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Apr 06 2011
As interest and use of social media tools gains popularity in the business to business sector (B2B), many companies find themselves wanting to get in on the game without knowing where to begin. Here are 4 fundamental ideas that should be considered when implementing social media tools into B2B marketing strategies.
The most important part of integrating social media tools into your marketing plan is to figure out who your targeted audience is. Taking this crucial step ensures that your social media following is one that will benefit your company. These are the questions you need to ask yourself before starting anything else. Who are those people that you are trying to reach through social media platforms? Do they have any presence online? If yes, where? What are they talking about? If not, then how to engage them into participating in your conversation?
Types of Audiences to Consider
They already use your product or service, have comments about it, questions and problems that need to be solved. Great base to begin with!
People who will drive your business further. Think of how you can captivate their attention online and what social media platforms are more convenient for them.
Somehow you neglected their needs. Analyze what the problem was about and show that you care. Social media gives you a perfect opportunity to reconnect with your former customer.
Share your opinion and experience with other B2B professionals in your business field. Feel free to give some advise or recommendations if needed and ask questions yourself.
A lot of times journalists are looking for an interesting material to write about on social media web sites. Developing unique and authentic content about products and services your company offers as well as industry news would help you to attract their attention.
Less popular category for B2B companies. However, it opens a way to discover potentially new information about your product, gives you direct feedback from the end users and chances to test the latest ideas.
Here is a problem: there are too many internet restrictions in the B2B working space. A 2009 survey conducted by GlobalSpec, Inc. shows that 35% of industrial companies are blocking certain websites and access to the different types of content. 70% of respondents can not use Facebook at work, and 66% are unable to visit YouTube and Twitter.
Let’s face it, with today’s technology it is virtually impossible to keep your employees off of social media sites all day long. Smart phones and tablet PC’s enable employees to reach their intended destination whether you like it or not. Instead of trying to fight the urge of your employees to reach out and connect online, why not embrace their desire to connect in a way that benefits your business.
Benefits of giving access to social media tools to your employees.
After all, if you treat your employees like adults they will act like adults!
One of the greatest things about social media for the B2B sector is a chance to present yourself as an expert in your business niche.
Here are some great ways of providing your expertise and giving your audience valuable information through social media.
So now your hooked, you’ve opened up your firewalls, signed up on all the social media sites you can find and your thinking to yourself: What now? Now you need to keep up with your presence online and engage your audience on a regular basis. The best way to do this is to be prepared before you even start.
The results and benefits of using social media in the B2B sector might not appear as fast as they do for consumer oriented companies. As they say, Rome wasn’t built in one day, but unlike Rome Social Media is sure to dominate for a long time to come. Continue your social media interaction and update your web accounts frequently. As the B2B sector catches up with the advantages social media has to offer, be sure you and your company are in the game and ahead of the curve.
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6 Replies to “Business to Business Social Media Marketing: Four Fundamentals to Consider When Getting Started”
Thanks for the “stay the course” message. At least, that’s what I mostlyI got out if this. For me, it’s been about researching and creating a strategic social media plan that helps my employer achieve business results. Then, I’ve got to continue to forge ahead — one day at a time, one post at a time, one interaction at at time — and build over time. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. I’ve seen so many people get enthused about the promise of social media. Rush in without a plan. Fail to sustain. Then, get frustrated and head off to the next exciting thing.
PS: Your Twitter “Share and Enjoy” button needs a link shortener. It uses the full URL, which takes up most of my 140 characters.
Mike, thank you for sharing your thoughts with us! I agree that the whole idea of using social media excites a lot of people that they jump on it without spending any time to find out what their goal is or who they are trying to reach. This is exactly where you have to have a plan, you are absolutely right!
Loved number 4! Nothing irritates me more than a company who starts a social media account then disappears. As a consumer I want to be engaged with and maintain a continuous brand relationship. It turns me off to see a rarely updated Twitter or Facebook. Don’t be on social media if you’re not going to use it!
Amanda, thanks for your comment! Your last sentence sounds like a slogan. I’m with you! 🙂
Great post. I am reconsidering my employees use of social media as the direct result of your advice. Thank You!!!
Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed this post 🙂