The way in which social media has transformed the ways we communicate with customers, in a little over a decade, is nothing short of phenomenal. Social media has evolved from its early days of providing platforms for friends to communicate and share information about themselves, into sophisticated business tools to now warrant an ever-growing slice of the marketing budget pie.
If you can look past the (sometimes) overinflated CVs and constant invitations to scan your entire email contacts list for new potential connections, LinkedIn actually offers a great way to connect with colleagues and potential customers online.
Importantly, for those in the B2B market, when you engage with people on LinkedIn you’ve got their attention in their professional capacity – so they’re more likely to take note.
It’s a great forum for sharing information about your brand and products, to help build brand awareness; and it’s a great forum for sharing content drives traffic to your site.
Use it for: Connecting with colleagues; content sharing; sales and event promoting.
Don’t bother: sending personal emails to new connections to try and build a relationship. The only real way to develop a personal relationship is in person.
Tip: When content sharing, aim for a mix of content that promotes you or your company, with thought-provoking and insightful content relevant to your industry. This helps to establish a sense of trust in what you have to say.
Twitter allows users to share short, 140-character ‘tweets’ with their followers. When launched in 2006, it was a largely personal forum, but today, it’s increasingly becoming a place where brands communicate with customers and where news is shared and even broken.
Twitter is a great place to start a conversation and can provide B2B and B2C brands alike with immediate feedback from customers. Aside from being a forum in which to directly communicate with your customers, it’s particularly useful as a conduit to drive your customers and clients to content or sites you want them to see/visit.
Use it for: sending witty tweets that drive readers to your site and/or your content; communicating with your customers.
Don’t bother: breaking your message over multiple tweets. If you can’t say it in 140 characters, you’ve already lost your audience.
Tip: hashtags do actually work, especially when you tap into trending content. By using hashtags you can significantly increase the number of views, shares and clicks your tweets receive.
Can we remember a time before Mark Zuckerburg launched Facebook upon us all? Well, yes, but for many it’s a little hazy. What started out as a purely personal medium is becoming increasingly commoditised, and not just through the presence of those pesky sidebar ads which assess your profile for products that ‘might interest you’. Consumer brands are more visible on Facebook than ever before, and they have the ‘likes’ to prove their social media strategy is as important as their print media plan.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that a B2B brand can utilise Facebook in the same way though. At Monkey Media we like to think of Facebook as the online equivalent of a Saturday BBQ at a mate’s place – even though a great work contact might be there, they don’t want to talk shop while they’re there.
Use it for: personal connections, and increasingly, BTC selling.
Don’t bother: trying to engage B2B contacts through this medium.
Tip: If you do ‘friend’ business connections, keep it light and make sure the shop talk stays in a more professional forum.
We’re living in an increasingly visual world, and nowadays, a 160-character tweet or status update just isn’t enough to tell the full story. Now we need an image to really make our point – and through the app you can apply filters and other various photo editing techniques to make sure it’s a really good looking point.
Instagram basically boils down to being Twitter + Facebook + pictures – and like Facebook, Instagram’s value as an advertising medium for consumer brands is growing exponentially. Again, like Facebook, there’s not a lot of B2B reach here.
Use it for: documenting your life or BTC brand visually.
Don’t bother: establishing your brand here if you can’t represent yourself with attractive images.
Tip: keep it personal and keep it private!
You can probably tell that when it comes to B2B, our preferred social media platforms are LinkedIn and Twitter. For more detailed information on how your company can best utilise these platforms, see our posts here and here.
Or contact Monkey Media today to discuss how we can best enhance your social media presence.