TeamRev are no strangers to social media. Whether we’re scrolling through Instagram with our morning coffee, or sharing recent client coverage on LinkedIn, we’ve mustered up a good knowledge of knowing what to post and why. But for many B2B businesses, in the first instance, starting social media activity is filled with confusion.
You might be asking yourself:
- Isn’t social media for exciting consumer products?
- Will I have enough to say or will I run out of nice pictures?
- Should I be entertaining or is that too flamboyant for a B2B audience?
Social media is an important tool that can boost your business profile to new heights and attract a fresh pool of customers. By being present on social media, you can create a connection which would have been impossible to achieve face-to-face.
Here’s our answers to your questions… 6 top tips with some handy examples of who is knocking it out of the park when it comes to B2B companies on social media…
- Be there or be square
Put your hands up if you’ve ever checked out a brand online before buying their product or service! We’re all guilty of doing this and social media channels often lead you in the right direction. But imagine if you’re not there; imagine if you lose a customer (potentially forever) because they couldn’t find any real presence of your business online.
Social media gets you seen and heard. Social media puts your brand on the virtual map. By using different channels, you can target a lot more people – but that group of people is so massively diverse, you reach an entirely new set of eyes. It could help find a new market you’d never considered before.
- Don’t post for the sake of posting
Granted, they’re free platforms and you can post whatever you like, but there’s a distinct line between posting for a reason and posting just because you think you should. Your customers will only follow you if you can offer them something useful, educational and/or entertaining.
Take Cisco on Instagram for example. Although it’s a corporate business on the outside, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. They use their employees for content to reflect their company’s message, core values and way of doing business. In this post about recycling, they kept it relevant but remain true to their core messages and beliefs.
- Get your message across
Like we said before, social media should be used to get your message across. But there’s specific ways in which you can get a little bit more attention from the right people. LinkedIn is one of the best networks for B2B companies – with its professional demeanour and slick interface, it boasts an impressive platform to share your company’s ethos.
Discussion groups, in particular, are a great way to leverage your brand and create a conversation. It’s a space for professionals to share content, find answers, make contacts and establish themselves as industry experts. And even LinkedIn uses other social media channels to promote itself. By being on Twitter and Instagram too, they can bring exciting, new and inspirational content.
- Be the one they trust
Building trust is difficult but earning it should be your focus. Earlier on, we mentioned how consumers naturally search for a brand before investing in them. The same applies for gaining their trust. You will appear a lot more credible if you just, simply… well, appear in their search.
Appearing on social media when someone does a Google search does many things for your brand. It displays complete transparency, allows for quick and responsive customer communications, ensures accountability on the reputation for your business and shows that your responsibility goes way beyond just your own benefits. As a direct result, the credibility of you and your business will go through the roof.
Facebook Reviews are a great way of calculating the overall feeling for your business – business pages on Facebook are not just limited to consumer-facing companies nowadays. You can see exactly what people are saying, what’s going right and what’s going wrong and allows you to react and respond accordingly.
Mailchimp are a perfect example for how to use Facebook right. They quickly resolve any problems and reply to comments left on their page, highlighting their sincerity. Visit their page to see more.
- Keep up with the times
If you’ve got all of that going on, you’ve got to have a little room for some fun. You have the chance to show your brand’s personality. You can post a funny video, create a thought-provoking poll or share a popular meme on an awareness day [insert link to Kelly’s blog post]. Because that’s okay – it’s normal. And followers enjoy seeing that there’s people behind the brand. It’s just another way of helping you build a relationship with your consumers and further build on your credibility.
That’s exactly what IBM did on #PiDay, keeping it relevant and fun but promotional at the same time.
- Create a social media strategy
Developing a strategy behind what you want to post on your social media channels is important. TeamRev uses Instagram for employer branding more than anything else. We like to keep a consistent tone of voice and promote our brand culture so prospective employees get a taste of what it’s like to be part of the team. Instagram is very much considered a consumer channel, but it works for us as a B2B services business. How would could you harness the power of social media for your brand?
Social media offers so much potential when managed right. When it’s not being used to share an adorable dog video, it can be a very useful branding tool for your business. It’s your space and it can become part and parcel of your business profile. In PR, we always say people buy from people and that is still true for B2B businesses. Your social media should provide that personal touch so followers can begin to build a relationship with you well before you meet – and drop in on the brand whenever they like, once you’ve made a connection.