Business to Business marketing is my specialism. The key to robust B2B social media marketing return on investment is persistence, diligence and flashes of genius!
Having said that, you need more that just posting regularly to enable social media ROI. Allow me to explain.
Your customer pipeline
Building authority and demonstrating empathy are the messaging goals that will start prospects moving up the sales pipeline.
LinkedIn updates need to have a balance of product/service information combined with industry discussions.
I set up Google Alerts for key words which are triggers for my client’s industry. One is “Tax” and so we can track that against mainstream news. Here in New Zealand we just had an election and so adding “Tax + election” we can either start discussion threads about this OR answer other people’s questions.
Another is “Health & Safety” and we can look at newsworthy situations where failures happened and start a discussion about lessons and learnings.
Following hashtags can also be beneficial for niche industries.
What B2B marketers get wrong on social
The key for businesses who sell advice is not to give advice on social media.
They should ONLY demonstrate expertise.
The key for businesses who sell products is not to push their products – only to demonstrate the key features of good products (which of course they supply).
The inference is that you are experts and prospective customers should seek you out if they see relevance in what you write and it aligns with their immediate area of interest.
Is this a selling opportunity? Case Study
I posed a question on LinkedIn and garnered a lot of views and comments.
Is this a selling opportunity? Yes for sure.
I got responses in public from Mercury, Meridian Energy and Our Energy Limited and in private I messaged Electric Kiwi, Power Compare and ChargeNet. So about one sixth of the local retail electricity supply industry brands.
The discussion was really interesting and a mix of industry insiders and consumer remarks, including this gem from the CEO of Our Energy Ltd – a disruptor startup in the energy supply industry.
So electricity companies are all watching, tracking and listening to customer conversations.
And you should be too.
Social selling is not a silver bullet
Many advisers will counsel using “social selling” an irritating phrase meaning sell your services on social media. This is such a problematic term for B2B because when on social, most people do not want to be sold to. They aren’t in “buying” mode on social.
Creating negative brand perceptions is to be avoided.
Having a robust, well-rounded tactical marketing and brand building programme will give you ample opportunity to sell. But only after you have built brand credibility and trust. Therefore multi-touch and multi-channel campaigns are the best route forward for B2B brands. Use with care, is my advise. Oh, yes and do ask an expert what they think about “social selling” BEFORE you hire them.