Corporate social media is currently in an awkward stage right now. As a study recently published by eMarketer points out, while executives may realize the importance of a social media marketing strategy, they are hesitant to “start implementing a plan.” Companies are wary of whether social media can really help them in the long run. But take a B2B tech company: it sells products that must be marketed just like any other goods on the market. They have to grab the attention of and prove to the customer that their product is worth the price tag.
Where does social media come in? As an affordable supplement to your current marketing strategy, it offers a more personal connection to customers and can increase your brand’s visibility. Its uses are flexible, which means you can use social media tools to your advantage. Unfortunately, this also means that you can use it to your disadvantage.
To help with the social media struggle, we randomly chose fifty top B2B tech companies and analyzed their social media strategy. We learned that only 30% of companies have active Facebook profiles, 40% engage users on Youtube, 62% use Twitter, and 88% are present on LinkedIn.
1. Don’t create a profile if you’re not going to actively use it. You’re far better off having one active and engaging account than three mere presences. That’s the thing about social media: it’s social. No one likes to see a dead or dying profile, they want to see activity: the company updating, users replying, questions and answers, comments… a controlled hustle and bustle.
2. If you are working with more than one network, differentiate them. Give people a reason to follow you on Twitter and like you on Facebook. Make them engage with your company across all platforms. Use your Twitter for sharing links and use your Facebook mainly for customer service, for example (though customer service should be available on all platforms you work from).
3. Don’t make it all about the company. While it’s good to update with news about your brand, posting interesting and related articles and links shows that you’re up to date in the community and keeps things fresh. Again, this is social media, where some people spend leisure time so you don’t want to clutter their feed with brand endorsements. That’s something they won’t appreciate.
Important to remember as well is the fact that B2B tech companies have the added issue of trying to market to two audiences at the same time: the actual technical buyer and the CFO. To make this dichotomy work, your brand must first speak to both very different audiences before you can begin marketing to either of them (see our blog post on “The Bilingual Tech Brand”). With a solid brand foundation in place, a working social media strategy can help your company increase visibility and make meaningful connections with your most important audiences.
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