Social Media is quickly becoming an integral part in any business’ marketing mix. From some of the world’s top brands to your local neighborhood ice cream shop, brands are embracing the many uses of social media for business. However, while restaurants, retailers, and consumer-facing brands have found success in using social media, one of the biggest questions left lingering out there comes from B2B businesses. Do they belong on social media and how can they use it effectively?
The simple answer is: Yes, B2B brands definitely have a place on social media. B2B brands should have a strategy built for their business; social media isn’t one-size-fits-all. Here are a few quick tips that can help set the stage for success in social media as a B2B brand.
Know where your customers are
One of the biggest mistakes B2B (and B2C) brands make is they think they need to be on every social media platform out there to be successful. Often this leads to an overwhelmed marketing manager with an underwhelming presence on the platforms that matter most. It’s important to understand where your customers are and how they are using each platform. Be active on the sites where your customers not only spend time, but also where they’re likely to spend time interacting with your brand.
It’s not all about you
While your main objective may be to make a sale, you won’t gain or retain fans and followers or get a lot of interaction if all you do is push out promotional messages about yourself. Remember, social media is about forming relationships. Think about it, how many friends have you retained that relentlessly talked about themselves and never bothered to ask for your opinion or inquire about your needs or interests? Its important to create content that is fresh, interesting and relevant to your customers.
Be a Resource
It’s been said before – “content is king.” Providing value in the content you publish to social media is a key driver in getting customers and prospects to visit your page, and become repeat visitors. Become viewed as a thought leader in your industry and a resource for information. Test your audience by posting different types of content and see what gets the best response. Tailoring your pages’ content to the needs and expectations of your customers will build confidence within your network that you’re not only a reliable resource, but an expert in your field.
Context is Queen
If “content is king,” then context is queen. While social media is a public space, etiquette is still important. Look for opportunities to engage with potential customers, but don’t create them. If a person’s post, tweet, or comment doesn’t directly warrant a comment from your business – don’t. You could not only turn off a potential customer, but make your brand look illegitimate. Nobody likes SPAM. Remember, be relevant and provide value to your network.
Don’t forget about your CTAs
While its important to produce valuable content on your networks, it’s almost equally important to let your audience know what to do after they view your content. Including clear and concise call-to-actions in your content will help encourage prospects to take the next step in the funnel towards becoming a customer. Include a number to call, a link to your website, or an e-mail address when appropriate. Or invite users to share your content with their network or provide their comments to create a discussion.
It’s just like Isaac Newton once said, “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” While social media isn’t physics, the same idea applies. You want to see a reaction from your customers, create conversation, generate leads, drive business – use social media as a catalyst to grow your brand.