Hit or miss: Using Social Media to Get More B2B Customers

» Posted by on Apr 19, 2011 in Marketing | 0 comments

Posted by Miriam

Every business wants to write great content, get found on social media, have a million followers on twitter, a million more on facebook, and be established as the world’s newest social media expert, right?

Well… wrong, actually.

A business can spend a lot of money and a lot of man hours, achieve all of the above and realize that it didn’t actually bring them any more revenue, and they don’t have very many additional customers to show for it.  Call me old fashioned, but I still think that the point of all marketing is not “buzz.”  It’s revenue.  (The two aren’t mutually exclusive, and may even be related, but they aren’t the same thing by a long shot.)

So how do you make sure that your social media efforts are actually going to bring you more customers?

You make sure your content provides value to your customers, not your competitors.

Below are 5 ways to make sure you’re giving value to the right people.

1) Identify your purchaser.  Not your client – the company – but your purchaser.  Who is your contact?  Who actually makes the decision and gets the invoice through purchasing? Social media is based on communication to individuals.  That individual is your target – solve her problems and she’ll come back to your site again and again, and recommend it as a source to her colleagues at other firms.

2) Make sure your content author understands your industry and your purchaser’s role.  It’s an unfortunate trend in many companies to delegate social media to the youngest person on the marketing team.  The new intern may have been using Facebook for years, but they don’t know your industry.  Content needs to be provided by your most experienced staff members, not the least.  Use the intern to translate content written by the CEO or other experts sent in email form into blog posts or Facebook updates, etc., if necessary.

3) Get over yourself.  Brian Halligan and Darmesh Shah, authors of Inbound Marketing, place an effective content ratio at a stunning 90:10 – 90% of your content about topics that are not you or your product, and 10% about you.  We find that most companies get this ratio backwards.  Writing about production of your product or reproducing your brochures in some form or another only provides value to your competitors doing a quick research project – your customers got that information from you last month in some other form and are probably sick of hearing it.

4) Recruit your clients and purchasers.  Ask your customer contacts to give you ideas of content – problems they are trying to solve – and occasionally to help you write content about problem solving.  That does several good things: it ensures that your content is of interest to the purchaser, and it gives your customer some ownership and some exposure.  Everyone wants to be an expert, and providing a platform for your customer helps them, too.

5) Think “customer service. “  Ask your customer service team what most service calls are about, and solve those problems.  Think of your social media platforms in terms of customer service rather than marketing, and orient your content towards problem solving rather than informing.  Provide something people are looking for.

Follow these steps when creating content – and if you build it, they will come.

To learn more about Spalding Barker Strategies, visit our homepage or Contact Us to see how we can help your business.

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