Before we focus on “How to” pointers for Social Media for B2B, let’s look at the examples of a few companies who have effectively used Social Media to their advantage.
Social Media for B2B examples:
- SUZLON is the world’s third largest manufacturer of wind turbines. It has its presence in 32 countries and employs over 13,000 people. It is very active on both Twitter and Facebook and regularly updates the content on both. One of their most interesting campaigns has been their success at building an online ‘community’ called Pure Air Lovers Society (P.A.L.S). Its success gives proof to the fact that an effective and meaningful Social Media campaign can truly prove to be a great asset. Afaqs reports, “Launched just four months ago, Suzlon’s initiative, P.A.L.S. – the Pure Air Lovers Society, has become the largest environment-linked campaign in India with over one million registered members. P.A.L.S. has also been among the fastest growing campaigns of its kind in the country, exceeding an average of over 9,000 registrations per day”. Do check their Facebook Page and Twitter out.
- Tetra Pak is the world’s leading food processing and packaging solutions company. Their website is taking advantage of user connectivity by having “Share options” and they maintain a very active Corporate Twitter Account and manage their Tetra Pak India Facebook Page very effectively.
- The Mahindra Group of Companies is one of India’s largest corporations with multiple companies representing various industries such as Automotive, Aerospace, Consulting and Financial Services, Defense, Energy, Real Estate, etc. The active involvement of Anand Mahindra on Twitter is a good indicator of the company’s attitude and utilization of Social Media for corporate benefits.
- Infosys, India’s Tech giant is present on most of the Social Media channels. Their Social Media profiles are both informative and visually beautiful, ensuring the capture of a lot of “eyeballs”. An interesting addition is also a tab called “microsites” placed nest to the Blog tab.
And now for the actual pointers:
B2B Social Media space is a pretty tricky business. You cannot follow the same strategy as B2C segment. You cannot hard sell your product and need to find creative ways to talk about your solutions. You need to answer below questions before you set up your account on any of the Social Networking sites –
- Why do you want to setup your account?
- Logical Reasons should be
- It’s for Branding
- It’s for Lead Generation
- It’s for increasing awareness about your product
- Your users are present on social sites and talking about your product or they are talking about related technology
- Your competitor is also present (I firmly believe in this. Because you are missing from one important channel where your users voice their opinions/concerns/preferences )
- Logical Reasons should be
- How many accounts would you like to create and who will handle it? [This will largely depend on the size of your organization and the nature of your business]
|One corporate account and then local accounts||Local accounts will be handled by local personnel|
|If you deal in multiple products / solutions , will you have multiple accounts for each product or you will segment it via industry||Product Managers /Industry Managers|
|Will one account be dedicated to HR activities ( focused on recruitment , projecting the organization as preferred employer , posting pictures of fun filled activities )||HR Team|
|If your organization receives lot of technical support related queries , will you dedicate a separate account for it||Technical Support Team|
- Will you have corporate vs Local account on all the channels ( Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Plus)
- Do you have content to post online?
- Have you decided what will you be posting?
- What will be the frequency of the posts?
- Apart from Social Networking Sites , are you aware of all the fora where your users converse?
Apart from employing the various Social Networking sites, do consider starting a dedicated blog site. If you do start one, would you host it internally or would you prefer hosting it on sites like blogspot, wordpress etc?
Once the basic analysis is done, you will be able to perceive your Social Media strategy clearly. DO keep in mind that Social Media activities require a good deal of time (6 to 8 months) to generate awareness and yield results. Do not lose interest in the campaign because of lack of instantaneous results.
Social Media for B2B Activity list–
- Set up your account on the sites which you have identified
- Be consistent with the name (Your company name or if you are setting up local accounts, then the Company name & Location) and the profile picture (Your logo should be your display picture)
- Inform your employees as well that now you are present on Social Sites. They should be sensitized to the kinds of information that can be shared online.
- Be aware of the time zones in which your users are present.
- Use hashtags judiciously. Your entire sentence should not be made up of hashtags (many novices make this mistake).
- Keep refining your fans/followers list regularly. Objectionable accounts should be blocked. The same applies to the posts which are contributed to your page.
- Be consistent with your pace. Your tweets/posts should be well distributed throughout the time zone which you are targeting.
- Avoid using SMS language/abbreviations in your posts. It’s not acceptable on a corporate account.
- Spell and grammar check ALWAYS. Bad spellings/language are not acceptable in any context.
- Upload pictures of your office space.
- Do not link your Twitter posts to your FB / LinkedIn account. Every social site is a different world and it needs to be treated differently. If you do not have the bandwidth to maintain different sites, then it is be better to be active on one site. Pushing content from one channel to another is a big no no
- If you want your content to be shared , follow the practice yourself as well.
- Make a list of your accounts and check if they are present on these sites. If yes, follow them
- Make a list of the technologies/industries you deal in, then identify which all individuals are most actively contributing in this field…Follow them
If you have not yet started your social media activities , YOU ARE ALREADY LATE. However, better late than never.
Lastly, please pay attention to this Print advert campaign of Greaves. After having gone through the pointers above, don’t you think this campaign would have been optimized better if Social Media had also been utilized? Food for thought!