Among the top challenges that B2B marketers face are building brand awareness, managing customer relations, and making do with limited marketing resources (human and otherwise); 21% B2B marketers also say they have an insufficient audience size on social media.

Using social advocacy could be a powerful way to tackle those challenges.

Fully 70% of B2B buyers use social media for pre-purchase research. Furthermore, social users trust recommendations from friends and family above all other sources, according to Edelman's Trust Barometer. Therefore, for B2B businesses, developing a strong advocacy system on social media could be a powerful way to build brand and drive sales.

So which of your social media connections are potential advocates, and how do you build an advocacy system around them?

1. Employees

Leads generated by social employee advocacy convert seven times more often than other leads. That fact should be particularly pertinent for B2B businesses that have socially active sales teams. When you enable your sales team to build powerful social profiles, they can help you manage customer relations and represent your brand by dealing with prospects on social media.

Moreover, by distributing your marketing communications to your entire workforce and encouraging them to share online, you can increase your reach by as much as hundred-fold (depending on your company size and employees' social influence). There are other benefits of a well-implemented employee advocacy program, as well.

When global software giant Adobe implemented its employee advocacy program, it benefited by an increase in revenue. In fact, one employee went on to generate more revenue for Adobe Photoshop than the company's official Twitter account. (IBM is another great example of successful employee advocacy.)

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Jessica Davis is a content strategy specialist with Godot Media, a content marketing firm, where she helps online businesses refine their marketing strategy with the optimum use of content. She also works closely with the Godot copywriting service team.