In the B2B world, it’s easy to forget the importance of people.
Fact is, behind every corporate logo are real, living, breathing people. Despite appearances, as a B2B you don’t do business with another business – you do business with people. How those people embody your company values in customer service, logistics, client management and all other facets of your business are instrumental in creating your brand. This combination creates an identity that other companies can relate to and competitors cannot emulate.
To get the most out of your branding, it is important to reframe your thinking. Your people are your brand and creating a personable brand builds trust. Trustworthiness is what makes the difference when a company is thinking about making a risky decision. They need to be able to trust you. People create trust, not brands.
So how can you let your brand be driven by your people?
We can take a cue from global science based company, Royal DSM. To support their new “Bright Science. Brighter Living” positioning, DSM turned regular employees into brand ambassadors through the power of social technologies. They upskilled selected team members from all departments of the business (not just the marketing team) to promote the new positioning through social media channels. In doing so they not only supported the new positioning, but also gave a human face to a large corporate brand.
As Jos Van Haastrecht, the Director Global Brand, Digital & Communications for DSM states:
“The people that we are connecting with don’t want to have conversation with the corporate brand. People want to have conversations with people.”
Social tools can play a key role in facilitating those conversations. By creating engaging content and using creative storytelling, you can build trusted relationships with your audience and build your brand value. There are countless strategies to do so, but there are a few important steps to get you started.
- Determine which platforms work best for your specific branding. Consider networks such as Instagram if your brand is visual, Twitter if you want to share information, news and links quickly, or LinkedIn if you want to build lasting relationships with similar brands. When done well, social media marketing is a timely process. Don’t waste time on platforms that will not help you create the image you want to portray.
- Determine your purpose on social media. What are you trying to achieve through your social strategy? Do you want to gain awareness? Build growth? Grow your audience? Ensure that your strategy is focused on your purpose and that each post builds your brand image consistently. You may consider using one person or a team to work exclusively on your social media marketing to ensure that the content and voice is consistent.
- Create engaging content. The key to ensuring you are seen as not just another company but a personable brand is to share interesting, shareable and personal content. What will make your audience want to share your content? How can you create content that is instantly recognisable as your own?
Consistent messaging through social platforms supported by your ambassadors will do wonders for your corporate brand.
To learn more about why B2B companies need social media, download our eBook “10 Reasons B2B Companies Need Social Media” here. If you work in social media yourself at a B2B company, join our community to learn even more from your peers.