Social media for B2B companies is growing in importance as more and more businesses are using platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook to research potential vendors. As a result, a savvy social media strategy should be part of your overall marketing plan. As Forbes advises, you should "never stop updating your social media account. Keep it as active as possible to show a real-life connection with your buyers. When they see you are active and engaged with them, they will feel you are a more trusted source."

Here are four tips that will help you achieve success when it comes to social media for B2B companies:

1. Align Your Messaging

Perhaps most importantly, you must develop a social media strategy that aligns with your overall branding and marketing strategy. Use the same tone and exemplify the same values, but adapt your approach to each social media platform. For instance, on Facebook you can use a combination of photographs, videos and written content to create a well-rounded, dynamic brand image. While Instagram and YouTube are excellent channels on which to share engaging visual media, you can use LinkedIn and Twitter to call attention to written content such as blog posts and whitepapers. Overall, you should use the strengths of each social media channel to highlight your company's unique offerings and values.

2. Consistently Put Out Great Content

For your social media strategy to be successful, you must engage your potential customers with valuable content that they are eager to share. When you consistently share great content, you can gain a loyal following. In order for your content to be truly engaging, it should be entertaining, useful, or both. As a B2B content creator, you probably want to lean toward useful content or materials that can help your potential customers solve the challenges they face on a daily basis.

Obviously, you want your offerings to be part of the customer's solution, but when it comes to your social media presence, your focus should be on helping these businesses achieve success rather than selling your own products. In order to provide valuable B2B social media content, you must understand the problems that your potential customers face, connect with customers emotionally, offer them relevant insights and provide solutions to their problems. This kind of content gets consumed and shared, which may lead to an increase in sales.

3. Stimulate Social Sharing

All of your content should have embedded social sharing buttons and icons. You may also want to email your potential customers with links to your most recent, relevant posts. Email is a great (and underappreciated) way to stimulate social sharing of B2B content. If potential customers comment on your content, you should try to join the conversation.

4. Go Where Your Customers Go

This final step will require some research. If your competitors are using industry groups on LinkedIn, you may want to do the same and post content there. But don't underestimate the power of Facebook, which remains a popular platform for researching B2B companies. Create a Facebook page and post new content there on a regular basis so that you can keep your customers engaged.

When you provide valuable social media content that helps other businesses address their challenges, it can help you gain credibility in your space and increase your sales.

Tags: Social Media Marketing social media