Hurdles and Misconceptions
A big challenge in working with B2B clients is relaying the value of curating and maintaining a social media hub around a website consistently.
For many years I’ve sat across the table from veteran owner-operators, CEOs, and sales managers pleading my case for inbound engagement, usually to looks of disbelief.
Often the B2B products/services sector as a whole believes they don’t have an audience, and therefore no vested interest in a consistent voice. This misconception is largely founded on the idea that social media is an entertainment outlet, this is only partially true.
Layers and Channels
Social media can be a blunt or precise tool. Analogous to both a layer cake and car radio tuner, first you must determine which ‘layer’ of a demographic is your target; you could simply focus on key decision makers, or cast a wider net in hopes of pulling casual observers into your ’content orbit’. ‘Channel’ section involves determining the highest yield platform for your product or service, within the five ‘majors’ (LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ YouTube and Twitter).
Fresh and Relevant
It’s not a cold, cruel world – it’s just an indifferent one. Getting the attention of a prospect requires diligence and thoughtful offerings. Sure, a steady drip of ‘who’s doing what in the office or check-ins about a new product or service may keep you on the radar, but what are you doing about educating the prospect during their ‘buyers journey’?
Establish and Educate
For many years, social media (and blogging) has helped to establish trusted experts who care about their customers and industry. Implemented correctly, educational outreach leverages a personal dimension without canned pitches that turn prospects off.
The ‘We’re On it’ Argument
Most well-intentioned ‘marketing part-timers’ like an office admin, intern, (or even the CEO) can easily distribute baseline content, monitor, and even respond. However, the key to success lies in the ongoing process of intuitive content creation, promotion, responsive engagement, and conversion.
Engagement takes effort and planning. Just being present online with a ‘dripping faucet’ will not yield maximum results. Educating, listening, and responding with prospects via social media gives the B2B sector a greater opportunity to become a resource and thought leader, which ultimately leads to increased trust levels, greater comfort, and cost-effective qualified leads.
Social outreach for B2B is a single tool, but a powerful one, when coupled with relevant content and a consistent effort.