses will seek to do a joint venture with a company that can prove to be their equal in status and authority. They are looking for an expert in the field, so they will be taking a good hard look at you and study your credibility before considering approaching you to partner up or trade with you.

Looking back on your timeline to see consistently good content will perfectly illustrate your expertise and experience. Your attitude and approach to your business as well as your core values will be on display for all to see, so this is what needs to be at the forefront of your mind whenever you are creating new content and sharing information on your social media sites. Your customers are ready to make decision once they have taken the time to check you out, so make sure what they see is outstanding.

Display your Skills

Use different mediums of communication to get your information over. Utilise a good mix of text, photographs, graphics, charts, video and guides to show your potential business client just how versatile you can be. Just as you would show regular customers how your product or service would solve a problem for them or fill a need, show your potential business client how your product or service would complement theirs in the wider marketplace. Offer them a solution that would enhance their offerings further, or save them money.

Social Monitoring

There are so many useful monitoring tools available on social networks that B2B companies can watch and listen to their competitors conversations. New tools such as Brandwatch and Mention is also a great way to find people talking about you or one of your competitors and reading what questions they are asking to be solved. As they have already started the conversation, you can easily position yourself as a voice of authority and jump into the conversation with a useful solution.

Find a Connection and use it

Most people tend to do business with those they like, but also those who they have something in common with, such as a shared interest. If you can identify some similarities between you and a potential business client, then you have something to connect with. Networking on social media is much easier than actually attending physical networking events, and you are doing nothing more than you would in person at an event – find and make new connections.

Learn how to use LinkedIn effectively

We recently hosted an online training sessions as part of our Practical Digital Marketing series where we demonstrated how to make effective use of LinkedIn and how to find and connect with prospects. Put 40 minutes aside and take a look – it could make a huge difference to your business sales process.

These are just a few ideas that a B2B small business owner can try. You may want to share some of your own tips and tricks with us that are not mentioned here.