The inbound marketing process is highly dependent on social media for the promotion of its most important asset — content. But what happens if a B2B company doesn’t have much of a social media presence, if any, to begin with? There can be some stress for both the company and the inbound marketing partner to arbitrarily rev up the social media train. It’s important to analyze not only why building social media is important in the first place, but also how creating a relevant following is achieved.
Why Social Media? Your Content Needs To Be Seen
Content drives the inbound marketing engine because it’s what ultimately allows potential customers to learn more about your company and engage actively with your brand. Whether it’s in the form of a blog, video, GIF, podcast or infographic, quality content will resonate with your target persona assuming said content was created with them in mind (more on that another time). And if you’re producing quality content, it’s not a set-it-and-forget-it task. You or an agency will be continuously producing content to guide your target persona’s quest through the buyer’s journey.
This then begs the question: how will the content be seen? Well if it’s sitting statically on your site, it could be reached via organic search (Google), sure. But for real results, your content must be actively promoted where your target audience lives. This means building a social media following.
What If My Company Is New to Social Media?
Fear not. Social media can work within almost any industry for a B2C or B2B organization. Here are some guidelines for producing results via social:
Post Regularly — As Social Media Week discusses, you should be posting often and on a regular cadence. This requires persistence and discipline to schedule out social media posts regularly. Twitter posts will have a shorter shelf life than a LinkedIn post, so the amount you should post per network will vary. Find a cadence that works best for you and stick to it.
Create Thoughtful Content — This should go without saying, but your social media profiles need to be sharing content that will resonate with your target personas. This doesn’t even have to include content you produced yourself, but potentially curated content from a well-known industry site or publication. If you believe your customers would find a piece of content informative or engaging, post it.
Study Competitors — Studying competitors is important for two primary reasons. First, it allows you to set reasonable goals for a social media following within your industry. Secondly, you can see what content resonates most with their target markets which can, in turn, inform your own content.
Take Advantage of Internal Networks — Get employees within your company on board with your social media strategy. If you’re producing high-quality content, encourage people to like and share the content within their own networks. It’s likely some people within their social networks share mutual interests and can help grow your social media presence.
Be Responsive — If people are responding to your social media posts, engage them as soon as possible. Social media, especially in B2B, is about creating and developing relationships.
Patience is a Virtue, Especially with Social Media
Depending on your industry or specific niche, it’s unlikely you will find yourself with hundreds, much less thousands, of followers overnight. It’s a process that takes time and through competitor research you will be able to develop realistic goals. Stay persistent with your social media strategy and maintain some flexibility to react to any engagement. Not only will an increased social presence increase brand awareness, it will be a direct funnel for increased leads and potential customer relationships.