We’ve talked about the benefits of using social media for B2B communications – but in order to get your company’s messages seen by the right audience, at the right time, a series of clever processes and plans need to be in place. In this final blog of the B2B series, we will delve a little deeper and explore the sure fire ways of getting B2B social media communications right.
Spread it out
A rookie error is to concentrate all of your social media marketing efforts in one area – don’t do it! Spread your business around; cross-reference your posts between Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, your company blog and your company news section; provide link-backs to drive traffic. The more places that you post in, the more prevalent your entire presence will be for SEO purposes.
Many companies fall into the habit of using the same social media platform year in, year out – they get reasonable results, but could be missing out on a wealth of opportunities. Don’t forget that visual communications work well too; use platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram. You could be driving a massive amount of traffic towards your site with a single image! Which brings us to…
Mix it up
The kind of content that you share is just as important as where you share it (more so, in most cases). In recent years, visuals have become very important; users like the convenience of watching a video, or viewing an image, but on the flip side, may also like to read a little more about the subject matter. Combine top-notch copy with great images to make a better impact on your target audience.
Don’t let it slip!
Always keep your social media profiles accurate & up-to-date. There’s nothing worse than visiting a profile page and seeing that a) it contains mistakes or outdated information or even worse b) it isn’t being updated at all. Stay ahead of technologies; take advantage of new patterns in content consumption and make your content easily shareable and easy to link to.
We all love a good natter; in both our personal and business lives. Whether you are aware of it or not, people will be discussing your company, products and services using social media channels. If you’re not in on the conversation – how can you respond to their comments?
Now, this works in two ways; you can address positive comments with a quick “thank you” and/or by awarding special offers and privileges. But, if you do encounter negative feedback about your company or products/services, don’t panic! – use it as a great opportunity to set the record straight (in a nice way, of course!). Negative comments can be addressed and converted into a good outcome, before they get out of hand.
The point is, if you’re not ‘in’ on the conversation, you’re not engaged, and you won’t know what people are saying; positive or negative, therefore won’t be able to respond. Get in there and interact!
Don’t forget to listen!
Yes, it’s great to talk, but we all tend to speak too much, and listen too little. By listening to the social conversations surrounding target accounts and their decision-makers, sales professionals can determine the best individuals to start a dialogue with. Tune into these conversations and get little peeks into the personalities and work styles of prospects. It’s not hard – it’s amazing what is visible on social media profiles these days!
Like for like!
If you have a personal Facebook account (don’t we all?), there’s a good chance that you have ‘liked’ a company, brand or service. From a business sense, social media lets you build strong relationships with a number of significant users who have plenty of connections; gaining you precious brand enthusiasts who can truly promote and sell on your behalf.
The exact same rule applies to B2B marketing – by liking a brand on Facebook, re-tweeting a post, or giving a potential partner/buyer a +1 on Google, you instantly build a connection – and, you encourage companies to return the favour!
Think of it as an online handshake – it really does work! Social media allows you to extend a buying relationship by engaging in a culture of “continuous touch” and relationship marketing.
So, social media offers you an excellent opportunity to build your reputation for original thought, professionalism and insightful commentary, all of which are key elements of thought leadership. It lets you;
- Distribute your company communications across multiple, SEO optimised channels.
- Take advantage of new patterns in content consumption.
- Share a variety of media forms i.e. short posts, blogs, images and videos.
- Use tools to make your content easily shareable and easy to link to.
- Build engagement, authenticity and trust with buyers and peers.
- Keep in the loop with modern trends and stay one step ahead of your competitors.