When it comes to social media, businesses that sell products (especially products that everyone loves and wants to buy) have it easy. Restaurants can post mouth-watering photos of food and drinks on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, etc. Clothing stores get to share photos of gorgeous models wearing their latest arrivals and post about their latest 25% off coupons. But if you’re an accounting firm, meh, not so much.
So what can B2B companies do to gain visibility and even clients from social media?
Follow the 3 C’s:
Let’s start with content. If you are a business that provides services to other businesses, you need to establish your own company as the go-to place for answers to the questions your customers and/or prospects are asking. You can do this by creating content that provides valuable, timely information to your target market. Ideally, this content will be in the form of articles, videos, how-to’s, infographics, FAQ’s, etc., and will be placed on your website on a regular basis. (Many companies have a WordPress blog added to their existing websites in order to easily add new content.) It’s helpful to have an editorial calendar that charts out the type of content you will be creating and who will be responsible to create it as well as share it in on social media and in email newsletters.
Consistency is also key. Just like any other marketing activity, you have to keep getting your business out in front of prospective customers. You can’t rely on “build it and they will come” or “one and done”. There’s a reason why we used to place ads in the yellow pages year after year or run weekly newspaper ads. It’s the same thing with social media. Use that editorial calendar to plan out 3 months of article or video topics and stick to it. When you post a new article or video to your website, make sure it gets shared out to your network on LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. It’s easy to neglect marketing, any type of marketing, when there are so many other things to address in a business. We notice a drop in inquiries for our own business when we have gaps in writing and posting content to our website or engaging with people on social media.
Continuity. Remember the story about the tortoise and the hare? Slow and steady really does win the race. Many of your competitors tried the social media thing and gave up before they started to see success. Don’t be like them. Keep going. It might take 6 months or even a year, but you will gain traction if you work diligently to build your body of content and your audience. Eventually, people WILL find your website through the helpful content you place on your site and share on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc. And, of course, it doesn’t hurt to inquire about getting help from a company like ours to develop a game plan and build your network.