In the eyes of B2B marketers, social media is today’s shiny new object – our very own digital gold and the tech world’s hantise du jour if you will. It’s like the gold rush all over again. Staking and claiming your own piece of heaven amidst this exciting frontier has never been as paramount as it is today because having a slice of this action is considered a contributing key to eventual success.
But before jumping onto the bandwagon of social media marketing for your B2B organisation, you should first do your own strategic homework. And no it’s not about writing a social media policy. Here are 5 things to keep in mind before starting off on the mad dash towards the digital badlands:
- Answer the question “why” first before answering “what”. Instead of asking about the things that you can do in Facebook, Twitter, etc., you should tackle first the question of why you should be there in the first place. Have a specific goal in mind before you start. Are you going to use social media for branding awareness, customer engagement, lead generation or lead nurturing? To help you decide, you can discuss it with everyone (upper management, sales, customer support, etc.) so that you can form a clear and common goal for your social media venture for your B2B organisation.
- Form the buyer’s persona and identify their pain points. Find out their procurement procedures and media consumption pattern. Tackle questions like “what do they read” or “do they read blogs”, etc. Do your research thoroughly using LinkedIn, Twitter, Google and all that lot. More importantly, don’t forget to ask your field staff.
- Harness informal networks by conducting short surveys of your sales and service reps because, chances are, they are already in social media and are connected with your customers informally. Find out what social media networks they are using and where they are most comfortable adding clients and prospects as friends. Through this you can get a good grip on where your customers are and how they can be engaged eventually. And you’ll also be laying down the path for the time that you start developing content for B2B marketing on an informal channel. You can send those content pieces yourself or via service reps to those particular clients and prospects.
- Choose your channel(s) and focus. Regardless of how big a team you have, time and resources are limited. It’s better to pick up on a couple of channels and focus all your attention on them rather than being everywhere and spreading yourself too thin in the process.
- Get buy in from upper management before you venture into something. Half-hearted attempts without full support are a very dangerous thing in social media. Not only do they lack the authenticity (because you’d like to have your head honchos involved in the social media presence of your company), there are many loopholes wherein things can easily turn towards the wrong direction. If that happens then you would want your management completely behind you during those times.
So there we have it, 5 tips for embarking on a B2B social media journey for your organisation.
Feel like adding some more? What has worked for you? Comment away.