Social Media for B2B
One thing we come up against time and time again when we’re asked to help a company with their social media promotion is the lack of imagination when it comes to telling stories about what that particular company does. It’s as if the simple fact they’re working ‘IN’ the company so much that they fail to see the human impact the business operation has.
As an agency we help B2B companies see the bigger picture – invariably there’s a human interest angle to what the company does that can be exploited to promote the company.
Great social media management is essentially storytelling, no different to telling ghost stories around the campfire. If you tell a boring story, you’ll lose the attention of those listening to you, and very quickly they’ll start doing something else, or worse listening to someone else.
A great storyteller can turn the facts of what you do as an organisation and turn them into an enthralling narrative. One of the biggest marketing failings of the majority of B2B companies, especially in the industrial and manufacturing sectors, is the lack of a human voice, telling great stories about what the company does, how it affects a positive impact on those involved in it and how its products and services impact the wider world.
If you’re struggling to think of content, think about your staff. What does working for the company mean for them? What effect does it have on their families? What do your products or services mean to those who buy them?
It should go without saying that social media is exactly that – SOCIAL. So have a human voice. Many B2B companies believe they should express themselves like robots. It’s exactly this lack of real human voices that makes a B2B company seem so distant and unreal. It’s like talking to a robot. You absolutely must make a concerted effort to humanise your brand in your social media and content marketing.
Here’s what this looks like:
- Use a first-person voice when writing updates, articles, etc.
- Use a brand front person to tweet, post updates, write articles, etc.
- Use real people with their names in customer service.
- Initiate engagement and outreach from a real person.
Getting it right, first time
Hire a Social Media expert, not an industry expert. Obviously, experience in the specific industry is important – especially if it is particularly niche, but that knowledge can very often be learned quickly. It is more important that you hire a social media expert to manage your channels. Social Media can be hard to get right first time and it’s an ever-changing playing field. What channel works today may change rapidly, and you need someone who’s aware of this shifting canvas and can plan and react quickly.
Likewise, it’s imperative that you hire someone that is going to create a social media movement for you, rather than someone who’s just going to perform the ‘function’ of social media management.
You need more than just status updates once a day. What you need is someone to create and develop a voice for your brand. Think identity creation and shaping of brand voice, as opposed to standing on the street corner shouting about how good you are.