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If you use social media in your personal life, and it’s nothing but pictures of cats, kids and carnage, you could be fully excused for discounting the merits of B2B social media.

I’m here on a mission of evangelism to tell you that the grass is very much greener on the other side. If you spend time planning your approach, and execute it in the right way, but as we covered recently, B2B social media can pay dividends.

Let’s jump straight to it.

Why B2B social media?

It lets people know you’re open for business

Seems to be a basic one, but every day people are researching new companies to do business with and a cursory glance at social media profiles is part of a check of the validity of an organisation. If there are no social media profiles, or if those profiles aren’t regularly updated – it can look like your company doesn’t exist, or has gone bust. Not good.

You can engage with your audiences

It’s called ‘social media’ for a reason. If approached in the right way, you can have meaningful conversations with customers, potential customers, partners and suppliers. We all know business is all about those relationships, so get nurturing them with some two way comms on social media.

You can position yourself, or your business, as a thought leader

There are very few markets where being a thought leader isn’t really important. That’s because buyers in your market will almost certainly want to work with a company that has a clear understanding of the context of their challenges and goals. Putting out original thought, or your own perspective on someone else’s ideas, will help to position your business as part of the conversation in your market. It’s dynamite.

It can bring traffic to your website

If you spend time creating blogs, videos, whitepapers or the like for your website, social media is a great shop window for it. If you put out the right posts on social media, with the right types of content, people will click it and come to your website. This is a good thing, because once they’re on your site you can then use a range of tactics to generate leads from those that are visiting.

You can sell to people on it

Not one to go gung-ho into straight off the bat, but social media is used successfully by thousands of companies to sell products and services to new and existing customers. To be able to get here and be successful, there’s a lot of work that has to go into other areas – but it’s there as a light at the end of the tunnel to focus your thoughts.

Getting started with B2B social media

Which social media channels?

Channels are what marketing people call sites, or platforms.

Think Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and the like.

Choosing which ones to create profiles for and to invest time in to will very much depend on your business.

Some things to consider:

Where are your customers?

If you don’t know, ask them. Doesn’t have to be anything fancy, a little bit of time spent searching out some of your customers would suffice. A survey would work, or getting your B2B sales team to ask their customers and feedback may work depending on how helpful they are!

What content do you have/are you going to have?

Instagram and YouTube are primarily visual and not the best place to share links and more “casual” updates. It’s best to get a YouTube or an Instagram account if you’re going to be committed to high quality visual content – regular videos, photography, really cool imagery, stuff like that.

Who is going to own it?

One learning from supporting dozens of businesses with social media is unless someone is accountable for it, nothing will happen. While all eyes are on social, and ‘sorting it out’ is a focus, your business will probably be all over it. Then a big tender,  a new website, or a big trade show comes along and social isn’t a priority any longer. If you go from daily posting to not posting anything for a couple of weeks, this can send stark warning signals to your social audiences. To be successful with B2B social media, you must be consistent.

We’re talking lines in job descriptions, dedicated roles, KPIs or agency management (we can do this).

How are you going to measure it?

There are different ways to cut this. Your metrics should depend on your overall strategy and how social media is going to plug into this. If you’re interested in getting quality conversations with your audiences, engagement (often used to describe the Likes, Comments and Shares you get) will be a factor. If you’re interested in getting the brand out there and making a splash, then Reach (how many people see you updates) and the number of friends/connections/follows are gonna be ones to look at. It’s worth defining what good looks like. With B2B social media it’s easy to fall into a trap of doing activity for activity’s sake. Having those proof points enables you to objectively review success and adapt as necessary.

Help with your B2B social media

If any of this is resonating with you, but you need help defining or delivering it, we can help. Inflowing Social Media Management can take control of your social media output, make sure it aligns with your business goals and drive you towards success – all for far less than you might think. From only £299 + VAT per month. Interested? Let’s have a conversation.

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