4 Ways to Use Storytelling for B2B Social Media

B2B companies who embrace social media to connect with prospects and customers need to understand storytelling as a means for communication. No one wants to hear about your products. They want to hear about solutions to their problems. One way to get there is by sharing compelling stories. As many B2B marketers still struggle with this change in marketing focus to a customer-centric model, we offer the following suggestions for storytelling ideas. Keep in mind that each of these story types can be told in words, images, audio and video, depending on their use.

1. Company History

Every company has a history that is worth talking about. Whether your B2B company was started 80 years or 5 years ago, it was done so with an idea in mind. Present your origin story through the lens of customer solutions to better connect with your target audience. Company transitions from the analog world to the digital world can be told in this manner as well. In this story type, as well as all others, be authentic and avoid business buzzwords. Look for compelling events in your company history as sources for individual stories. Consider how any of this content can be added to your B2B company Facebook timeline.

2. Customer Successes

Prospects and customers really like to hear from successful customers. While it is always clear that only the positive experiences are shared, people are always looking for their own situations in these type of stories. If you want to make it more authentic, pick a customer that struggled through the implementation process. Depending on your product or services, showing the hard work involved may be a benefit.

3. Employee Activities

Customers and prospects want to know more about the face behind the Twitter account or email address. This is especially true with B2B relationship based sales. We know that people do business with those that they know, like and trust and this is a great way to build up the trust with your team. While your sales team, and maybe some executives, have a lot of interaction with your prospects and customers, these may not be people they will be working with day to day. Let your people tell their stories and share what they are passionate about. This is the first step to building these after-sale relationships.

4. Community Support

Many B2B companies are involved in their communities because they care. Show this compassion by sharing a story about your community efforts. This is the kind of story that shows something about the leaders of your company, as well as your employees. People want to feel good about their business partners, and it is easier to do business with a company that makes a difference in their community. Don’t underestimate the emotional part of business purchase decisions. These stories contribute to that emotional response.

How are you telling the story of your B2B company?

Photo credit: Flickr

Comments

  1. Jansson says

    Great post! I believe this concept is going to take some time for B2B companies to embrace. I know that for regualted companies who may sell products through a middle man market, this type of approach could be hard to use. I wonder what your thoughts are on for storytelling through social media for companies, such as insurance, who sell through agents and brokers?

  2. says

    Good to see others advocating this position.

    Because so few B2B companies embrace storytelling,it can actually help to differentiate.

    I came across a customer video from NetApp (not a client) that nicely shows storytelling in action at
    http://bit.ly/HVLGki

  3. says

    great information. creating a “feel good” story for the decision makers at customer institutions can be a great way to engage without “selling”.

  4. says

    Great post, Jeffrey, and I could not agree more. In fact, when we were working with a software firm, we pushed them to open up and tell stories – customer stories, employee stories, etc. They were unwilling or unable to do so. Needless to say, they are struggling financially.

    Jeff Ogden, the Fearless Competitor
    Find New Customers
    Producer and Host of Marketing Made Simple TV
    http://www.marketingmadesimple.tv

  5. says

    Great post!

    The online world makes it easier than ever for companies to connect with prospects, but how do you really get your message across in a compelling way that breaks through all the clutter? I believe the answer is storytelling. I especially appreciate the comment about customers wanting to hear about your solution to their problems rather than your products!

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