It’s the start of the Financial Year and there is a whiff of freshly minted marketing strategies and budgets in the air. If articles like our previous one on B2B Social Media have convinced you that money spent here will not be totally wasted then, read on. In this post we will take a look at the most popular social media channels to try and identify how the same channel offers a different view through these rose-tinted B2B spectacles.
Facebook: Clearly an unexpected place to start a discussion on B2B Social Media but there are some situations where Facebook is better than most other channels. For starters, if you have Visual Content to share like, photographs with a short explanatory note (longer than 140 characters) there are few better options out there. Despite the shifting goalposts of Facebook’s reach algorithms, this is still among the best ways to offer an enticing visual tidbit to prospects to tempt them into sampling the wider menu on your website.
Another place where Facebook scores is in the potential it offers to create first level customer or user communities. Although Facebook groups have died an unlamented death, the Brand Page is still a great platform for users to get together and a good place for them to engage with you. There is enough evidence that an engaged user community, “fans”- to use the more familiar terminology- is a tremendous asset.
Twitter: The “real time” nature of this channel makes it the best place to make announcements – company news, events, new content and so on. It is mandatory to post multiple times in a day – thus, providing the opportunity to “curate” nuggets of information of likely interest to your target customers. This is a great way to show that you belong to that community.
Twitter is also a great place to track down, monitor and engage directly with the big fish – Influencers, opinion makers and those elusive top decision makers your sales guys are trying unsuccessfully to connect with. Like no other social media platform, Twitter gives this direct access. Every tweet starting with @BillGates will reach the man – there is no guarantee as to whether he will answer it though! With great power comes great responsibility – the objective should be a slow and steady progression from getting onto the radar of these Influencers to building a real relationship through a series of calibrated moves.
LinkedIn: The undefeated, undisputed heavyweight champion of the world of B2B Social Media. A scarily high 50% of LinkedIn members are likely to make a purchase from a company they engage with there. There are so many ways LinkedIn can be leveraged in the B2B context. A well-written profile of your key outward facing employees with regular, relevant status updates is an easy way to create a perception of these employees and by extension your company’s expertise. The Company Page is an under-utilized resource of high potential. Updates are extremely effective in driving traffic to your web properties and it is expected that the Showcase pages will only multiply that effect.
LinkedIn groups are almost a channel in themselves – these highly targeted groups of motivated professionals are a dream-come-true for most B2B marketers. This is the platform to participate in ongoing conversations, start discussions and share content of likely interest to the group. Apart from getting into the eye-line of a community that you should care about, it also offers the opportunity to build the desired perception of your company through these interactions.
As you can see, the channels may be the same but the storyline playing out on them in the B2B context is just that little bit different. So B2B Social Media marketers – don’t change the channel; this program also has a rewarding ending!