Social networks are without doubt effective channels of communication. If you are not using social media to communicate, you better rethink that strategy, because your largest competitors are. Below we have gathered some of the necessary social media hacks to correctly and unobtrusively inform the world about your company, enhance branding and increase profit.
Is there life on Mars? The question of the role of social networks in selling complex products in the b2b market is very similar to the issue of life on Mars. It will be possible to respond to it objectively only after sufficient statistics analysis. In addition, one would like to avoid it, but in any way it is impossible. Alternatively, vice versa, we will be sure that the advancement of complex products on social networks in the b2b market is a waste of time and money.
In the current days, we cannot escape from the fact that social networks exist and are channels of communication that can be used. After all, marketers always go where there is an audience or find solutions on how to attract students with the help of educational platforms. In addition, after the people broke down several years ago in social networks, it is no longer possible to say that there is no audience there. Moreover, it is quite possible that if you do not follow the audience right now, you can turn in the competition, as it was with those who underestimated other Internet marketing opportunities in their time.
Definition of purpose
From the theory, it is known that a sale of a complex product on the b2b-market is not carried out spontaneously under the influence of emotions. In addition, the decision on such sales is usually taken by more than one person and a certain committee consisting of several officials.
Indeed, it is impossible to imagine the following situation: In the negotiation room where the committee for the decision to purchase a corporate CRM system has gathered, the IT director breaks in and with a cheerful cry: “We have to buy a Microsoft solution, because that man in advertising is so cool three times Broke his laptop. The marketing director (s) comes up and declares: “No, we have to buy a solution from 1C because I like their yellow socks. They were all yellow at the show yesterday as pretty as chickens. In addition, all the others amicably catch…like chickens, and let’s buy their solution. Hard to imagine? For me as well.
The decision, in this case, is made rationally, after analyzing a variety of factors, after lengthy negotiations with potential suppliers and holding a tender. Therefore, an impact on the decision-making of each of the messages that marketers and ‘salespeople’ are trying to convey to the consumer is quite small. Nevertheless, the effect of the aggregate of messages creates the opportunity to sell the product.
Now, let us see what is necessary to ensure that your company with the proposal got into a field of view of the committee and participants of the competition if it is held indeed. First, your company should be known to the committee making the decision to purchase. That is, in other words, at the time when a list of possible participants is being prepared, you should raise awareness of your company and its product among the organizers of the competition.
Secondly, members of the committee must consider that your company delivers a product that is suitable for the purposes assigned to them. That is, an attitude of your business and its products from the organizers of the competition should be sufficiently positive to draw your attention to and include in the participants.
These two conditions, awareness and positive attitude, are necessary for sales, including complex products on the b2b market. Proceeding from the foregoing, I formulate the goal of promoting the company and the product in social networks:
- The goal of promoting a company operating in the b2b market and its complex products in social media boost is to form and increase awareness about the company and products, as well as to improve the attitude of the target audience to the company and its products.
In addition, I will not talk about any direct sales of complex products on the b2b-market through social networks because it is practically impossible. I will only talk about using social networks to provide such sales.
Applying a flexible and repetitive approach to the implementation of social media and business growth
The research and experience of, for example, Accenture, showed that the speed of response is a highly important characteristic for productive business. In particular, this concerns the rapidly changing and constantly growing field of the public network, which must continuously adapt to external factors such as compliance and competitive dynamics, and evaluate the information gathered and processes used that control public network throughout the organization.
B2B companies considering the possibility of implementing social media should be prepared for the fact that this will be a long-term and systematic process. Very few social media implementation programs bring immediate results. Companies that are particularly successful in using such media know that it is necessary to constantly upgrade, review existing programs to make sure they are in line with their own business priorities, and look for new opportunities to use social media and business growth for competitive advantage.
Invest in the prosperous technologies
Perhaps one of the most important problems that the company will face when choosing social media is the use of technology. A recent Accenture study confirmed this and found that B2B companies were convinced that their success in social media and business growth depends on choosing the right technologies and having technical skills to support, manage, identify and track their activity in social media boost.
It is important to properly allocate investments in the field of technology and translate ideas, that have been implemented on their own, into the sphere of social media technologies using the basic information systems. Without an efficient and integrated approach to technology, the company’s responses to customers and their connection will be disconnected, and this will affect the reputation strategy of the company and endanger a relationship with their clients. However, at the same time, close attention exclusively to technical aspects does little to improve the individual communication between customers.
