We engage with folk on an emotional level each time we jump on social media. For them, it is like being among trusted friends with whom they can share innermost thoughts. And let their feelings rip loose on occasions. We all have friends of friends like that on Facebook. And birds of a different feather that twitter things we like or don’t like.
We may be marketing B2B on social media but our interactions are with real people we hope become decision makers. Thus, we must first form P2P relationships and build trust. If we misbehave on social platforms by pushing our businesses too hard, they can shut us out of their lives too. Emotions are like cannonballs when we dig down deeper than angels dare. If we really upset them, they won’t hesitate to tell their friends.
You see, emotions are a bit like cannon balls. You know, the steel spheres our ancestors used to hurl at each other in civil wars and such. They needed to keep them in handy piles near their weapons but they had a problem because they kept rolling apart. So they made a square frame out of brass to contain them.
If you were a happy teenager who preferred playing hooky to going to school, the engineering worked the same way as the triangle that sets up the billiard balls.
The ‘brass monkey’ as they called it made life easier for the ‘powder monkeys’ that otherwise had to keep running back and forth to the store. These young lads soon learned to take cannon balls off the top of the pile only, or else their feet were soon in mortal danger. In the dead of winter, it was said a brass monkey could contract so much that the ‘balls literally froze off’. You get the drift, but unfortunately, it’s just another urban legend so the military say.
We need to understand the social dynamics of the human race before we digitally interact. Well actually the social orders of all mammals but that’s a space my guardian angel recommends I do not go. Humans formed into tribes in the furthest mists of time. They did so, because they could work together and achieve more than they could have as individuals.
If you don’t believe in the value of society, get yourself an eight-ton mammoth, and a sharpened stick. Then see who eats who for dinner.
You could have two years to wait before an embryo rolls off the clone production line.
Relationships work off the principles of exchange theory. This theory states we hang around with people who provide sufficient benefits to make the relationship worthwhile, compared to the effort we put in. When you think about it, that’s exactly the way social media relationships work on the personal level.
Now here’s a thought that may knock you back a little. When we attempt to promote our businesses on social media, the folk on the other side evaluate what we say on a personal level too. We may have a fantastic offering, but if we don’t treat them gentle they will run out on us.
We need to behave like real people, not salespeople. There’s a difference you ask? Salespeople want to turn what they have into money. Real people want to share in a collaborative way (although I’ll grant there are exceptions). However, there is more to boosting social media marketing efforts than posting a pic of the dog.
We are not friends yet. We have to earn the privilege by using smart inbound marketing tools.
Here Are 14 Neat Ways to Make B2B Inbound Marketing Work on Social Media
1. Get to Know Our Audience Better
One size definitely does not fit all. People are individuals and they have some mighty, heavy emotional cannonballs we had better not disturb. Thus, it’s best to draw some analytics about our audience as it expands. Then we can talk about things they really want to hear.
2. Use This Information to Create Buyer Personas
I find it’s more practical to relate to my audience as if it were a single person. I find this makes it easier to engage, share, and collaborate. Collaboration is simpler on a one-to-one basis. In reality, it is a one-to-many hoping to make everyone special.
3. Don’t Shut out Platforms Spontaneously
Follow the thought leaders among your fans and learn which social media platforms they frequent most. This can lead you to a new fishpond of opportunity where you can dangle your hook. I have made some of my most successful contacts that way.
4. Engage Communities and Groups
We miss the point of social media if we don’t bloodhound-edly follow these new trails. This can keep our timelines shorter so our content stays above the scroll longer. It is also a super-efficient way to communicate because we can snipe readers’ interests precisely.
5. Introduce Your Business Family
Most people are curious to know what is behind a name and a photo. When we use our employees as advocates, we are saying ‘this is for real and for us it is more than a job’. Besides, who’s to say we don’t have real writing talent that can share our posting task.
6. Share Your Business Partners
We add depth to our business personas by sharing collaboration successes with suppliers and customers. Of course, we must be selective and ask permission first. This adds weight to the case we are building that we are solid, reliable and deserving of trust.
7. Always Come Across as Helpful
We can become a trusted friend by giving away truly valuable information, as we steadily build our credibility. We mingle this with our own creative posts to cement our reputation as a trusted, valuable resource. We need to be careful not to promote alternatives to us.
8. Variety is the Spice of the Internet
HubSpot tells us Facebook posts with images result in 53% more likes. WordStream reports 87% of online marketers already used video content back in 2012 and the trend is growing. To really cut it on social media, we must mold ourselves into the great entertainer.
9. Cement Credibility with Opinion Pieces
We are at the point where we establish ourselves as an industry expert. We curate breaking news relevant to our industry and make meaningful comments on our blogs. People will show this to their friends, and they will visit our website.
10. Run Support Accounts On Media
We open supporting pages next, but still in social media. This separates our feed into general-purpose marketing, and more specific places where users can come to us for queries. According to J.D. Power younger users prefer these for service updates.
11. Fine-Tuning CTA’s
Graphic calls to action are the lodestone of success while marketing B2B on social media. Keyhole believes that starting calls with ‘do words’ are most likely to succeed.
12. Look Sideways at the Competition
It is quite okay to ‘steal with our eyes’ in business. Most social spaces allow us to access third-party page metrics and learn which of their posts produce great results. We can discover the CTA’s they are using. If they keep using the same ones, then we know they work.
13. Invest Some Money
I hate to use the money word but sometimes I have to. If your organic growth is slow, you could turbocharge it with paid advertising. You could send greetings to users on their birthdays, or those whose interests coincide with your personas. Your money should flow back soon.
14. Keep a Tab on Metrics
We can check out the actual results of our efforts by drawing data from social media sites and google analytics. This is one of the most powerful tools available to digital marketers. Thanks to A/B testing we can experiment, and keep on experimenting for a long as we want.
The Conclusions We Reached
B2B social media marketing is true to the tradition of first making friends(i.e. generating leads), and then selling. Dale Carnegie who wrote ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ believed:
- When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion.
- You can close more business in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.
- Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.