So, you want to do some B2B social media? Before you even get started, it’s well worth your time to give some deep thought to what you’re doing, what you’re trying to accomplish, and what you need to do to get there — rather than just diving in, writing up fifty posts, and watching them go nowhere.
You don’t want to waste all that time. Nobody does.
Where is Your Audience?
If you don’t pick the right platform, you’re dooming yourself before you ever write your first of 280 characters.
It’s tempting to think that B2B companies should only operate their social media on LinkedIn. Yes, if you have limited resources and reason to believe your leads are spending a lot of time on LinkedIn, focusing there might be the right way to go.
But all B2B leads are humans first, and humans are interested in all sorts of things. There might be a trend in some industries or some job roles where those people just aren’t all that into the networking opportunities of LinkedIn. A young IT tech might well be more in-tune with their peers professionally through event hashtags on Twitter, or an older executive might not have the time for LinkedIn, but they did sign up for Facebook five years ago and they flick through out of habit between meetings.
In any case, pick the platform — or platforms — where you have good reason to believe your audience actually is. And don’t let your own personal preference get in the way. You might not think Instagram is important, but there sure are a ton of people — working people! — who do.
Are You Treating Each Platform Appropriately?
It should go without saying, but every platform is different. Twitter’s entire identity is wrapped up in its 140 280 character limit, which means brevity is vital. And while imagery almost always enhances pure text, with Instagram, the image is the entire point.
Whatever does work for each platform, it’s clear there’s one thing that doesn’t: a one-size-fits-all approach.
If you do use Instagram, make sure your photos are stunning. On LinkedIn, you may want to post entire articles as updates — nice, in-depth stuff people can really sink their teeth into. And on Twitter, you may want to leap onto trending hashtags, or sometimes take advantage of the thread method of posting: multiple tweets that each are a reply to the previous, often with a number hinting at how long the chain is and where you are in it.
Don’t just write one post and slap it on every platform. Treat them each as distinct if you want to encourage engagement.
Are You Going Beyond Just Posting?
Social media is not about people shouting their message and walking away. They’re about conversations — whether it’s a quick, one-off reply, a like, or a relationship that develops over multiple posts and campaigns.
You want people reacting to your posts, of course. The real goal is to eventually convert readers into leads, but you can’t do that without visibility and demonstrating value — and each engagement helps you out there. But social media isn’t about just taking. It’s about giving as well (and hey, so is the inbound methodology you’re hopefully following!).
Make sure you take the time to follow and engage with those you find interesting as well as those you’d like business from. It’ll reflect well on your brand to be engaged in others’ conversations. You’ll start to build a positive reputation as a helpful, constructive online brand, and that will seep through to how people interact with and think about you.
In time (and this will always take time), people will outright turn to you for advice, and start responding to the conversations you’re starting. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll find yourself stepping above the fray and achieving that coveted status of thought leader.
More Awesome Social Media Tips?
The social media landscape can seem daunting to navigate as a B2B company. For small to medium size organizations, it’s not even uncommon to see follower counts lingering in the double digit category. And even when you are doing it right, you'll also want to be confident you are seeing some ROI and not just focusing on vanity metrics. Which of course, we can get into later in this social media series.
At Flawless Inbound, we can help you develop a killer social media strategy that deeply integrates with your CRM — and your sales and marketing strategy. We’ve done this for more than 70 B2B organizations across Canada and the US, and have prepared a special page all about our Marketing Enablement program right here.