May 6, 2014 | Think & Feel

3 Rules for Social Media

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When launching your brand on social media, it can be difficult to figure out what to say and how to say it. With a wealth of information available to B2C brands, many B2B brands are left asking, “what about me?” While there are nuances between the two, when getting started, it’s important to know some of the basic principles for establishing a strong and effective presence on social media regardless of B2B or B2C or even B2B2C.

So, we’ve taken the top 3 essential traits to effective social media marketing and added a special B2B spin so your brand can jump in on the action, and become successful in what’s becoming an essential marketing tool for brands across B2B industries and trades.

Tip 1 – Be Authentic

In order to build a successful community online, your business needs to remain authentic in its messaging and content. It’s important for B2B companies to develop a clear and purposeful story that can carry over to social media while remaining true to what the brand, mission, vision and values are. Saying what your competitors are saying for the sake of saying it, too, won’t work. Your message needs to be in line with your brand and your customer’s expectations.

In the world of B2B, where your customers are experts in a specific industry, and often times know your business probably better than you think, authenticity online is critical. Your customers are smart; they’ll know when your messaging doesn’t live up to the reality. A lack of authenticity can harm your reputation and relationships. So, don’t promise or project an image that you can’t back up.

Tip 2 – Be Transparent

Being transparent and being willing to share information with your customers builds trust, and loyalty, too. Using social media as a channel to communicate with your audience, and when necessary to own up to your mistakes, will build an online community that recognizes your brand’s integrity, openness, and honesty — building loyalty and trust.

For B2B brands, the success of your business often directly impacts the success of your customers’ businesses. Your customers will appreciate knowing that they can trust what you say on social media, without doubting that they’re able to get real answers directly from the source.

Tip 3 – Be Relevant

Okay, get ready for this: it’s not all about you. While social media is a channel to share information and news about your brands, it has to have a balance. Keeping your content fresh and engaging means talking about more than your latest product. It means thinking about ways to relate to your audience in interesting and sometimes unexpected ways. Think of how you can be useful or informative, and be entertaining while you educate. The best way to ensure your fans will revisit your page is to create content that provides them with value.

In B2B, it’s easy to be relevant, but hard not to be redundant. Your audience is typically those within your industry with a specific interest in your brand, products or services. It’s easy to relate with those whom you identify with on a deep professional level. However, it can be challenging to think of how to do so in fresh ways. Think outside the box and try to provide content that serves a different purpose day-to-day. Follow the rule of thirds; great content is 1/3 brand, 1/3 industry, and 1/3 lifestyle. Strive to find a balance that best serves your audience, and craft your strategy from what you find to be most effective.

So to recap, just remember:

1) Live your brand online. Do what you say and keep promises.

2) “Honesty is the best policy,” even on social media.

3) They don’t want your hype, produce content that provides your customers value.


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