When you think of a brand rocking social media, you probably think of heavy hitters like Red Bull, GoPro, even Excedrin.
Sure, flashy consumer brands with deep pockets get the social media headlines. But because of the smaller potential customer base and higher average price point, B2B companies actually have more to gain from social media than B2C. In fact, 75% of B2B buyers report social media influenced their final buying decision.
Watch “The CMO Guide to Rocking B2B Social Media” for advice on how to create a social business from the top down.
In our live webinar poll, only 12% of participants felt their company was rocking their social strategy. So how can you get better at B2B social media? Here are six ideas:
1. Use social to research your customers and prospects.
Chief Marketing Officer at Triblio Jason Jue thinks of social media first and foremost as a research tool.
“Social media reveals a lot of the psychographic profile of a person that can help make the conversation relatable.”
– Jason Jue, CMO at Triblio
He’s right. Social media is a data mine of people’s personal & professional opinions — about products, services, cat videos. You can pull trends, challenges, interests, demographics, and even tone from the social data you collect.
Accurate audience profiles are fundamental to targeted messaging and effective content planning. Using a social media monitoring tool like Tracx, you can use social listening to learn more about your audience (get started with the three-step process we detailed in this blog post).
2. Beat your competition at the top of the funnel.
B2B purchases tend to require A LOT of research and input from multiple decision makers. The earlier in their buying process a potential customer (and their team) can find information about your products, the better.
At the top of the funnel, buyers are looking to find information quickly and easily. One of the first places a potential prospect will look is social media, because it offers transparency in the form of honest reviews and opinions. An active and helpful social presence with authentic interactions and personal connections will pique buyers’ interest and encourage them to continue learning about your offerings through other channels.
3. Get your sales team on social media.
Your employees are your best branding assets. They know your business and they have personal motivation to help you succeed.
Working a room is second nature to most sales people. Help your sales team learn how to work social media with the same poise and persuasion they have over the phone or in person.
“Salespeople have the best connections.” said Tracx CMO Jen Kern during our webinar, “Make sure they have access to marketing content and make it easy for them to share.”
Salespeople who are socially engaged are 50% more likely to achieve their quotas. >>Tweet this! That should be incentive enough for them to hop on Twitter. But if it’s not — as prospects move through the sales funnel, they’ll be searching for more information and in-depth interaction. The ability to reply to customers quickly and show your differentiators (like attentive customer service on all channels) will go a long way toward closing.
4. Showcase your brand & expertise in your posts.
Branded posts and profiles can have a big impact, especially when they incorporate all departments.
Showcase your subject matter experts on social. CSC’s Head of Digital Marketing & Global Brand Nick Panayi says, “Social media is for everyone. Everyone has something to say and everyone can contribute to the company.”
Whether it comes from marketing, sales, or services, reaching out to prospects on social should showcase your personality and differentiate you from the competition. Just because you’re selling to businesses doesn’t mean you have to be buttoned up and bland on social media.
If you’ve researched your prospects on social, you’ll know how they like to interact, and you can create a memorable connection. >> Tweet This!
A simple like or retweet is great…but how about a full-on banana costume?
5. Reach & engage in an authentic way.
Show your personality on your social channels to reach people in an authentic way.
Panayi said his team thinks of social media as a vehicle to build trust and gain credibility. Authenticity is a seriously important factor when it comes to social. The internet is quick to spot a fake (blasting promotional pre-programmed tweets all day, everyday is NOT the way to go), and even quicker to unfollow.
Prospects who follow you on Twitter may get tired of seeing the same “Request More Information” call to action. Shake things up by sharing content that’s truly helpful,
Authentic engagements are effective for building loyalty and brand advocacy with your customers. Social media is the perfect platform to respond quickly and share genuine messages with customers one-on-one. The more authentic your interactions, the more engagement you’ll build.
6. Build relationships without being overly promotional.
Connecting with customers is important, and you have to start somewhere. People don’t want to be sold to. They are more willing to trust peers, reviews, and industry influencers than a brand trying to hawk their products. Especially in B2B, a referral could be the difference between a terse cold call and a warm reception.
To gain a following, start with the conversations that are already there. Providing helpful information about your industry and responding quickly without being overly promotional are the best ways to get people back to your profile to hit the “follow” button.
It’s the age of B2B social media.
Leading an organization-wide B2B social transformation isn’t easy. If it was. you’d have done it already. But when social and the data it provides starts yielding tangible results — like increased brand awareness, more leads, and better relationships with customers —your company will be thanking you.
Missed the webinar? Watch the full recording on-demand or view the slides at any time.