Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube weren’t around 20 years ago. Humans have been marketing in some form or other for thousands of years, so it’s no surprise we’re still learning how best to advertise on these new platforms.
Social media platforms have a predictable evolution: something new makes a splash, the younger generation jump right in, the older generation get involved and then it’s officially a big deal. Once a platform has 100 million users, it’s safe to say it has gone mainstream. While the under 25s may not be your target audience, especially if you’re in the business-to-business (B2B) world, by the time a platform has gone mainstream there are a significant number of 35 to 65 year olds hanging around.
Your target audience may be on social media. So how can you use this to increase business?
Here’s where the school of thought on B2B transactions splits in two very different directions. On the one hand, you have people who point out that behind every business is a human being making decisions. They see value in interacting with that human in order to build brand recognition and increase the chance of a business transaction in the future.
The other thinkers point out that although the human behind the business decisions may indeed be on social media, they don’t want your business message to interrupt their watching of cat videos. It’s a fine art to infiltrate social media with your brand name without being obnoxious.
Interact and engage rather than announce
An important part of all social media platforms is the interaction it facilitates between people who may otherwise not be in contact. Businesses need to make sure they don’t treat their social media accounts as secondary websites where they post about their products and services and do little else. A business social media page needs to be more than a place to simply make announcements.
Company news and obvious advertisements on social media tend to feel like spam. They rarely get user engagement and consequently disappear from news feeds fairly quickly. The companies who do well on social media are the ones who consistently share valuable content and take the time to interact with customers.
Monitor mentions and comments
Once you have your business on social media, it’s vital to closely monitor and address what’s being said about you. Savvy users will tag you or use your official handle, but sometimes people simply mention your brand name. Search for these and make sure you’re happy with what’s being said about your brand.
A negative social media comment can have a big impact on a business if not dealt with appropriately. The most common way is to reply to comments something along the lines of, “We’re sorry to hear about your experience. Please send us a direct message so we can investigate further.” This tells other customers who may be looking on that you’re willing to look into complaints without you having to air your dirty laundry in public.
The way of the new world
With predictions that by 2025, almost half of all wealth will be held by those born after 1965, and over 75% of those people will use social media daily, these platforms will remain relevant. Ignoring how social media can impact a B2B company is a really bad idea. Doing the wrong things can harm business, but doing nothing at all can leave you behind the pack.
Do you know how best to use social media in your business? For more information on how to make the most of the different platforms, check out our deep dive here.
Have you heard about content marketing?
Download our ebook, Content Marketing: The Key To Business Growth, and learn the fundamental concepts of content marketing and the ways it can be used to accelerate your business’s growth.