While many B2C businesses are able to quickly turn a large social media following into a growing bottom line, it’s not that easy for B2B businesses. Many B2B businesses came late to the social media game and are still struggling to figure it out. It can be a major setback not just for their social marketing strategy, but also their online reputation management strategy as well.
For most businesses, social media shouldn’t function primarily as a sales-generating marketing channel. Instead, social networks can boost your brand awareness and credibility. When used correctly, social media can also be a powerful tool for building a loyal community, not just another to-do on your list.
Here are three reasons your business social media strategy isn’t working:
You’re not engaging with your audience
It’s easy to look at social media and see a new place to post links to your products. If you’re just starting out on social media, you’re probably not yet aware of all the ins and outs. While plugging your product pages with brief notes about features and capabilities may look like a good place to start, it’s not going to capture attention or grow your audience.
Social networks promote user engagement by nature and you can capitalize on this by promoting your business with high-quality engaging content. Aim to drive interactions on your post, not just clicks on your links.
One way to promote engagement with your brand on social media is to connect with industry influencers. For most companies, this means your customers, your partners, and your suppliers. These don’t have to be paid engagements either. Simply responding to and liking their posts can lead to them reciprocating for you down the road.
Your brand image is inconsistent
By now, everyone has logged into Facebook only to see a viral meme shared by an unfamiliar radio station from halfway across the country. The post has hundreds of thousands of likes and is driving a lot of traffic back to the radio station’s Facebook page. This strategy works because it’s what radio commentators do: they share and comment on popular topics. Unless you’re a radio broadcaster, this strategy probably won’t work for you.
Maintaining a consistent brand across your social profiles is vital to building a more credible image of your business. One way to do this is to work outward from your website. If you’re working on building out your social presence, you’ve hopefully already taken care of your company’s website.
Your website is a carefully planned tool that carries your brand’s online presence and you can extend that to your social media pages. Consistency among the profile pictures you use, the banner images, the descriptions on the website and social networks you write, and the style of the messages you send will drive up your credibility.
In addition to your social profiles, take a look at directories and marketplaces that may showcase your business as well. Consistency across all properties your customers may find you is key.
You haven’t set goals
Opening new social networking accounts and posting occasionally is not a strategy. If you want to succeed in B2B social media marketing, you need a clearly defined set of goals and a strategy to get there. Sticking to a posting schedule will only get you so far if you don’t pay attention to the engagement data in your social media analytics.
Luckily for you, analytical tools for tracking the success of digital marketing campaigns are becoming more and more sophisticated. In fact, Facebook and Twitter’s own tools are extremely helpful for businesses new to digital marketing. You can harness this data to not only track your progress, but to also adapt your strategy for better results.
Social media can be a tricky tool to master for B2B businesses. It’s important to view it as more than another sales channel. Focusing on driving engagement, using a consistent brand, and setting goals will help you use it to its full potential.