The first of several articles about the use of social media in B2B marketing to help increase your conversion rates. In Part One, we’ll discuss how you can use Facebook and Twitter to increase customer and prospect engagement.
If you’re looking for new ways to promote your product or service, you don’t have to be a 22-year-old influencer to make social media work for you.
This is great news, since social media is a leading trend that a lot of businesses are taking advantage of today—which means your customers and prospects expect to see you there, too. So, what’s the best way to make social media as much a part of your marketing strategy as email?
The answer lies in consistent content. Lots and lots of juicy, information-packed content, delivered on a continuous basis. The difference is, instead of posting selfies with a product, you’ll be distributing, promoting and repurposing content. When you’re posting content, it will need to be a balance of yours and, at times, other relative content to demonstrate a mix of fun, thought-provoking and actionable posts that will keep your prospects interested, informed and coming back for more.
B2B + Social Media: A Match Made in Heaven…
or the Other Place?
Many B2B marketers are skeptical that social media is an effective way to gather solid leads. That’s an understandable skepticism, when you consider that most social media platforms are better known for cat memes than marketing. But it must be working, because 61% of B2B marketers increased their use of social media for content marketing purposes year over year. Now, the top three technologies B2B marketers use to assist with managing their content marketing efforts are:
- Social media publishing/analytics
- Email marketing software
So, if your business isn’t currently on social media, where do you start? This article series is a good place, since over the next few weeks we’ll cover several aspects of establishing your business’s social media presence.
Let’s start with the most popular social media platforms used by B2B marketers. We won’t discuss the purpose of each platform, since their now-widespread use is part of the human zeitgeist these days. What we will do is mention a few of the features that might work to promote your business, along with any other interesting information you may not know about the platforms.
First up, the two giants most people think about when they think of social media: Facebook and Twitter.
Facebook is very much about paid advertising these days, so it’s admittedly become a bit more challenging to reach prospects organically. However, there are still a number of features you can use to engage your customers and prospects without a cash outlay:
- Check into a location (for instance, if you’re at an industry product expo), create a poll or add a feeling or activity.
- Break through the social media clutter with video posts. Don’t share long videos; just snippets—typically 60 seconds or less—of things you’d like to highlight such as webinars or events, and a link to a landing page where people can learn more at their leisure.
- Facebook Stories are great for very brief glimpses into your company culture: photos of your company’s community involvement, an appealing look at your pet-friendly office on “Bring your dog to work” day or a video intro to a new employee.
- Facebook Live lets you livestream video content to your feed. It’s great for periodic Q&A sessions, because users can ask questions by posting, which can then be answered live. It’s also an excellent way to let your customers or prospects join in virtually when you’re in an interesting location—for instance, at an industry conference or other place where breaking industry news is happening.
So, what are some tips to help you optimize your Facebook business profile?
- Choose the business name that your customers and prospects recognize. For instance, if your official name is “MediumTech Inc., a Subsidiary of HumongaTech Enterprises,” but everyone knows you as plain old “MediumTech,” go with that name so your profile is easy for them to find.
- Include a Call-to-Action button on your profile. Facebook gives you a number of choices for that CTA button, including Contact us, Shop Now, Sign Up, Watch Video and more.
- Create an About page with all the details someone might want to know about your company: address, phone number, business hours, what you do, your website URL—any information you want them to have.
Given its conversational nature—280-character tweets that can make for some very interesting conversations—it’s easier to interact on Twitter. However, because the tweets fly fast and furious, it’s also easier to get lost in the noise. As long as you monitor your timeline regularly so you can keep up with what’s happening, Twitter can be an effective way to get news and content out to your customers and prospects. Here are some points to help you do that:
- GIFs, emojis and videos are a great way to make your tweets stand out among an unbroken line of text-based tweets on a timeline.
- When people post on your timeline, try to respond to them as soon as possible (hence our advice to monitor your timeline regularly). Twitter’s strength is the ability to have as close to a real-time interaction as you can get outside a messaging app, so take advantage of that ability to interact with your visitors.
- Conversely, that same immediacy makes Twitter the platform of choice for people who are unhappy about something to do with your company or product. Keep an eye on your timeline for these posts, too, so you can step in and defuse the situation before it gets out of hand.
Here are a few tips for optimizing your Twitter business profile:
- According to Madalyn Sklar (@MadalynSklar), a Twitter expert who turns tweeters into supertweeters: Make your bio compelling. Stay away from the cutesy or funny. Take a look at other business Twitter account bios—especially ones in your industry—to get an idea of what you like and don’t like.
- Carry your branding to your profile and header images with your logo, corporate colors, etc. Work with your graphic design department to be sure your photos have the right dimensions and aren’t stretched, skewed or pixelated. Remember, too, that while your profile image generally remains the same, you can change out your header image to match what’s happening in your company—an annual conference, a new product or whatever else is important at a given time.
- Create a few hashtags that you can use for various marketing purposes, but do not—we repeat, DO NOT—make your post all about hashtags in one tweet. It tends to come across as spam, and risks annoying your followers. Not to mention everyone else on Twitter.
As you can see, Facebook and Twitter both have a lot to offer a business that wants to take advantage of their reach and popularity. However, we’re just getting started. Come back next week for our second article, in which we’ll talk about three more popular social media platforms: LinkedIn (the platform of choice for many businesses), Instagram and YouTube.
If you think you might be ready to learn more about the ways social media can help you turn prospects into customers, our Sage of All Things Social Media, LaTrisha J., would love to help you consider a strategy that works for your business. Contact LaTrisha at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734.531.7423.