Reach 75% of B2B Buyers on Social Media
As a B2B sales & marketing professional you need to be using social media to support your marketing goals, and if you’re not, the company is missing out on new customer opportunities and customer advocacy in a very big way! According to IDC over 75% of B2B buyers engage in social media to support their buying decision. You must make an effective social media presence to compete for this business.
So, You’ve Dabbled in Social Media
As a sales professional, you have likely progressed to having a Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter account – I consider these the essential three for any professional. But without a solid understanding of how to use each platform to support your goals it’s likely you might simply be busy making background noise and using up your own valuable time instead of creating a lead developing, customer nurturing and brand building environment. So, let’s explore how these three social media platforms can be used to achieve these common sales & marketing goals.
Understanding Social Media Will Steer Your Strategy
With so many social media platforms available, you simply do not have the time to be active and effective on each platform. I’m suggesting you focus on how you will use the top three: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. There are exceptions to this advice, so consider your target audience and the product or service you offer before you decide which platform to commit to. Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are each very unique and should be treated that way.
Facebook is a Social Event
Facebook is a social event and the right place to socialize and enjoy a digital conversation. Think of this as a party where you “work” the room and try to keep up with key relationships. Sure, go ahead and repost content which has been posted on the company page since this content has been designed with the companies’ goals and objectives in mind but don’t be shy about asking questions and really having some good two communications. Share bits of interesting content and ideas which stir up conversation but stay away from those hot topics (you know the ones) and don’t be afraid to add something more personal such as a vacation photo. Always remember this is a public place and that once you post the content you have given it away to the Facebook community. Your goal here is to build personality so that you are an approachable person and develop trust. This means you are reviewing and commenting on other content more often than you are sharing new content and your tone is a good representation of how you wish to be described as a person.
Connect with Professionals on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the go to platform if you want to connect with a professional community. Your approach should be that of a conference where you might smile and joke a bit, but you do this with a clearly professional tone. This is an excellent place to network but be sure you know these people. It is better to have a small following of people who are relevant to your business than to have lots of followers of irrelevant people. The goal is to be purposeful not busy. Endorse people, share other people’s posts, you can be sure when you post something they will return the favor. LinkedIn offer some exception groups so seek out relevant groups to follow. Above all be sure to add value everywhere you can. When you post something, make it helpful to others more often than self-promoting, this will gain you credibility and ultimately that is what LinkedIn can deliver to your community.
Twitter tells a Great Story in Less Words
Twitter is a fast paced way to efficiently share a story with a targeted community in a few short words. This is the place to share frequent short bits of information such as quotes, one-liners, observations, news and article links. Since you are limited to only 140 characters for your post, be sure to shorten your URLs. Re-tweeting information which members of your community have posted wins you points with these individuals and thanks to very detailed analytics, your followers will know if you helped them out. Be sure to use Hashtags (#) to enhance visibility and consider promoting a post, it’s often very inexpensive and can add to your followers and views in a big way. Also, don’t be afraid to add photos and videos, these can significantly improve engagement. Twitter shows you are helpful and that you know what matters to your group.
Relationships Create Sales
If people know and trust you, they will do business with you over someone they don’t know and trust – that is a fact. A good relationship can overcome sales barriers such as price and add countless benefits such as referrals and loyalty. Face, it, we are not going back to the “way things were” – not ever! So, make social media work as part of your B2B sales process, don’t just be busy with it.
Sherry Slejska, CM.
Director of Account Strategy,
Blinkk Digital Media & Communications