Most B2B business owners would cringe when they hear the word “Social Media” or “Social Media Marketing”. I don’t blame them. While social media marketing has gained leaps and bounds in popularity when it comes to B2C marketing, it is still a hit or miss when it comes to businesses who market to other businesses.
Using social media to market your services or products to another business or worse to another is an extremely difficult process. If you do it right, you can reap massive rewards, but if you do it wrong you waste resources and time for very little rewards or none at all.
One of the biggest misconceptions about social media marketing most businesses have is that there is really no such a thing as “Social Media Marketing”. Social media is a channel, a medium, much like TV or Radio. Social media is not a method of marketing. What businesses should focus on is to create powerful, magnetic content instead.
That’s right: Social media marketing is really just content marketing, as the content is absolutely king on social media channels. Here are 4 keys to a successful social media campaign.
Key #1 Determine Who Your Audience Is
Whether you’re selling to a consumer or other businesses you must first determine who you’re going to aim your messages towards. With B2B, this can be a little tricky, after all, your target audience is not going to be another business but rather someone who holds a position in that business.
Your target audience may be the CEO, the Human Resource Manager, the Director of E-commerce, Head of Engineering, or maybe you want to target multiple positions in an organization. Find out who in the organization you want to attract and then figure out how you are going to attract them to engage with your business on Social Media.
Key #2 Use Content Marketing to Attract Your Audience
Once you’ve determined who your core audiences are going to be, the next logical step is to attract a whole bunch of followers. This can be done in many ways, for example in B2C spaces most companies like to use giveaways or offer a discount as incentives to get people to follow their WeChat official accounts, but this doesn’t work for B2B businesses and here is why…
It is highly unlikely, the CEO or the CFO you want to attract is going to follow your account based on incentives or discounts. With B2B businesses using great content that solves a specific problem for audiences you want to attract is going to be the key to getting more followers on your social media in China. This could be white papers, guides, checklists, swipe files, or other useful contents.
Keep in mind that your audience will likely have to interact with your contents on multiple occasions before they will decide to follow you. So, don’t dwell on creating one piece of content that will drive it home for you. Instead, focus on creating multiple contents that address specific problems that your audiences may have.
Key #3 Use Advance WeChat CRM Integration
This may not be true for other social media platforms such as Weibo or even Facebook, but WeChat is a unique social media platform when it comes to B2B marketing. WeChat official accounts, especially the service accounts, come with many functionalities that allow your brand to interact with your clients directly.
Very few foreign businesses know about this, but there are many third-party add-ons or plugins providers who can enhance your WeChat Service Account’s functionality. For example, you can use Template Messages to manage your appointment confirmation and you can use Bulk Service Message to help you with technical support. You can even use auto-reply to answer any commonly asked questions that your clients may have.
Key #4 Be Social and Engage with Your Followers
At the end of the day, your success with social media in China is not in the number of followers you have, but the relationship you have with the followers. It is far better to have 1,000 royal fans who will rave about your brand and products than 100,000 followers who only followed your account because they wanted some kind of discount.
Engage with your followers, talk with them, answer their comments, and cultivate a relationship with them as this will be the key to your success with B2B social media in China.
I want to conclude this short article on B2B social media marketing in China with two examples of two B2B which has put social media into their marketing strategy.
Siemens, the largest industrial manufacturing company in Europe, used their WeChat Service Account to market their product successfully in China.
Instead of creating an elaborate Chinese website, Siemens turned their WeChat Service Account into a mini website while delivering a lot of valuable content and white paper to promote their product and services to other Chinese business looking for quality industrial manufacturing goods.
Just like Siemens, Philips Healthtech in China has also leveraged the powerful functionality of their WeChat service account to engage with their clients and provide a superior customer support for all their devices.
As a way to attract more followers, Philips created interactive training courses that provided free healthcare training for all healthcare professionals. Then to further engage and develop royal followers Philips leveraged WeChat’s auto-reply, template message, and service messaging to provide superior customer service by allowing their clients to report problems with their devices get answered right away.
As you can see, both companies have leveraged WeChat service account to provide content and great customer service to attract more B2B clients and then cultivate a relationship with them. Both companies have put an importance on creating meaningful and useful contents and both companies are successful in their B2B China endeavor.