Today you’ll see that B2B concerns caught up in the heady rush of social media are doing everything possible to buff up their profiles with interesting content and branding initiatives. However, unlike a B2C market where building a fan following requires that you regularly create exciting content while interacting with the any and all fans, a B2B approach to social media requires a little more outreach.
What so few businesses fail to see is that the seemingly universal desire to develop corporate social media influence can be in fact used to further your own branding and sales initiatives. Here, I’ll share a few tips on exactly how to accomplish such feats.
1. Create a feed of B2B social statuses, tweets and/or relevant links. By hosting such a feed onto your site or blog, you will be leveraging your social capital to build awareness for your client’s brands. Also, by monitoring the feed, you can interact with nearly everything that your clients are saying on a given social media site.
2. Get onto LinkedIn and establish a group that is centred round your clients’ interests or needs. Marketing groups that relate to a strategy that your client is evidently attempting to use, perhaps even a group that defines members as YOUR clients are a good idea. Ensure that you deliver a healthy dose of genuine content to your groups on a regular basis, while delete spam, and/or content that is overtly promotional in nature.
3. Carefully analyse your client roster and based on your findings, draw up a list of topics that are likely to interest your clients. Every week host a twitter chat or two where a single topic comes under discussion and invite your clients to participate/moderate. You can even conduct polls to determine chat topics and moderators, but the key is to building a large network before implementing these endeavors.
4. Create a wiki that clients may use to disseminate and compare industry standards, best practices and marketing tools. Wikis are a great way to develop collaborative, authoritative content that is unlikely to be spammed. As the creator of such a resource, your social capital is bound to rise, but success in this sector will probably be tied to success in the methods you choose the build capital. Therefore, when talking about the wiki, the rise of your social capital will be tied to the success of the wiki you created.
5. If you’re already a well-respected member of a social media site, you can leverage your capital to help boost sales. For example, on LinkedIn, you can create lists of specific leads that you may wish to nurture and then adopt a content strategy devised to shunt those leads closer to the funnel.
6. When you’ve established yourself on a social media site, don’t be passive and interact with clients and prospects on a purely reactionary basis. Instead, be as proactive as possible by regularly launching mini-campaigns and brand awareness drives. These campaigns do not need to be stand-alone either – if you have that marketing skill to effectively pull it off, you can build awareness for your brand by positioning it in tandem with a popular issue or an industry trend.
One thing the above stratagems all have in common is that each is designed to use a client’s need for social media exposure to forge a more lasting between you and them. And when you think about it, isn’t achieving that objective a large of what B2B social media stands for?
If you’ve got ideas on how to use your social capital to improve your B2B relationships, I’d love to hear them. This topic is still relatively new and I’m sure the world at large would benefit from a vigorous community discussion.