When it comes to social media, consumer-facing businesses jumped in head first with profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and so on (yes, there are more). Meanwhile, business-to-business organizations, or B2B companies, held back and waited for a big brand to dip their toes in the water first. Gradually, businesses have created Facebook pages and Twitter feeds and many started recognizing some pretty exciting results. B2B social media marketing is officially a “thing” and it’s only growing in popularity. However, just because you have a Facebook page or a LinkedIn business profile, doesn’t mean you’re doing it right. Here are 10 tips for B2B social media marketing guaranteed to either start your strategy on the right foot or get you back on the right track.
1. Consider social media marketing an expansion of your website and general online marketing strategy.
If you don’t consider social media a component of your overall marketing strategy, just stop reading this blog post now. Social media is a tactic that must be utilized by marketers and communicators to reach targeted audiences. It’s where your prospective and current customers are spending time. How social media is used to further the goals of the marketing plan is a critical piece of the puzzle that must be concerned before anything is ever shared or tweeted.
2. See and be seen… among other businesses, not personal profiles.
Where are your prospective and current customers spending their time online? Are they active on LinkedIn? What do they tweet about? Do they have a Facebook page? It’s important to have a social media presence where others are looking to find you. If your clients don’t use Snapchat, chances are you don’t have a reason to be there.
3. Think of social media as a news ticker and content promotion tool.
Worried about content? The easiest way to develop social media content ideas is to first consider your social media channels as a news ticker for your organization. Share press releases, articles, blog posts, and other timely information throughout the day and week (and don’t forget weekends). Most importantly, social media is your megaphone. By utilizing URL tracking tools like Ow.ly or Bit.ly you can not only drive traffic to your website but also obtain interesting data such as which links are getting the most clicks. Not to mention, you can customize the URLs!
4. Be honest.
Tell your followers who is running your social media. They need to know it’s a person or a team of folks and not a robot. If you share something incorrect, don’t delete it. Just admit the screw up and include what was intended to be shared via the platform. Be real.
5. Engage with followers.
Tweeting five times a day sounds easy, especially if you’re scheduling your posts in advance, but are your posts engaging to your audience? Are you responding to questions? Are you asking questions or offering opportunities for followers to provide feedback? Don’t just blurt out messages all day. Take the time to actually engage and build relationships with your audience.
6. Utilize dynamic graphics and video.
I used to joke that I would write the content and our graphic designer would make it interesting. Truth is, it’s not a joke… it’s a fact! Images always make messages more interesting and likely to be shared. TIP: Make sure the image or video is relevant and don’t steal other people’s work.
7. Find inspiration and create goals.
Ever wanted to be a fly on the wall when Coca-Cola, Apple or Ford is discussing a marketing strategy or advertising campaign? Social media is kind of like that. You get to learn more about the brands you respect and aspire to by following them on various channels. What’s more, you may get an idea for a new campaign or post.
8. Recognize partners.
Chances are partners are on social media, too. By utilizing various channels to recognize your team as well as strategic alliances and partnerships, you increase the odds that one of them will return the favor. Remember, you didn’t get to where you are all on your own. It’s takes a village or so I’ve been told.
9. Monitor your competition.
What better way to learn what your competition is focused on or working towards than by actually subscribing to their feed? Hear it straight from their mouth what their key initiatives are this year or quarter. Are they posting a lot of videos? What about whitepapers, case studies and other downloadables? While you can’t beat them in publishing something, perhaps you can do it better or differently.
10. Drive traffic to your website.
This is a no brainer. Your social media profiles and posts should encourage fans and followers to learn more about you and the best way for them to do that is by visiting your website. By creating interesting landing pages and forms that attract and encourage visitors to share their information, not only can your social media channels drive website traffic but also impact the number of email subscribers you have in the database and increase opportunities for sales teams.
Interested in learning more about what happens after social media followers click URLs and land on your website? Check out Lifecycle Marketing 101 – just for B2B marketers.