One of the most integral parts of digital marketing is a proper social media strategy. The problem is, many B2B technology companies either don’t have the time, don’t have the wherewithal, don’t have the resources (i.e., the finances), or some combination of all of the above, to implement a proper social media strategy. In this blog post, then, we’re going to discuss the details on how these companies can devise an effective social media strategy that will work for them. We also will go over a list of the best tips and tricks to implement a proper social media campaign. Finally, but certainly no less importantly, we will take a look at some of the forecasted trends in social media so that your sector can stay ahead of the curve.
Why Strategy is Important
Where many businesses mess up when it comes to their social media plan is that they believe its success is strictly dependent on the number of posts (i.e., Tweets, status updates, “live chats,” etc.). The reality is, without a proper social media strategy, even the best tweets & other social media status updates will fall flat. Without a proper strategy, no amount of social media will be effective.
To that end, then, the following is a list of important aspects of your social media strategy:
- It’s quality, not quantity, in all aspects of social media. Aside from being deliberate in your various social media postings, you need to make sure that your followers are engaged. In other words, it’s not about having large numbers of followers — it’s about engaging the followers that you already have, and making sure they know that they’re important to your business. Don’t buy followers to keep up with your competition — it’s better to have 100 engaged followers who constantly keep up with your products than it is to have 1,000 bot followers who never interact and/or engage with you and your company.
- Consider the success of GE’s social media campaign: even though GE is strictly B2B — not to mention, is one of the oldest companies in the United States — it still took on an approach of presenting their information to the audience in a fun, yet still informative, way. We get that technology tends to be a very cut-and-dry type of industry, but that doesn’t mean that your message needs to be. Try interspersing a mix of media — photos, videos, and polls — with informational status updates in order to better engage other businesses, especially those that aren’t necessarily in the technology sector.
- Use social media as, well, a social platform. Don’t use your social media as a free form of self-promotion. A few well-placed promotional tweets, for example, is alright — but a steady stream of nothing but self-promotion is off-putting, and won’t encourage anything substantial in terms of the consumer conversation. Don’t hesitate to be friendly (but not familiar — remember, you’re running a business!) with your customers, and do your best to engage in a few topical (i.e., light-hearted, non-controversial) conversations on social media to further engage customers and obtain new potential clients.
- Consider the importance of experts. Whether you believe it or not, social media isn’t really free — if you do it yourself, you’ll need to expend time and effort into maintaining your social media (neither of which is free in the business world). It’s best to enlist the aide of a social media professional who will be able to engage your followers, grow your client base, and keep your message on point. While you may consider outsourcing as an anathema to your company’s mission, it doesn’t hurt to make a wise investment in something as fickle and time-consuming as social media.
What are some best practices?
Now that you understand the basics of strategy when it comes to your social media plan, the following is a list of best practices, tips, and tricks for your corporate social media plan:
- According to no less of an authority than Nielsen, four out of five corporations in the United States are currently using social media to leverage client relationships and grow an additional clientele base. Australia is not far behind. To that end, then, if you aren’t on social media, you need to get on it now. There’s simply no further excuse as to why you aren’t on social media to begin with.
- Get a social media management app, and learn all of the important features that come with the app. Some of the most common social media apps used in business include, but are certainly not limited to, the following: HootSuite, Sprout Social and Buffer. If you are using HubSpot then the Social Inbox tool is excellent for managing most of your social channels. The nice part about getting a social media management platform such as these is that you’ll be able to run more than one social media account at the same time.
- You can’t be on social media 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. So, to keep people engaged even when you aren’t on there, make sure you automate some things. This is especially true on platforms like Twitter and Facebook, which almost exclusively relies on real-time engagement.
- Finally, but certainly no less importantly, when it comes to social media, remember the old marketing adage: there are three things people can’t turn down, and that’s free stuff, being famous, and being right. With this in mind, then, make sure that you have quality content to share on social media, but if you see an opportunity to make a customer feel like s/he can get one — or more — of the above-referenced things, you’ll be more than halfway there in obtaining new clients.