This, of course, does not make social media a catalyst for growth within the organization. To do this, companies must adapt a holistic social media strategy that encompasses new technologies, as well as new techniques, analytical and metric principles, organizational structures, management models, and skills. Each component is a vital component of the public network.
Managers can overcome investment and integration problems by using a more thoughtful approach to selecting right technologies, building a viable and evolving infrastructure, developing and providing applications for the ever-changing world of social media. A key element of this approach is the so-called ‘social media platform’ – a technology that allows the company to identify and integrate all cases of interaction with customers, as well as communication in social media of such clients about this company.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to buy a social media platform from a software vendor today. Some software companies provide the key parts of the platform, but none of them sells the entire set. As a result, companies must plan their actions and combine commercially available software, where possible, and then work out a solution to fill the gaps in working with clients. For example, Accenture helps one resource company combine several existing tools, including Radian6, Newsdesk4, and MeaningMine, and develop a productive social media strategy version that will perform monitoring functions
Convince your company to purchase this product
The success of any public network program within the B2B sector implies an understanding of the impact that social media has on people, skills, and roles needed to plan and execute social media operations, as well as security rules and protocols that define an acceptable (or unacceptable) behavior in an internal and external audience. To convince the company to buy such products, probably, first, it is necessary to attract managers. Data that speak about trends in social media growth hacking are unlikely to convince a leader to act. To attract their attention, it is necessary to create an emotional connection between those leaders who are relevant to public networks, as well as demonstrate a return on investment, as this can contribute to business growth. You will not be able to persuade senior management in favor of social media, and, therefore, make this an essential part of the work organization, if there is resistance on both sides.
There are several ways to create an emotional connection among a broader range of leaders – starting with a frank conversation about the experience of using Facebook, LinkedIn, or other social media sites by the leaders of the service before covering the views of customers about the company in these media.
An appeal to managers also requires demonstrating the economic impact of the event, which provides a financial and competitive rationale for the use of such social media hacks. Such work is most effective when it is carried out together with other representatives of the organization whose duties are most connected with social media (usually a marketing department, a customer service department, a sales department, a human resources department, a department for the development of IT technologies and products).
There are at least three levels on which the work with social media and business growth is based:
- Attention to areas that managers appreciate and easily understand. For executives in the B2B sector, such areas may include ways to achieve greater success in cross sales and sales, as well as penetration of the commercial activities of the client organization.
- Discussing the benefits associated with financial flows. For example, managers may not understand enough the potential of social media hacks that can help develop new products, promote the brand or increase the participation of employees in this process.
- The sounding value of a multi-channel strategy that links ideas in the field of public network and broader corporate programs. By becoming part of a multi-channel client strategy, social media hacks could help, for example, to reduce operational complexity or improve the efficiency of customer service.
The Accenture study shows that when it comes to implementing social media programs in the B2B sector, a corporate value system does not reflect the importance of using social media that its companies endow. The analysis showed that there is a gap between the belief in using such media and real actions, and that B2B companies do not use social media effectively enough, how they could contact their clients and business partners, improve sales and service, popularize them Brands or promote innovation.
To reduce this gap, companies must ensure that social media matches larger commercial goals. They also need to place public network as an important component of a consumer strategy, which opens up opportunities for a wide variety of areas, from marketing, sales and services to cooperation with partners, and popularizing innovations in new sectors, such as the supply chain, distribution of products. The way each company creates its effective social media program depends on the list of its unique goals and capabilities. However, successful social media programs have two important features. They are supported by leaders in relevant organizations. In addition, they were made after careful analysis and identification of the goal that such social media should help achieve. This means that it may be necessary to introduce new technologies and processes, establish new principles for assessing success, create new organizational structures and models, and acquire new skills.
Thus, companies that want to, successfully, use public networks are not afraid to ask difficult questions and then make informed decisions about investments in social media that they want or refuse to implement. B2B companies are positive about the importance of social media for gaining productive business categorization. Now it is time for these companies to take the necessary steps to capitalize on these assumptions and overcome doubts about this powerful means of improving performance.
Helen Birk works for Edubirdie, where she helps students with the paperwork. Also, she works with the business improvement office to make informing that pulls in correct chiefs, increasing inbound leads and expanding brand mindfulness all while shortening deals cycles, the time it takes to pick up deals arrangements and set legitimate deals and execution desires.