That's all well and good for some people. It seems as if everyone knows what everyone else is doing these days. But it doesn't apply to SERIOUS business-to-business marketing. Right?
Social media is an important piece of every marketing campaign, especially if you intend to incorporate an inbound marketing strategy and actively engage your visitors and convert them into leads.
"But," you might argue, "MY business isn't 'fluffy'and it isn't B2C." We all know that social media is a terrific way to stay in the forefront of consumers but how (and why) should we incorporate it into a B2B marketing strategy?
1) First of all, you have to use the RIGHT channel.
If you are in the business of selling, say, dental adhesives to orthodontists, you probably aren't going to want to use Instagram as your social media marketing vehicle. But, you may have a fairly extensive list of connections on LinkedIn. And LinkedIn is a great way to create meaningful posts for your target audience and establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry. And, guess what? You might stir up some interest among your network! So take a look at different social media networks. You might want to pay special attention to Twitter and LinkedIn for B2B marketing as well as any social networks that pertain to your industry. If you're a yarn manufacturer, you might want to try other social media sites such as facebook, Instagram, twitter or Pinterest, for example.
2) Starting with the Audience You Have.
Unless you're starting social media accounts from scratch, an important aspect that is often overlooked with organic social media marketing for B2B businesses is understanding WHO you currently have following your accounts. If your accounts are filled with your current customers, friends of your company, or employees then posting hoping for leads may not yield great results. Do a quick audit of those who currently like your page to get an understanding of the connections you have and then speak to the audience you have while you grow your ideal target personas.
3) Amplifying the right social messages.
Just like in the personal social media world, no one wants to hear you drone on and on about yourself all the time. Share a terrific article you read via Twitter! Or make a savvy business suggestion. Don't make it all about your company, your great products (even though they really ARE great products...we know!), or your amazing blog post. Listen to what other people are saying and respond! Always keep your audience in the center and give them "free" thought leadership materials just to get the conversation started. Social is a great channel to begin to establish conversations between a brand and prospects/customers to create loyalty and brand evangelists.
4) To bolster your inbound marketing efforts.
Search engines are fairly sophisticated these days and static online presences just won't get you noticed in a digital world. The people who develop a web site just as an online brochure are going to end up being wallflowers in the "Big Digital Dance." The more connected you are in every way, the more active your web presence will be. The more active your web presence is, the more you'll get noticed by the search engines. And eventually, by actively engaging in social media and other carefully executed inbound marketing activities, your dance card will be full!
So get out there. Tweet a little. Engage with Facebook marketing. Link to your content. Social media is a gift even to those of us in the B2B world!