Social Media: An Important Player
It can be difficult to wrap our arms around Social Media, but in a B2B environment Social is actually an important player. It puts a face on a company by using a more direct, person to person voice. Social channels can be used to gather feedback directly from end users or downstream outlets. Social Media Management is about engagement in a manner beneficial to both the company and the target audience.
It is also important to remember that being social doesn’t just mean Facebook or Twitter. Social Media can be a blog, a LinkedIn presence, a wiki, even a YouTube channel. In fact, Social Media channels can be defined as any property that provides a means to create, share, interact, or exchange ideas.
Some popular uses of Social Media in the B2B world are:
- To get the word out about new site content such as blog entries
- Announcements regarding new products or services
- Product support, help desk functions
- Introducing new staff or mentioning awards won by staff
- Generating polls to gain insight
- Connecting directly with the end user of a manufactured product
- Building brand awareness
- Assisting downstream vendors by providing marketing how-to articles and tips
This is just the tip of the iceberg; the list is as varied as the businesses that use Social Media. And with so many Social options to choose from, there is bound to be a mix of channels that intersects with a significant portion of your target audience.
Every Site is Different
The key though is in understanding that different channels may require different messages in order to be effective. On Facebook we would want our posts and shares to be friendly, approachable, and not sales-y. However on LinkedIn we are speaking to a business oriented audience and concise posts that answer “what’s in it for me” often do better.
On Facebook: “Many of our B2B clients are hesitant when it comes to Social Media – is it a game changing tool, or a great big time suck? Read a little more on the subject after the link then tell us what you think!”
On LinkedIn: “You know that Social Media can help with branding as well as user engagement. However the rest of the team isn’t so sure. Follow the link to get a little more information that could help sway the boss!”
The biggest tip though is that any efforts to be more social can’t be ‘fire and forget’. It is all about engagement; if the Social Media Management plan doesn’t allow for responding and talking back (while staying on-message) the results will likely be poor at best.
Social Media Management for B2B does have a place in the marketing mix of almost every company. Social channels engage our clients, end users, and prospects too. Used properly and with a plan and message, Social Media can do wonders for your brand awareness and enhance client engagement. After all, isn’t it easier to keep clients loyal if they are well engaged?