It’s a fair question – and one that a lot of inbound marketing practitioners are asking these days.
While LinkedIn is the obvious choice, there is a good amount of data that indicates Facebook is effective for B2B. Then, there’s Google+ and its connection to search.
So, what’s an inbound person to do?
The answer lies in the inbound marketing strategy and corresponding social media strategy you must create before you jump into developing any type of social tactics. You have to understand the personas, the pains, the solutions that your business offers, what makes your business remarkable and the experience you hope to create for people. Only then are you able to identify the correct social platforms, implement the social media marketing strategy and finally build out the assets to drive results with social media.
Here are the key takeaways for you to consider when selecting a social platform for your B2B business.
Make Sure You’re Presentable On All Social Sites
Your first order of business is to make all of your social sites presentable. If you don’t have anything on Facebook, it’s going to make visitors uncomfortable. If your LinkedIn site doesn’t match your website, there’s a risk that your prospects will feel nervous about you. Remember, your goal is to make everyone feel safe. Today, people hop back and forth between websites and social sites, so yours have to match flawlessly.
While you don’t have to be active on every social network, you do have to have a social site that looks like it reflects your brand and shows that you’re paying attention to that platform.
Create A Separate Strategy For Each Network
What you do on Facebook might not be what you do on Twitter or even LinkedIn. Each of your social platform sites must have a solid reason for existing. For instance, if you’re a B2B business, Facebook might be more about culture and recruiting, and less about lead gen. Twitter might be more about broadcasting info, while LinkedIn is about using content to engage people in a conversation or group discussion. Three different sites, three different marketing strategies and three different executions are required to deliver on your goals.
Tell A Story And Start A Conversation
Regardless of what social site you’re focusing on, simply posting, posting, posting isn’t going to get you a lot of traction and a ton of shares. Social thrives when you engage your audience and they participate in the conversation. This requires you to know what conversations you want to start, develop the content needed to sustain these conversations and have a position that makes those conversations interesting.
Once you start asking the right questions, people start getting involved. Once people have a stake in the game, they want to continue getting everyone they know involved, too. This is how social shines – by accelerating the conversation through your fans’, friends’ and followers’ networks.
Conduct Experiments Based On Data
Despite what I’m telling you here, what you’ve read on your own or what your brother told you about social marketing, every client, every business and every social media campaign performs slightly differently. That’s why it’s mandatory for you to take a scientific approach. Run small, simple tests over time, take what you learn and apply it. Try hard to alter only one variable from test to test, as this ensures that you know exactly how each change impacted the performance of your social marketing.
Focus On What Works
Over the course of those experiments, you might find that Google+ works really well at getting your videos shared, driving people to a landing page on your site and turning those new visitors into leads. Our advice to you: Stick with what works. Double down on that tactic with more videos, more requests for your friends to share it and more links back to those videos on Google+. But, know that what works today doesn’t always continue to work. The people on social sites have short memories and get bored easily.
Make sure you’re constantly refreshing what you do, how you do it and why you’re doing it. Keep working to innovate the content and the experience that you’re offering to your visitors. Don’t worry that you don’t advertise on Facebook. Just because someone else has success doesn’t mean you’re going to have the same level of success.
Once you know what to expect from each of your social sites, you’re going to find clarity associated with your social marketing. For instance, we use Facebook for recruiting, so our posts and conversation starters are geared toward candidates, not clients. Gaining a focus for each of your social media sites helps create a more compelling story and a better level of engagement for fans, which translates to better results, more visitors to your site and more leads for your business.
Start Today Tip – "Strategy before tactics" applies to social, too. Which social platforms do you want to be invested in, and what are your goals for those specific platforms? Once you know this, create the stories and experiences you want to deliver and fuel them with content and conversations that grab the attention of your best prospects, bring them into your world and convert them from anonymous visitors to actual leads. Focus on one social site and get good at it before you move onto another. Track the numbers and make sure they’re moving up and to the right, even if it’s modest growth. Modest growth month over month becomes 10x and 20x improvements in no time.
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