Using Social Media to Your Benefit
“We are a B2B company. What value does social media have for us?”
Jen Doyle, Senior Research Analyst with Marketing Sherpa responds, “In B2B marketing, social media is most effective at achieving branding goals, such as influencing brand reputation and increasing brand awareness. It’s also a very effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tactic for improving search-engine rankings and increasing website traffic.”
According to a Marketing Sherpa survey, the most effective use of social media resulted in:
- Influenced brand reputation
- Increased brand awareness
- Improved search engine rankings
- Increased web traffic
- Generated leads
Using social media is the new ingredient in the marketing mix, but where do you begin?
We recommend initiating the process with the Social Media ID Evaluation™:
- Identify your prospects, customers and brand advocates and what social sites they are visiting.
- Discover what channels your customers are using—where are they most comfortable exploring, researching and conversing.
- Determine what online marketing channels your company should devote its resources. Then list them in order of priority (web, email, social sites, blog, video).
- Decide what social sites to devote your resources to and list them by priority. For example: LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, WordPress, YouTube, Twitter.
Create a plan
Next, create a plan to engage your audience and disseminate your identity. The following checklist is helpful in developing your presence across all online channels.
- Use your logo, name and tagline consistently across all channels. For instance, use a consistent icon—the square icon that represents you on most social media channels. If your logo is not square, some manipulation might be necessary.
- Create a tone (business or casual) for the different channels and maintain this with all entries. Your text, and how you present your company, should consistently reflect that tone.
- Review your marketing collateral to determine what communication pieces can be displayed on your chosen channels. Verify that your collateral reflects your company’s consistent look and feel.
- Choose social media sites that support the display of your marketing collateral and post them.
Host consistent presentation material and data sheets on LinkedIn.
Post projects to Instagram.
Post video on company website and/or YouTube.
Post graphics and headlines on Facebook.
Send newsletters via email.
Post announcements, industry information, tips, etc. on WordPress.
- Add a blog feature on your website. Why? As you become a news source for relevant information in your industry, the posts help to increase SEO and positions your company as experts. This generates more traffic to your site.
- Insure added value to your website by expanding your blog’s reach with a newsletter subscribership or RSS feed to subscribers. As an added bonus, the subscribership can be used for leads.
- Sign up and take advantage of Google analytics and alerts.
It’s important to be consistent. When using different channels, your different touch points require consistency. Brand awareness benefits greatly from repetition.
Don’t be inert with your online media. Now that you have a presence with online social sites, it’s important to update and stay current. Your efforts will be maximized with the use of dedicated management. Stale news is not news! In order for all members of your company to be on board, add social media to your marketing plan. To help manage content and uploads, consider content-management programs such as HootSuite or Ping.fm. Assign an individual to manage your site’s consistency, frequency and content.
If you need outside help with this process, partner with Comet Creative —our Social Media Evaluation Questionnaire™ will help navigate you through the process. Our staff and social media expert, Debra Simpson, who heads Syndicating Your Content, can answer ALL of your social media questions.