Social media provides a critical marketing tool for both B2B and B2C. While the most usual aim for the latter is to generate sales, the ethos behind B2B social media is somewhat more complex.
Successful social content for businesses targeting other businesses is very different from channelling customers down the sales funnel. Instead, it’s about creating content that’s genuinely useful to your industry and cross-over industries. While it might, on occasion, include specifics about the products or services you sell, it’s more about showing your value as a subject matter expert and cementing your position in the market.
Creating the ultimate social media presence is about providing value for your followers. The following discusses 8 crucial points that will help hone your strategy and cement a platform that brings true value within the B2B environment.
Approach social media in the same stepwise process used for any business, project or marketing plan. What are you trying to achieve through your social media presence? Brand awareness? Leads? Increased website traffic? Once you understand this, then put a robust monitoring system in place. This should include the specifics (the actions you take to drive towards the goal), the expected outcome (for example, a 10% increase in traffic) and what’s attained (our traffic grew by 7% last month).
B2B marketing is best achieved via professional channels, such as LinkedIn, Twitter etc. Other outlets, such as YouTube, Instagram and Facebook, aren’t necessarily out of bounds, but if time is of the essence (and for many SMEs this is certainly the case), then gaining a footing via a couple of streams – at least to begin with – means you can concentrate on quality over quantity.
Whether this means posting once a month or several times a day, followers become used to the drum beat that you set. This grows in importance along with your following. It’s okay to increase social media content if you have the time, but it’s not productive to only post once in a blue moon or to suddenly reduce the regularity that people have become accustomed to.
While it’s acceptable to share other relevant content occasionally, this doesn’t have as much clout as creating your own. Whether this is how-to guides, videos, images, infographics, white papers, surveys, memes or anything else, the key is that it’s something you’ve put together. Take advantage of all the various multimedia features, such as LinkedIn documents and Twitter polls, to mix and match the content you post.
What are they posting? How are they using this medium to cement their expertise within the industry? What campaigns are they running and are they successful? Your competitors’ brand voice is also fair game for you to gain traction – you can do this by posting on their feeds, asking questions or challenging them if you see fit.
It’s now commonplace for issues to be flagged in the public domain. This means that, even in the B2B realm, it’s essential to keep an eye on your feeds for support issues. Timely responses to queries can turn a potentially damaging comment into a wholly positive event.
Every company is only as good as the people who work for them. Social media is a fantastic place to recognise this. Think outside the box here. For example, posting an image of a product or some blurb about a new service might get a cursory glance. However, a picture of the people behind the story doesn’t only better engage but is more likely to be shared by those it mentions (and shared again by their friends/family, and so on).
A well-constructed and implemented B2B social media strategy should be considered mandatory, whatever the size of your business or target audience. Define your goals, start small and be consistent – with these at the core of any fledging or established social media blueprint, the building blocks of success are well-placed, The content and originality is, of course up to you. So, isn’t it time you got started…?
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