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Choosing the Right Social Media Platforms: B2B Contractors

Every contractor’s business is different, so a one-size-fits-all social media strategy simply doesn’t exist. When it comes to social media for contractors, though, we can sort through which platforms are and aren’t beneficial to your business.

In this three-part series, we’ll explore eight different social media platforms and how they might work for your business. Since different contractors have different needs, we’re splitting the series by contractor type.

In part one, we’ll explore social media for B2B contractors.

 Social media for B2B contractors

If you’re a B2B contractor, you don’t usually deal with homeowners. That means your social media strategy won’t include finding and engaging homeowners where they “hang out,” online. Instead, you’ll need to find where other business owners and their marketing teams spend their time.

For B2B contractors, one social media platform dominates the others. There are a few other platforms that will help customers find your business, and even generate leads, but LinkedIn reins supreme in the B2B world.

On average, B2B companies use six social media platforms. You might not have the time or resources to use six social networks effectively, so we wrote this post to help you narrow your options and effectively focus your time.

1. LinkedIn

If you’re a B2B contractor, LinkedIn should be your primary social media focus. Some studies indicate many businesses see 80% of their social media leads come through LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is a social network for professionals. It’s the right platform to engage with, and market to, other businesses. There are plenty of opportunities here– LinkedIn groups, paid ads, status updates, blog posts, and more. It’s a great place to actually network and make connections, as well.

According to Buffer, LinkedIn sends almost four times as many visitors to your homepage than Twitter and Facebook.

Social Media Today reports 40% of B2B buyers say LinkedIn is important when researching services to purchase.

At least 62% of B2B marketers consider LinkedIn to be an effective platform, and 91% (according to the same study) rate LinkedIn as their most effective platform. These numbers vary from study to study, but LinkedIn always comes out on top for B2B.

If you don’t have a dedicated marketing team and you’re short on time for social media, consider learning the ropes of LinkedIn and investing your resources there. For a B2B contractor, it can’t be beat.

 Social media for contractors

2. Google+

Google+ isn’t quite dead yet. For a B2B contractor, there might actually still be some conversation there. Although Google+’s B2B marketing potential is dwindling because engagement and interest are dying out, it’s still important.

That’s because your Google+ page is directly tied to your search results. Make sure your Google+ listing contains accurate information and descriptions. If something is inaccurate, make fixing it a priority. No matter how much of a headache it may be, your Google+ page needs to display correct information.

Once it’s properly setup, you can forget about it or only make a post every once in awhile– but correctly setting up your Google+ page is one of the most important things you can do for your business.

3. Twitter

Depending on which surveys you read, Twitter is either the most or second-most used social media platform for B2B companies. 50% of B2B marketers consider it an effective marketing platform and it seems to generate more B2B leads than Facebook or any other platform, as well.

Most B2B companies have a Twitter presence (somewhere around 85%, according to CMO.com).

Keep in mind, Twitter has 255 million active users, per month, and 53% of Twitter users recommend products and services to their followers at least once. It’s good for word-of-mouth.

If a customer wants to ask you a quick question or engage you in conversation, they’re likely to look for you on Twitter. Even if you’re not tweeting up a storm, you need to keep an eye on your Twitter account. Twitter is also the best platform for keeping up with relatable news and industry trends.

At the very least, marketers are interested in Twitter. Marketers work for B2B companies. Even if Twitter isn’t as good for leads or networking as LinkedIn, it’s still a place where businesses and their marketers hang out. You’ll be among peers, even if you only tweet once a day or less.

4. Facebook

Facebook isn’t the greatest platform for B2B marketing or conversations, but it’s a platform your business needs to be on. Make sure your Facebook profile displays accurate information and share relevant content with your followers once in awhile. Photos and video are especially effective for engagement.

Private Facebook groups often provide great networking opportunities, as well as a platform for you to answer questions, demonstrate your expertise, and showcase your brand. It’s not a total loss, even if it’s not your best marketing platform, you still need a Facebook presence.  

Facebook pages have high search engine visibility, and people often search for your business on Facebook. You won’t get as much engagement or value as a B2C contractor, but you need to be on Facebook, even if it’s not a top priority. Only about 30% of B2B marketers rate Facebook as an effective marketing platform.

5. YouTube

76% of B2B companies use video marketing, and YouTube is their top choice. YouTube is an effective platform for brand awareness and lead generation.

75% of C-Suite Executives watch business related online videos. If you can find a way to produce videos showcasing your work and your unique selling prospect, you might catch the eye of some big players. You can engage other business directly on YouTube, as well.

That being said, YouTube users won’t always click back to your site, because it’s not always easy for them to do so. Calls-to-action are expressed through the video itself. Still, YouTube results factor high in Google’s search results, and YouTube itself is a popular destination to search for content.

If nothing else, YouTube is a great place to host any videos you plan to embed on your own site. If you see any possibility in using video content for marketing, YouTube is your best bet.

6. Instagram

Many business owners and their marketing staff use Instagram, that much is true. You might also produce great-looking projects that make for amazing photos. You could do worse than making an Instagram post every once in awhile. But according to SocialMediaB2B.com, only 26% of B2B marketers use Instagram.

If you find a solid strategy, there’s not much competition. This infographic is a good place to start if you think your audience might be on Instagram (but they’re likely not). Still, Instagram isn’t likely to produce many leads for a B2B contractor.

7. Pinterest

Treat Pinterest how you treat Instagram. If you can produce high-quality images of your work, you might try it out– if you have the time and resources. If you produce a lot of visual content, check out this post from HubSpot to get started and see if it’s worth your time. Still, Pinterest isn’t a main focus for most B2B entities.

8. Houzz

For the most part, Houzz exists to connect contractors and homeowners. Some B2B contractors find a small amount of success connecting with manufacturers, and new construction firms sometimes find business customers. One contractor uses it as more of a referral program.

If you can see the value in connecting with architects, builders, and designers, Houzz might work for you. This is especially true if you have plenty of project photos. At the end of the day, though, Houzz is more geared toward B2C contractors. Check out this post if you want to learn more.

Since you’re a B2B contractor, you can most likely skip Houzz, until it incorporates more B2B-centric features. As with any social network, it doesn’t hurt to have a profile there. Increased brand visibility is always a good thing.  

Conclusion and Summary

LinkedIn is essential for B2B contractors. It’s a platform designed to help you network, spread brand awareness, and capture leads. Twitter is also popular in the B2B world. For any business, building and maintaining a Google+ and Facebook page is a must, and If you have good ideas for video content, YouTube might just be your silver bullet.

Social media platforms are what you make them. There’s only so much time in the day, though, so B2B contractors should focus on marketing and connecting with LinkedIn, keeping up with Twitter, and maintaining a presence on Facebook.

As a recap:

Your most important social media platforms are:

  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Facebook

You need a presence on:

  • Google+

You might find success on:

  • YouTube

You can probably skip:

  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
  • Houzz

Building the best,

Scott

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