Social media is one of the biggest marketing tools currently out there, not just for marketing to consumers but also to other business owners. With so many businesses online, using the right social media to reach your target market is vital, especially if you are marketing to other businesses.
Platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest are definitely not avenues that will reach other businesses in a way platforms such as Facebook, Twitter or Google+ will. Here are a few reasons why.
Although Facebook is one of the most casual of all social media platforms it is also one of the easiest to advertise on. With 16 million local business as of May 2013, and more added daily, the business to business marketing opportunities available are endless.
- There are so many different groups in which you can join to share your products and services with other business owners. Similar to little business communities or networking events.
- When creating an ad the filters available allow you to fine tune who sees your ad - including choosing those that have Business Owner as their job description.
- You can follow and connect with other business owners on their own business pages or groups to expand your connections. A simple conversation on a post can set the ball rolling towards a new client.
- A Verified Facebook page ranks you higher in the search results and puts your business in front of relevant individuals especially when you allow your page to be suggested.
Although Twitter is nowhere near as large as Facebook more and more businesses are using it as a marketing platform and to make connections with those who can help their business. Following the right person can open up a whole new avenue of contacts for a business. Here are a few tips for using twitter for your business.
- Use Twitter to tweet interesting or unusual facts about your business or products and provide a link to the relevant page on your site. Use industry related hashtags to interest those looking for your services or products.
- Send out short tips via Twitter on how to use your services or products and the benefits to other businesses.
- Follow customers and vendors as well as influential bloggers, journalists, industry analysts, and others with a large following and significant influence on your business or industry.
- Use promoted tweets and Twitter cards as inexpensive ways to advertise your products in Twitter.
Google plus is not as popular as other platforms but the benefits of marketing your business on this platform make it a vital asset to your business. Google+ is thought of as just another extension of free tools from Google and another social media platform but in fact it is so much more.
- Due to Google’s algorithms posting regular content on a Google+ page can have you listed higher in search results than any other social media platform or web page.
- A Google+ page automatically places your business under local searches, putting you higher in the search results for individuals and business searching your services. This includes getting listed on the ‘local carousel’ that sometimes appear on Google search results.
- If you blog about your business you can take advantage of the Authorship mark up of Google. This is where a headshot of yourself and your name is linked to your listing including any Google+ stats.
- Integration with other Google apps means that anyone checking their Gmail online will receive a suggested link to your Google+ profile to the right of their emails – this depends on the particular emails they are looking at.
A professional social media platform, LinkedIn allows you to make connections with industries and businesses that may open channels for you to discuss your services and products, particularly the benefits to other businesses. The downside to LinkedIn is its lack of marketing options, although it has them they are more used for spreading the word regarding a vacancy within your business than actually marketing your business to others. The advertising platform has some limited targeting but costs more than Facebook. This can be done however by joining groups and regularly keeping in contact with those within your industry of interest.
Marketed correctly, making the right connections and portraying a professional front will get your business noticed with all the right people. Since people like to talk, those same people will be more than happy to talk about you to other business owners, spreading the word and increasing your reach.