Social Media Marketing
One of the most common questions I get from marketers working in business-to-business sectors is how to best leverage the power of social media to connect and engage with their target audience and build engagement with their posts.
In this post I will run through the four key areas to focus on as a B2B marketer to increase your chances of successful social media marketing:
1. Know Your Persona
The starting point is to truly understand who you are targeting, what their interests are, what their pain points are and what questions they are asking.
Have you mapped out your Ideal Customer Profile and Primary Buyer Persona, in detail? This will help you understand the sector you are targeting, the companies within that sector that you want to get in front off and the people within those companies who you want to connect and engage with.
Now focus on one persona, I would recommend you start with the main decision maker or champion who will love your product or service. Talk to your sales team and audit your existing customer base to identify who this person is and start to understand who they are.
Identify how your competition engage with this persona on social media and what platform would be their preferred social platform. I suggest that LinkedIn will be the best platform to focus on in a B2B setting.
2. Create digital insights and content that answer questions and provide solutions
Now you know who your primary persona is, start to map out how they make buying decisions or their “buyers journey” and what questions they ask at each stage of that journey. Again, talking to your sales team can help you identify these questions and when they ask them i.e. “what questions to prospects ask you in 80% of your first meetings?”
Your blog now has a real purpose and every post you write on there should be focused on answering your personas questions, sharing valuable insights and educating your persona. You will get higher engagement rates and rank quicker in the organic search engine results for your topic.
Now start creating social posts that answers questions, do this in a variety of formats including:
- Blog posts
- Slideshare decks
- Polls & Surveys
- Animated GIF’s
- Live streams
You now have an interesting content mix to share with your audience on social media, content that will drive engagement and link clicks through to your website.
3. Engage then connect
Alongside sharing interesting and valuable content on social media, you must make it your mission to spend time every day engaging, commenting, liking and sharing other peoples content, especially your target persona.
By being social and engaging with their content, you will find that people will be happy to connect with you, when you ask. The old days of sending our mass connect requests and then spamming people with direct messages, once they do connect with you, has long gone and will only damage your reputation.
So be social and try to turn a one-to-many social platform such as LinkedIn into a one-to-one conversation with your target persona.
Remember to monitor mentions of you and your company, respond promptly to any mention in a positive manner, regardless of whether the comment is positive or negative.
4. Build thought-leadership
Establishing thought-leadership in your industry by commenting on industry trends, events and news stories is a critical way to establish trust and authority with your target audience and position your business as the go to company.
I recommend following other industry bloggers, magazines and journalists plus the main events in your industry such as trade shows and exhibitions. Monitor hashtags used by these people across social media and ensure that you comment and engage with posts.
Unlocking the power of social media marketing
In summary, stop using social media to talk about you and your business, no one cares about your latest award, product release or contract won.
Focus your efforts on the main social platform that your persona uses, create and share solution content regularly, engage and connect with people on a daily basis and build thought-leadership to position your business as the market leader who best understands the challenges of your target audience and has the answers to these challenges.