Social media marketing is not a brand new concept. Promoting your brand to customers through Twitter, Facebook and YouTube is common practice. What about promoting your brand to other businesses? Even though a greater percentage of B2B companies are on social media than are B2C, social media is more of a challenge for B2B. Social media is still young and there will be plenty of changing in the future, but for now here are four tips to successful B2B marketing using social media:

  1. Content: B2B social media is content driven. Create eBooks, white papers and blog posts. Sign up on SlideShare and DocStoc and share these documents, along with PowerPoint presentations proving your company to be thought-leaders in your field. Create meaningful content that explains why you are the best in your industry. Highlight the areas in which you excel over your competitors and explain why you would be valuable to other businesses.
  2. Community building: With B2B it’s important to build and monitor online communities around your subject matter. Building communities as places for you, your influencers and your clients to engage in conversations allows you to 1) position yourself as a thought-leader in your field and 2) get feedback from these people that determine the success of your brand. In addition to the engagement, communities allow an opportunity for digital media relations. It is very important to maintain engagement and to continuously monitor within your community. One missed conversation can lead to a loss of a lot of money.
  3. YouTube: Video is a tool that can show thought-leadership and also create engagement. Videos give you an opportunity to show your influencers and clients why your brand is the best. Shoot a weekly video interviewing an executive talking about industry news or do demonstrations of your product. Videos can also be used for content sharing by promoting your YouTube video on your Twitter, Facebook and Blog.
  4. Reciprocal traffic: A hub is important when it comes to social media marketing. Because of the importance of content with B2B social media marketing, the best place to establish your hub is your blog. Create content on your blog and then share it out to your network. Spread the content, with a link back to your blog, to your social sites, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. From there, spread your content to your clients and influencers who then will get directed back to your blog.

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The blog provides an area for discussion through comments, as well as the ability for them to share with their networks. It is important to add widgets and links to your social sites on your blog, which allows your influencers and clients to be aware of the other social channels you are on. An important note is to tag keywords on blog posts to improve your blog’s SEO, which in turn will bring more traffic through all of your sites.

— Eric Dornbrook is a Client Solutions Coordinator at Airfoil Public Relations, a high tech PR agency with offices in Detroit and Silicon Valley.