I speak to B2B business owners and marketers all the time, who ask “Is Social Media really an option for B2B?” And the answer is “Yes, you just need to adopt the tactics to suit your business and your customers.”
1. Start with your marketing objectives – what exactly are you trying to drive for your business:
- Email addresses?
- Build credibility/trust?
And if it’s more than one of these, then have specific campaigns for each objective. Without this identified, it’s pretty difficult to know if you’ve been successful.
2. Who are your best customers or prospects? You know your customers best, be specific about who they are, what have the key decision makers got in common – age, gender, education, interests. Remember you can target Small Business owners specifically on Facebook, and consider what hashtags they might be following on Twitter.
3. Consider what social networks are right for your business? I’d suggest Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn are pretty good bets for B2B, as they’ve got good reach, with LinkedIn having the edge with the ability to target by company, sector & job title, but at a premium. Focus on 2 or 3 social networks max to get started. You can always add later when you’ve cracked the code.
4. Set up a Facebook Page/Twitter Profile/LinkedIn Company Page that showcases your proposition – what makes you unique, is it specific expertise, is it access to particular technology, is it high quality services? When communicating that unique selling proposition, don’t forget to be clear about what the benefits are for your customers or prospects – how can you make their life better? What's in it for them?
- Blog posts to showcase your expertise
- Success Stories
- Behind the scenes peaks – in the office, at events, at expo’s or conferences
- Customer feedback/input
- Evangelise & Educate
- Use different formats – infographics, videos, imagery
- Shared content from other trusted sources in the industry
7. Use Inbound Marketing principles, to distribute your valuable content to the right audience, thereby generating business leads. Use Direct Response advertising features to really hone the strategy. On Twitter, you can now use Lead Gen Cards to make it easier to bring people from Twitter into your lead pipeline. On Facebook don’t forget you can include a call to action on your ads, to invite people to Learn More or Download Now. Both of these are extremely effective ways to drive your Inbound Marketing strategy, and ultimately your lead pipeline.
8. Test targeting features, for example try Facebook’s ‘business status targeting features’, when you go to fb.com/ads/create. Test hashtag & keyword targeting on Twitter. These can help you reach key business decision makers.
Consider using sophisticated targeting such as custom audiences on Facebook & tailored audiences on Twitter, both of which allow you to leverage the data you have about your most valued customers.
9. Measure - Track the impact of your campaign. Check your reporting on Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn to understand what content is resonating best, and what audiences are being most responsive.
10. Iterate on your activities – Make changes to your publishing & advertising based on the results you’re seeing. Refine your targeting & your messaging to reach the right people with the right message, and of course to ensure you’re investing time and money well.
Now it's your turn. Have I missed something? I’d love to hear your thoughts on tactics or tools you’re finding that work well for your B2B marketing.