When I talk to a lot of smaller and trade companies, they are keen to make better use of social media, but often underestimate the purpose and value of social media and still want to use it as an alternative channel to just continue marketing at people.

The single defining feature of social media is that communication is not centrally controlled but instead grows out of user interactions and conversations.

This means that if you just blast out sales messages to your followers, you’re doing it wrong.

But if you share some content that your customers find interesting, they might comment on it, or like it or even share it. Now you’re getting social engagement, suddenly your customers are passing on your content to their connections, and you are getting a powerful third-party endorsement.

To make the most of your social presence:

  • Think about your customer’s pain points – what really bugs them, and what advice can you give that will help them?
  • Fight the urge to add in a sales pitch – a link to your website or other destination is enough.
  • Keep it short and to the point for ease of reading or scanning.
  • Ensure your heading is enticing without being misleading – you want your customers to be satisfied with your content, not disappointed.
  • Ensure that your web content outside of social platforms, such as blog posts on your website, can be easily shared.

What else can trade and b2b companies do to communicate more effectively on social media?