In the preceding parts of this series, we have shown you how social media is helping big and small businesses increase revenue.
We have given you some of the best tools to use to attract and nurture your leads. In this concluding part of the series on B2B social media marketing, we examine the mindset marketers need to have for success in B2B marketing in 2014 and beyond.
Admittedly a younger marketing channel (barely a decade old), social media has proven it’s mettle in helping you acquire customers at a much lower cost of acquisition per customer. Social media is also more scalable than traditional marketing. How many other forms of marketing can you re-purpose content and distribute across many channels?
Social media gives all brands a chance to connect with their prospects and customers online; to strengthen brand perception, spark conversations, and grow profitable business partnerships.
At Search and More, our skilled team brainstormed the principles that drive our profitable social media campaigns; we have distilled them into these fundamentals:
Always Keep Your Ears To The Ground.
All social platforms can have multiple uses. Instead of using them only as a source of reaching out, you can also ‘listen’ and do research too. You can develop a whole campaign simply by listening to how your prospects talk about your brand and your competitors online.
Know Where Your Buyers Hang out.
Traditionally LinkedIn was the go-to platform to meet business people. These days, all platforms work well for B2B marketing. Take Pinterest for example; there are boards with pictures of heavy lifting equipment, because there are users who want to see that.
With the large amount of social media platforms available, there will always be buyers on one of them, no matter how obscure it may seem to you as a marketer.
Use ALL Your Assets.
I’m not only talking about the whitepapers you created last month. Your employees are an invaluable asset for social media marketing. On LinkedIn; if you had 50 employees who each had 200+ connections, you can potentially send a link with your brand’s new blog post to 10,000+ people, every time you have a new post!
People trust content coming from people they are connected with, versus from a company brand, so use them.
Think Sideways, Even Upside Down Sometimes.
Think your industry is dead boring? Brainstorm and come up with a unique, fun angle for your niche. The trick here is to synthesize related topics, create content around that, all the while keeping your target market in mind. As long as the topics shared are interesting to them, your effort is guaranteed to generate a positive response by your followers.
Always Be Prepared For A Crisis.
Sounds fatalistic, but you can’t predict how people will react to your posts or tweets. You can only control how you respond to people’s opinions, not what they say first. Mastering diplomacy is an art that is often tested to its limits online.
From Maersk owning up and apologising for an accident involving their ship and a whale to HMV (remember them?) leaving access to their corporate Twitter account in the hands of laid-off employees, there are stories of social media crises of epic proportions. Crises can and will occur; how your brand handles them will be what sets you apart
Create A Proper Team.
Like your traditional sales department, your social media should be handled by a group of clued-in individuals. Simply handing ‘posting on Twitter’ to your newest intern is a recipe for disaster. It requires planning and syndication of effort of all those involved. From content sourcing for curation to managing platforms like video, you need a coordinated effort to make the right impact.
Measure, Measure, Measure.
Don’t go the way of traditional marketing and keep hammering away at methods that deliver less and less ROI. Decide what your key metrics are; increased sales, more followers, more email sign-ups etc, and monitor those closely. From frequent content to creating essential tools, companies can create brand awareness on social media, interact with prospects and turn them into brand ambassadors.
These core principles that have governed every successful social media campaign run. Remember to listen to your customers, at every opportunity. On social media, trust me, they’ll be talking a lot.
Search and More specialise in creating bespoke marketing plans for small and medium businesses. From content to social media, we tailor our efforts to your customers wants, and help you generate a positive ROI. Contact us for a marketing audit today.