Ok, we’ll say it: You’re not entirely convinced that social media marketing is the way to go for commercial or residential building product companies. You’re wondering if it will truly impact your bottom line.
Or maybe it’s because many building product manufacturers are afraid of the unknown. In other words, brand managers typically know what they’re going to get from a trade show, sponsored webinar or from a lunch-and-learn. But can social really help build B2B business?
Well, today we’re going to tell you why social media marketing is absolutely the way to build B2B brands by…
- Generating revenue
- Gaining a competitive advantage
- Monitoring your brand reputation
- Building customer relationships and ensuring customer satisfaction
The bottom line is you want to grow sales to builders, remodelers, contractors, dealers, distributors and consumers. Do you know where they all hang out? Believe it or not — Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
1. Social Media Marketing will help you generate revenue
We’ve listed this justification first because we all know that revenue gets immediate buy-in. However, make no mistake, generating revenue from social media marketing is a long-term proposition, not a light switch.
Why is this? Because B2B social media is about nurturing trust, so confidence can be built to move prospects through the buyer’s journey and finally be converted into customers.
You can generate revenue with social media by:
- Using social media to build your brand’s community. Expand your prospect universe by offering informative content and thought leadership (e-books, whitepapers, how-to-buy guides, troubleshooting videos, etc.); promotions (coupons, loyalty campaigns, refer-a-friend programs, etc.), even ask-the-expert forms.
- Sharing case studies, testimonials or product stories to showcase unique applications and build trust among audience members. Such real-life experiences or stories can help prospects envision how they might utilize a product or service. For example, prospects might be wowed by a decorative glass window’s appearance, but be completely unaware that it’s also operational and can be vented. Marketing content can help illustrate unique or under-utilized product features and benefits.
- Running paid ads targeted to specific audiences in specific phases of the buyer’s journey or triggered by specific actions (the download of an e-book prompts the distribution of a video link three days later).
Here’s an example of a Facebook lead gen offer ad designed to build your email list (offering an informative e-book):
2. Social media marketing will help you gain a competitive advantage
According to AZCentral, competitive advantage refers to the ability of a company to deliver products, services or benefits, either at a lower cost or at a higher level than other players in the same industry.
Here’s how social media marketing will give you a competitive advantage:
- Social media can increase your chance of finding skilled workers by allowing you to post vacancies or direct people to specific pages, like “become an installer” or “contractor training.”
Here’s an example:
- Social media will allow you to respond to customers faster than your competitor does.
- Getting closer to customer prospects helps inform and fuel enhancements to products or new product development.
3. Social Media Marketing will help monitor your brand reputation
A brand’s online reputation is its primary currency. When consumers trust your brand and feel confident purchasing your goods or services, sales and long-term value can be built.
Like most valuable assets in life, trust is earned day-by-day across many years, but can be destroyed in a matter of seconds with a viral customer-service issue or a damaging headline.
Yes, we’re talking about those horrifying posts people make on their Facebook feeds about your product or service. Imagine not being aware of what people are saying about your brand, and not being in a position to defend your brand. That will be the case if you don’t have a social media presence; or, most importantly, if you don’t have a team dedicated to social listening and reputation management. It’s essential to know what people are saying about your brand in real-time.
Click here to learn how to protect your building product brand with social listening.
4. Social Media Marketing will build customer relationships and ensure customer satisfaction
Having a social media presence will help your building products brand cultivate direct relationships with partners, prospects and customers alike. A social media business page provides an outlet for customer questions, comments and concerns.
How to build customer relationships on social media:
- Encourage customer engagement by posting pictures of your customers’ installations.
- Display excellent customer service by sharing customer testimonials and reviews in an interactive way.
- Be as human as possible. Your customer’s like doing business with real people, so respond to your customers’ comments on social media in an authentically human way.
A video is a great example of an interactive testimonial post:
Let’s wrap this up:
It’s clear that social media marketing has become an essential part of the marketing mix of every building-product business. Social media marketing helps enlarge your contact base, drives traffic to your website and product offers, creates a platform to assist your customers, and helps build and protect your brand reputation.