Social media is often still seen as a B2C channel and the usefulness of it for B2B isn’t taken seriously? But there are so many benefits of using social in the B2B industry (especially if your competitors aren’t)!
It allows you to participate in conversations where others aren’t, and shape decision makers from an early onset.
Most good decision makers have a social presence nowadays whether that be on LinkedIn (as most professionals do) or Twitter or blog – so if you aren’t in this space, surely you are missing a trick? Some say ‘easier said than done! How do we get involved with these people, how do we engage?’
Luckily, we are here to give you our top tips for engaging in social media in a B2B environment.
Pre first impressions
Think about a potential candidate for a job… you’ve just received their CV so what is the first thing you do? You Google them; what does their LinkedIn profile say about them, what topics do they discuss on Twitter, can you view their Facebook page? So why should it be any different when doing business? Most business people decide in the same way as to whether or not they should engage with you; they investigate your online profile, and look into whether you know what you’re talking about and if you practice what you preach. If there is no social media presence and perhaps just a simple website for a business – are you seriously going to go for them, over someone that is a proven thought leader, someone who publishes interesting and relevant content on their blog and engages in useful and informative social media conversations? It might sway you one way over another.
Following on from generating a pre first impression is your actual first impression. Your social media conversations and content are indicative of how you conduct yourself as a business and will aid as an impression influencer. Why not create content around your CEO’s thoughts and business plans or your Director of Marketing’s vision for the brand or your CTO’s idea for the next big technological advance to help improve a service or offering. Putting this information out there allows potential customers to see what they are buying into; it will provide a human side to your business. If a company is openly passionate about the industry they’re in it is more likely to attract the right type of customer. If you aren’t communicating in the right space, people won’t hear what you have to say.
Don’t just broadcast – give quality, relevant content
Don’t fall into the trap of just broadcasting content for the sake of it… and don’t push your sales messages out to the masses. People will get bored and switch off instantly. People want relevant quality content that is going to enhance their ability in the workplace, so provide content that they can share, or advice that speaks to a particular need or problem.
Use your contacts
Don’t just feel like you have to generate content yourself; one of the best ways to engage with others is to make use of your contacts. Don’t be afraid to share, retweet, repost, and comment on their content – they won’t mind! e Social activity is about giving people interesting and helpful content and creating a forum for involvement, so it isn’t just about quantity of content it is about finding good, thought-provoking and sometimes just funny content that you know people will want to know about. Using your contacts’ content, means you are beneficially helping other brands/people to enhance their social reach as well, and in turn they will do the same.
So don’t forget to be involved in the conversation and use your business assets. Social media isn’t about one person taking responsibility for generating and publishing conversations and engaging with customers, it should be an ethos that is shared throughout the company. Your CEO should be publishing relevant content on a regular basis, your employees should be brand ambassadors and you audience should feel that through your social channels they can get a full 360 degree view of you as a business and what you will then provide for them. If you’re not there, your competitors will be!