If your buyers are using social media, then you should be as well. Recently, Focus’ Craig Rosenberg brought together a marketing roundtable of experts to discuss how B2B organizations can leverage social media.
Brian Rice, Senior Marketing Manager at SAP, Koka Sexton, Director of Social Strategy at InsideView, and Carmen Hill, Social Media & Content Strategist at Babcock and Jenkins, discussed their experiences and shared their thoughts about integrating social media into B2B marketing activities. Here are a few of the tips that they shared:
- Identify goals and objectives before you get started
“A lot of times we’ll get questions from clients like: ‘What channels should we be on?’ or ‘What should be we be doing on Facebook?’…[this] misses the whole step of ‘What are you trying to accomplish?’ Does it even make sense for you to be on Facebook?” – Carmen
- Make sure you have the proper governance in place
When it comes to ensuring a consistent social image, Brian says governance – the setting of standards – is important. He encourages working with those who have created your organization’s corporate communications guidelines, to help put social media guidelines in place.
According to Carmen, there’s not a “one-size fits all” answer to the question, “What is the proper etiquette in engaging customers using social media?” It depends on the channel or community. She advises that marketers “…spend some time there. Listen to how others in the community engage with one another…and then start participating once you have a good sense of that.”
- Interact with your customers
“If your prospects and customers are active on social media, you should be comfortable reaching out to them,” says Koka. “The reality is, most customers – if they’re active on social media – welcome that type of interaction.”
- Look for opportunities to integrate
There are lots of little things you can do to integrate social with your existing marketing efforts. Consider integrating social sign-on for website login, or adding a field for a Twitter handle as part of your lead capture form. For traditional types of activities, integrating a social component can be really beneficial.
- Match your measurement to your goals
According to Brian, when it comes to measuring social media, it “all goes back to what your objectives are.” Knowing what your objectives are will help determine what your metrics should be.
“Be as engaged as you can. Don’t set up a profile somewhere that you’re not going to be invested in; spend the time.” – Koka
- Tailor your efforts to each community
People want to be efficient by automating and posting everywhere. But according to Carmen, “This is really a lost opportunity. If you’re posting on Twitter and it’s also posting on Facebook, you’re not engaging in a way that is appropriate for that medium.”
- Think broadly about social media and new opportunities
“There’s a tendency to say Facebook isn’t right for B2B. Basically everything that has been dismissed, someone finds a really creative, innovative way to use that [platform] to communicate their message in a very appropriate way. Thinking more broadly is to everyone’s benefit.” – Carmen
- Don’t try to be all things to all people all the time
“Pick a channel and focus on engaging with the core audience. Anyone can create a Twitter or Facebook account and use it as a spam cannon…that doesn’t mean that you’re going to generate engagement or leads.” – Carmen
Get more tips from this panel of experts by listening to the full recording of “Social Media B2B Tips that Actually Work.”
Looking for a social media tool to help you monitor the communities you engage in and benchmark your efforts against those of your competitors? Make sure to check out Act-On Insight.