Social media platforms aren’t just for personal use or B2C marketers anymore. According to a recent study by BtoB Magazine, 93% of B2B companies are using social media tools as part of their online marketing campaigns with LinkedIn being the most important platform (72%), followed by Facebook (71%) and Twitter (67%).
As this study shows, social media marketing is continuing to emerge as a great way for B2B companies to create awareness, generate leads and engage customers. Whether you are social media savvy or just starting out in the social media space, below are five ways to boost your B2B social media presence.
1. Establish a Plan of Action
A strong plan of action will help keep your efforts focused and your eye on the prize – measurable results and brand awareness. This does not have to be formal and lengthy (although it can be), but simply put, this plan should be the “who, what, when, where and why” of your social media marketing:
- Who is your audience?
- What are they interested in? / What can you say to engage them?
- How much time will you dedicate? / What resources will you use?
- What social outlets will you use?
- What do you hope to achieve?
Whether your goal is to drive traffic to your website, gather leads in a newsletter sign up box next to your company blog or generate fans on your Facebook page, social media results are very measurable. Creating an action plan tied to measurable results will help you determine where your efforts are paying off and how.
2. Create Relevant Content
Relevant and interesting content will keep your audience engaged and coming back for more. Many B2B social media marketers post links containing industry news, compelling third-party articles, details regarding upcoming trade shows or interesting market research results.
Another strategy is repurposing content from a recent company newsletter, whitepaper or case study (“Want to know more about how our global services are helping companies like yours? Check out our latest case study here!”). A best practice is to avoid sounding “salesy” and to provide useful information in the form of strong relevant content. Successful B2B social media marketers who do this well will position themselves as valuable industry resources to their current and prospective customers.
3. Start a Conversation
While interesting and relevant content is crucial, social media marketing is much more than just a one-way sharing of information. Strong B2B social media marketers view it more like a busy two-way street – a communal place to ask questions and engage with their audience on topics that are important to their industry and businesses.
One way to optimize these conversations is to ask questions to problems you can provide solutions to with your company’s products or services. Welcome your audience’s feedback and be ready to respond to their comments with ways you can help. For example, a technology solutions provider might ask “Is your business mobile? Really mobile? How do you make sure you stay connected while on the go?” with a link to their latest gadget that makes connecting to the office while on the road easier.
4. Be Frequent
Many B2B marketers launch into social media with the best of intentions and then go radio silent – either from lack of resources, lack of an action plan or simply not knowing what to say. Unlike a website, social media works best when it is updated often with a steady stream of communication to your audience. Doing so will keep your audience interested and your business top of mind.
Time to post but not sure what to say? One trick savvy social media marketers use is preparing a list of new post themes and blog article ideas in advance. Keep these ideas in a handy place that you can resort to when you are short on time or inspiration.
5. Leverage your Brand
B2B social media marketing is an extension of a company’s brand and is often the most frequently heard voice of a company. That being said, it is important to carry your company’s distinct brand messaging into your social media marketing just as you would with your offline marketing. Sending a clear message of who you are, what you do and why you do it best is important.
It is not uncommon for someone unfamiliar with a company who wants to learn more to perform initial research online, read the company’s blog and follow their Twitter account long before actually meeting any company representatives. Consistent brand messaging will help prospective clients who are unfamiliar with your company better understand your products and services – and perhaps turn into a client down the road.
Whether you are already engaging in social media or just starting out, Launch Marketing can help you enhance your social media presence and tie it to measurable results. Contact Launch Marketing today to learn how we’ve helped our clients use social media to connect with current and prospective customers.
Graphic Source: marsdenmarketing.com