Social media has become an essential communication channel for brands, whatever their sector – so it’s especially important for SMEs to safeguard their brand by having a more active online presence.
Whether it’s when the end of the year awards are given out, or a quick course in effective social media, B2B is nowhere to be seen. Last year Nintendo Switch, Oreo, Adidas and Airbnb all had massive campaigns, and the one thing they have in common is they are all aimed at consumers.
Just because all the award-winning campaigns are B2C doesn’t damper the importance for B2B, B2C campaigns are often broad-brush, trying to hit as many people as possible, whilst B2B is more targeted, driving demand and leads.
But wouldn’t you say Businesses make decisions in a similar fashion to consumers? Whether at work or home, our experiences form part of the decision making process, we prefer to buy from/work with people we like or who make the process easy. If you receive an email or a presentation, is the first thing you check their website and social feed? What would people think when they did this to you?
B2B social media budgets are growing, but this won’t necessarily bring the requisite level of performance expected. With upwards of 90% of companies registered on at least one of the big three (Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin) why is this performance lacking? Our first Social Media article will look at the basics, it’s often important to just take a quite step back and make sure that the basics are correct, so the clever stuff can work.
Making a choice of which channels to use is the first step towards a successful strategy. As a data company, we primarily use Linkedin followed by Facebook and Twitter, but we chose to not use Instagram – photo’s of data anyone? or Google Plus. This is the right strategy for us, but may not be for you, a catering company for instance could create a better buzz on Instagram (because there aren’t enough pictures of food) than Linkedin.
Posting once across all your Social media channels is a massive time saver, there are a few pieces of software out there, we have personally used both Buffer and Hootsuite and both have free versions if you are watching the pennies.
Seems very basic, but many companies leave large chunks of their profile pages unfinished. Make sure to supply hi-res versions of logo’s and images, include any USP’s in your biography/about us and links back to the various parts of your website. The attached link will give you a full breakdown of the image sizes for all the various social channels:
Once fully set up, be sure to share with staff, to share your pages with existing clients and networks.
Social Media is primarily about creating awareness and demand for your product, but if you are expecting the earth and you get delivered Pluto, you’re going to be disappointed. There are a few ways you can help yourself get nearer to those goals, and most will be very cost effective:
This sounds very obvious, but setting yourself a ‘Social Media Calendar’ can be very effective, using either Buffer or Hootsuite, you can schedule a full weeks tweets on a Monday, leaving plenty of time to research and share/comment on relevant social media posts find and follow influencers (they might follow you back!).
If you need inspiration, a website like Google Trends can really help you identify what is happening in your market, for us interest in the search term GDPR is peaking, so using #GDPR on our posts should result in better awareness for us.