9 June 2015
For B2B marketers, choosing the right social media platform is absolutely imperative to running a successful social media marketing campaign. There are a number of different networks to leverage, and then you need to consider where your target audience ‘hang out’ and how to capture their interest with targeted content.
In this post we explore some of the popular social mediums, and their potential effectiveness for your B2B operation.
Look before you leap
Many clients that have dabbled in the world of social and while some have experienced great results; others have received a less-than-favourable uptake. Looking before you leap translates into doing your research first. Keep in mind that it’s not a matter of having your presence felt on every available social network but rather, doing it very well where you can. Less is often more in social media.
Top 5 B2B platforms
LinkedIn is still the top networking tool for business, and one that every business owner should sign up for. B2B marketers can find many creative ways to capitalise on some of the core features that allow you to:
- Publish content via your business page and personal profile – An excellent way to contribute to your network is to share interesting articles on relevant topics much like a blog. You can also share things like press and product releases
- Target decision makers – LinkedIn offers the unique possibility to bypass gatekeepers and target key people in your network
2. Google +
While most businesses focus on other networks such as Facebook, many neglect Google+ because they’re not sure how to use it. Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of using Google + is its effectiveness in making your online presence known to Google. Yes, this is an SEO benefit and a big deal in web marketing. CEO Matt Cutts has confirmed that having a large social presence on Twitter and Facebook with hold no influence on where you sit with search engines.
Additional features include:
- Google authorship – Notice how articles that come up first in a search often have the author’s image next to it? That’s Google authorship, an excellent feature when done right
- Utilise hangouts and chat tool to discuss current topics, run tutorials or host webinars
- Link Google + with other profiles such as Google business, local and maps
Contrary to popular belief, Facebook actually isn’t for everyone. For example: If you’re in the business of selling very niche business software, then it’s going to take some mountain moving to get enough Facebook users to thumbs up your page and make you look like a leading brand. This is generally because Facebook users like things that positively enhance their personal personas. It is not about work. So unless you can consistently post informative, engaging and shareable content and make your brand exciting, this might not be for you.
Where Facebook is great for B2B:
- Allows you to prioritise value-rich, customer focused updates
- Opportunity to share diverse content such as promotions, competitions, videos, articles, images and blog posts – driving visitors to your site
- Allows you to market to and specifically target by geographic location, or those more likely to engage such as friends of your existing followers
Twitter is a useful B2B tool, especially when it comes to gaining insights about customers and content. Research indicates that as much as 87% of social media leads develop come via twitter (B2B Marketing). Another very interesting stat is that Twitter out performs both Facebook and LinkedIn 9 to 1 in terms of lead generation.
It’s great for:
- Communicating short snippets of positive business information including sales and promotions
- Identifying who your ‘brand fans’ are
- Listening in on customer conversations to get insights
Instagram continues to expand in popularity, picked up more-and-more by consumers, and increasingly businesses. It is a visual way that people represent their lives, themselves and allows businesses convey key brand messages. If you have some exciting images to share then why not create an account? It is an easy to use app that allows people to follow, like and keep up to date with your brand.
Some great uses for business include the opportunity to:
- Showcase your products
- Give a behind the scenes look to create interest (for example if you are buying or at a conference)
- Introduce yourself or employees – draw people in, show your place of work
See our previous post ‘How to use Instagram for business.’
Top tips: Set your social media endeavors up for success:
- Focus your resources on the areas where you are most likely to succeed
- Create a content plan that ensures you’re consistently posting relevant and interesting information in varied formats
- Give people a reason to connect with you & encourage interaction
- Reward those who do: consider special offers and competitions
- Solicit help from team members or experienced social marketers if you’re time poor
- Don’t be afraid to try new things; experiment, assess results, see what works
- Look at the numbers; use analytics to capitalise on your social media investment