The popularity of social media is on the rise, and for good reason: it works. It helps contribute to inbound marketing by building relationships with potential (and existing) customers, encouraging them to click over to your site, and getting them to sign up for your email marketing campaign.
That’s how it works in a perfect world. But in the real world, the path from prospect to paying customer is not so linear and many different tactics within one strategy must work together to bring a fan or follower to that point. That’s why we’ve created this list of social media tips just for B2B companies. Put into practice they’re sure to make that buyer journey a little shorter.
1. Target People, Not Companies
This is the number one rule for a reason: social media is about being social, and you’re social with other people--not with faceless brands. When you’re trying to get a certain company to become a customer, track down the actual person who will make the buying decision.
Retweet their tweets, join in discussions they’re a part of, and comment on their content instead of the company’s social media account and you’ll be well on your way to cultivating a constructive relationship.
2. Follow Influencers
Find people in your niche who are known experts, and follow them. Ask them questions about articles they’ve recently written or their opinion about a hot issue in your space.
By interacting and engaging with them, you increase the chances that you’ll make a helpful social contact who could give your company a powerful mention to their followers.
3. Post in LinkedIn Groups
Get on LinkedIn and find groups where either your prospects hang out, or where people who could recommend you to prospects hang out.
Join in discussions with valuable contributions; don’t spam the group with sales messages or your latest ebook. You’ll build credibility and authority this way while boosting the chances that buyers will turn to you when a need for your solutions arises.
4. Create Lists on Twitter
If you’re on Twitter (and you definitely should be!) make lists of the people you follow so that you can interact with them all in different ways. Whether they’re prospects, journalists, or influencers, engage and interact first, tweet useful content (that you’ve created) at them later.
5. Participate in a Twitter Chat
Twitter chats are weekly discussions that use a certain hashtag to sort all the messages in that discussion. Chats exist for almost every niche you can imagine, and they’re a convenient way to start interacting with influencers and show off your expertise.
Just remember one of the golden rules of social media, which is to only contribute thoughts or things of value to the conversation.
6. Promote Visual Content
Our brains remember 80 percent of what we see, but only 20 percent of what we read. That’s one reason visual content is becoming so vital to the social media efforts of brands everywhere. Take advantage of this phenomenon by sharing images, videos, infographics, and anything else you can think of that’s appealing to the eyes. You’re sure to get more shares, likes, comments, favorites, and retweets than you would with text-only messages.
Participating in social media isn’t an option for any business nowadays, whether it’s a B2C or B2B. But you can make the most of your time on social platforms by posting content that works, interacting with key people, and cultivating a presence in the most effective ways. Try out a few of these tips to jumpstart your campaigns and get more leads from these free channels.
About the Author: Jeff Reinstein is the Chief Executive Office of Premier Business Centers. He has helped the company grow from 9 center locations to more than 70 since he first joined the team in 2002.