Social selling is using social media channels like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to connect with prospects, and to help B2B buyers decide if they want to buy from you.
After all the hype and hoopla around social media, you might wonder if B2B companies are embracing the social web meaningfully. Many are not, and you might think that social media is not right for your industry. Well, in this post, we will help you evaluate whether social selling is right for your B2B company.
Designing a social media strategy
Social selling, a term that’s been around since before social media became the powerhouse it is today, refers to the idea of using social networks and other online channels to sell to current and prospective clients face-to-face.
But what are some strategies for success? Here are some that we’ve observed from B2B technology companies that have used social media effectively to help their potential customers through the power of relevant content.
The first step in creating your own B2B marketing plan is understanding who you’re trying to reach with your content. This will help determine which platforms you use most often as well as how much time each platform requires. For example, if you want to target small businesses, LinkedIn might be more appropriate than Facebook or Twitter. If you’re targeting larger enterprises, then perhaps one of these platforms would work better.
There’s no denying that many businesses still struggle with how to use these tools effectively as they balance the sales process with their customer’s buying process. The good news is that you don’t need to be a marketing expert or even know much about social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc., to get started on your own business’ social media presence. You can start by simply creating profiles on each site where people will find them. Then, as time goes on, add more content and interact with others who share similar interests.
It’s important that you’re not just posting links to your website but also engaging with users through comments and questions. This helps build trust between yourself and potential buyers while providing useful information to visitors. It may take some trial and error at first, but once you figure out which platforms work well for your company, you’ll see results quickly.
Why you need an effective B2B social media plan
The way to market a B2B company on social media is to use social media to drive business. That might sound odd, but it’s true. Social media is, by its nature, social. It’s a way for people who aren’t your customers to connect with those whom they are already in business with— and that’s a great way to gain insight into your target markets. But to get the results, you may need a B2B social media plan that not only gets results, but drives them.
Businesses of all sizes have used social media marketing to increase their brand awareness. In fact, small businesses now rank higher than large companies in organic search engine rankings because they understand consumer behavior better. As consumers continue using social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Twitter, brands must adapt to keep up with changing times. Consumers expect companies to provide fresh content regularly, respond to negative reviews when necessary, and stay active across multiple channels. Companies should develop a solid understanding of what makes their audience tick before jumping online.
What does a B2B social media manager look like?
Building a plan is a good first step, but many companies have a social media manager (SMM) to make sure there is a consistency of creation, publishing, quality and engagement.
A few considerations before you employ a SMM include:
1. Firstly, do you really need one? If you’ve got a team of marketers, then maybe you could assign someone else to manage the accounts. However, to grow your following organically, then having a dedicated person managing your account is essential.
2. What skills/experience do you require from your SMM? Do you prefer working alone or would you rather delegate tasks to other members of staff? Are you comfortable writing copy? Or perhaps you’d be happier editing existing posts? These things can help determine whether you hire a full-time employee or contract somebody part-time.
3. How much experience do you have? You don’t need to know coding, however, you should ideally have worked within a digital agency environment previously. Most SMMs nowadays come from traditional advertising backgrounds, so they usually have a decent knowledge base.
4. Where will you find your ideal candidate? There are plenty of job boards out there where you can advertise for SMMs. Alternatively, try searching LinkedIn for relevant profiles. The best candidates will have previous experience in similar roles and also show strong communication skills. They should also be able to show examples of successful campaigns they’ve run.
5. Will you pay per post or per click? Some SMMs charge based on the number of likes, shares, comments and followers generated through each campaign.