Social networks: A happy hunting ground for B2B marketing

social networks
© Pixabay, User: albersHeinemann

Their ubiquity and popularity make social networks the perfect place for marketing as there’s an option to engage with users. This is particularly true for the B2B sector. Social media is not just for digital natives; it’s also a platform for skilled experts. In the B2B sector, however, suppliers could make even better use of social networks in order to unlock their full potential.

Social networks can help companies get in touch with existing and prospective customers – especially in the run-up to and during a trade fair, such as drinktec. For example, thanks to social media in the B2B sector, you can get an idea of how others have reacted to certain product details and information. Service requests and applications can be processed over social media, and it also provides new ways for you to easily contact suppliers about their opinions on a company and find out more about the products they offer. Companies can show their commitment to social causes or to their employees through a mix of media, including text, image and video. Where else could you do all this, other than on a social network? But one thing is also clear: Social media isn’t a little side project. It needs constant care!

A focus on dialogue: Krones AG as a B2B marketing pioneer

Krones AG has set a benchmark for how to best use social media for B2B activities. First of all, the company discovered the potential of this approach very early on and was one of the first suppliers in the beverage industry to attempt it. On top of that, Krones has developed a strong presence across many social networks. For example, Krones has an ongoing blog to help bring their “focus on dialogue” mantra to life. Facebook, Twitter, Xing and LinkedIn, as well as Instagram and Pinterest, are obviously part of their social communication toolbox as well. The company even has its own YouTube channel, which is constantly inundated with new videos from customers, as well as videos produced by the company itself.

Social networks: A world of endless possibilities

Instagram is the go-to platform for sharing photos. Exhibitors at drinktec could, for example, open an account there and use the app to upload lots of interesting pictures from the trade fair. Twitter is now well known in Germany, thanks to a little visibility boost from the US president. The short messaging service is the ideal platform for marketing departments as they can post a quick tweet to tell their followers about exciting product news or share photos from the exhibition stands. Craftbrewer, in particular, has a strong presence on Twitter with almost 10,000 followers. Facebook also still holds plenty of potential for market leaders to share their contributions: Simple text, captivating pictures and live videos, as well as shares and comments on online posts, create a world of endless possibilities. LinkedIn and Xing both play major roles as networks for the beverage industry, especially when it comes to finding jobs or announcing new opportunities.

No standard recipe for social media success

Credibility is always a key factor when it comes to success. There is no standard recipe for running successful marketing campaigns on social media. Various investigations into generally successful strategies prove that: There are simply too many factors at play. Which means there’s plenty of room to experiment. It is clear that, at present, videos are very well received. At the moment, uploaded videos fit well into Facebook’s algorithms – that means the videos appear on users’ timelines at an above-average rate. When viewed, videos gain plenty of likes, and are also shared and discussed across Facebook. The networking platform Innovation Flow Lounge at drinktec is also a great forum for discussion. On September 11, at 12:30 pm, it will also be playing host to the perfect meeting place for all marketing experts who want to discuss the possibilities of social platforms: Talking Table. Here, attendees can join a discussion on Influencing the Influencers – Use social networks for brand success, led by barman, author and lecturer Phum Sila-Trakoon, brand ambassador for THOMAS HENRY GmbH & Co. KG.

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Innovation Flow Lounge is supported by:

  • Döhler
  • FoodBev Media
  • KHS
  • Sahm GmbH

Andra Gerhards

Andra Gerhards is a freelance journalist and copywriter. She focuses on topics such as marketing for town councils and local companies, (sustainable) consumption and retail.