Guest blog post by Eugenia Lin of Marketing Zen.
Social media platforms are more than just sites and apps where you can post funny cat videos and envy-inducing food photos. They are inherently powerful tools, capable of distributing information quickly and to a wide audience. For any business-to-business (B2B) company, they are an essential means in connecting to your audience, reaching potential customers, and facilitating e-commerce transactions. Having poor social media engagement results in missed sales opportunities and poor customer retention. So what do you need to consider about social media engagement? I’ve highlighted a few B2B social media marketing best practices aimed at boosting your digital presence.
Clearly define your target audience and consumer
What type of businesses are you selling your product or services to? Are they small start ups or are they large enterprises? It is even better to narrow it further down by industry. The key with using social media effectively is having a well-defined target so that your message isn’t being presented to the wrong audience. Because having captivating and unique content alone won’t boost engagement and participation if they’re not reaching your customers.
FIND THE social media platforms THAT ARE best suited for Your company
Now that you have a clearly defined audience, next is to decide which social media platforms are best suited to reach them. For example, your customer base consists of small, independent restaurants. They are more likely to use casual, social platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. Both are easily accessible, financially economical, and have intuitive interfaces. Heck, these are the reasons why your grandma is able to like your Facebook relationship status and post embarrassing family photos on Instagram.
But large, enterprise customers such as Microsoft or Oracle are using a more specialized platform like LinkedIn and Twitter. Between them they offer a variety of powerful features such as scheduled posting, polls and analytics.
Now by no means does being a B2B business exclude you from using any social media platforms. You just need to consider the distinct nuances of your industry and customer segment before jumping all in on a social network.
Engage in the right kind of posting
As much as you want to post that mischievous cat photo on Tumblr, STOP and slowly back that cursor away from the post button. While having an active social presence is crucial, as a B2B business your posts and content need to serve a purpose. They need to either promote a dialogue about your business, showcase your product or service effectively, or address customer concerns and questions. There are a number of ways to convey these kinds of messages. Here are a few examples of engaging social content:
- Q & A sessions via Reddit and Twitter
- Product tutorials
- Informational videos
- Relevant and useful infographics
None of these types of social media activity are industry specific but they call all aid your business by nurturing customer relationships and illustrating your expertise to potential customers.
Find the right tools and resources
With the vast array of social media platforms available, it can be overwhelming maintaining all of your carefully chosen social networks at once. Thankfully, there are management tools and resources available to ease the workload. For the do-it-yourselfers, management tools like Hootsuite can organize and publish content for all of your social media accounts through their interface. These kinds of tools can also include features like analytics reporting or post scheduling. Now for truly tailored and expert social engagement, you may want to consider a digital marketing agency
to run and manage your social media.
Historically, sales transactions were done in person and closed with a firm handshake. Now, the landscape has changed to where e-commerce is dominant and a social media engagement strategy is necessary for a B2B business’ success. However, the objectives of managing a social media account for a B2B business differs from managing a personal one. You must consider the target audience, type of content and the appropriate platform through your ideal customers eyes. Despite all this, you can still complete a sale with a handshake. It might just come in emoji form now.