We all know that the best contacts are made through face-to-face communication. When that's not possible, social media is the next best thing. Social media allows for ongoing conversations even if your prospect is physically located far beyond your local area. Networking is now a useful method of acquiring new leads on and offline.
Connecting with your Target Audience
Taking a step beyond business networking, activity on social networks is also replacing cold calling as a more engaging method of bringing in new business. As a B2B marketer, it's important to keep in mind that while your target market may not be on social media primarily to seek out products and services, a good percentage of your prospects are spending time there. According to data from Pew Research, as of May 2013, 72% of the US population is involved with some form of social media. By establishing an active presence, you will have an opportunity to reach that market.
Reaching your market is accomplished by putting your brand out there and delivering relevant content that is sought after. What you publish must have inherent value, and even better -- be worthy of further discussion. Ultimately, your goal is to leverage content to drive conversions.
Understand your target market. Become a thought leader. And, maintain consistent activity on your selected social platforms. The purpose is to build awareness, become a trusted resource, and ultimately drive sales.
Opportunities on Social Media
It's important to keep in mind that with putting forth efforts on social media, you'll be more effective in building a following if you communicate without selling. Establish yourself as an authority in your field, and build trust by becoming a valued resource.
Where to focus your efforts
Below are the most widely used social media platforms for B2B, ranked by popularity:
While each business is unique, here are a few general methods to consider:
- Blogging - With a steady stream of fresh content, a blog can generate traffic and open lead opportunities
- Video - Crafting how-to demonstrations, testimonials, etc.
- Establish a group on Linkedin
- Follow and comment on others' posts to increase your exposure
Establish goals, such as:
- Increase brand awareness
- Become a leader in your field
- Increase customer loyalty
- Provide an avenue of traffic to your website
- Acquire new customers
- Build Trust
- Listen - Gain insight; gather feedback about your market
- Establish and nurture relationships
Social Media Management
It can be challenging to come up with unique content on a regular basis. Any following that you attract can and will drop off if you aren't consistent with publishing. Experimenting with various posting methods and formats will benefit you in the long run.
Assign social media management responsibilities to employees who have a thorough understanding of your company, its vision and values. Additionally, don't assume your employees "get" social media. Provide training with direction as to what the message is, ensure that goals are clearly understood, and stress the importance of being responsive and engaging in conversations.
While social media as a marketing method is relatively new, time has already proven that companies involved in social media gain real advantages over those who don't. The number of companies on social media is dramatically increasing every day.
Looking for more help?
Social media marketing is a practice that demands a lot of time. As we all know, time is a commodity that's in short supply for many businesses. Consider recruiting Brave River to help you manage your social media. Your company can harness all the benefits of active participation within social media without sacrificing internal resources. Our marketing specialists can manage your business' B2B-specific needs by establishing an effective social media presence, thus ensuring brand exposure and continued growth. Contact us today at 401-828-6611 or by filling out the contact form on this page. Your free social media consultation awaits!