In the race to keep up and stay relevant in today’s digital world, brands feel more pressure than ever to have a strong presence on social media. Many have cultivated an effective online strategy and a voice for their brand that engages their audience – but not all get it right.
This can present a challenge for B-to-B clients in particular. How do you create a consistent message and voice behind your brand? In a space dominated by flashy consumer products and viral videos, how do you create content that is relevant, engaging and targeted?
It’s important to set out to begin or revamp a social media strategy for a B-to-B company with two things in mind: Your brand’s goals and objectives, and your audience.
- Pick your platforms wisely – First, you don’t need to be present on every platform. Social media is only as effective as its following – meaning you need don’t need to reach all people, but rather the right people. Pinterest may be an effective platform for building suppliers to generate construction solutions; LinkedIn may be the space for computer companies to share thought leadership or data analysis; Twitter for timely, rapid posts or event updates; or Facebook for video. Acknowledging that each platform serves a unique purpose is important to ensure your content reaches its full potential.
- To build your audience, follow your audience – Knowing where your audience is and what content they want to see is a start, but the most effective brands also follow and engage with their targeted audience. Following other industry leaders, potential retailers and partners, target publications and relevant event pages puts your brand in front of the right audience, and keeps you in the know of what others are doing. Engaging with your audience by sharing their content, answering comments and participating in pertinent conversations keeps your brand top of mind.
- Post smart and post often – Once you have gained a loyal following and have joined the online conversation, it’s crucial to stay in it. Having a general cadence of when content will be posted encourages users to look forward to your content. Some social media platforms have time frames that generate more activity. For example, 5 to 6 p.m. is a window for LinkedIn activity. Additionally, posts with video or photos perform better across the board. Implementing these tactics into your posting schedule will improve engagement and visibility.
- Humanize your brand – B-to-B brands in particular are generalized as being boring and faceless, but your brand doesn’t have to be. Using names in responses, thanking those that post your content, speaking in layman’s terms and responding in real time are all ways to show there is a person behind the posting… thus positioning your brand as a trusted resource.
While here is no magic formula to know what post will produce the most engagement or gain the most followers, a social media program that reaches and engages your target audience and adheres to your company’s values and goals will prove successful.