By using social media, B2B marketers can increase awareness, build industry contacts and gain valuable feedback and insights about their products and those of their competitors.
1. Define Your Target Audience – be mindful that social media is about building relationships, not broadcasting. Are you trying to reach the head of another company, the end users of your product, decision makers within a division, procurement people? Advanced search features in LinkedIn can help you zero in on the right targets.
2. Listen Before Communicating – Resist the urge to announce features and benefits about your products and services. In social media, this behavior is disdained. Instead, listen. Imagine that you’ve joined an ongoing conversation between others. Once you follow the thread of the conversation, add to it with useful insights and information that will draw favorable attention to you and your company.
3. Communicating – When communicating in social media, you want to provide resources and knowledge. According to David Armano, senior vice president of digital marketing firm Edelman Digital, "The key is to provide value through thought leadership." Some of the ways this can be done is by posting reports and presentations and initiating interaction on LinkedIn. Providing answers to peers and prospects is the most effective social media marketing tactic.
4. Be Cautious – Social media should not be considered a direct sales tool for B2B companies, but rather as a source of leads and introductions to relationships. Also, be careful about soliciting social media users when responding to posts or you may be viewed a spammer.
5. Measure Your Efforts – What can be measured can be improved. It’s important to have analytics in place to help plan and measure the quantity and quality of your efforts.
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