When it comes to B2B Social Media, people obviously wonder which Social Media platforms they should pursue. Often, new and hip Social Media trends can cloud the better judgment of where businesses should create a professional presence in a Social sphere.
Admittedly it’s harder for a B2B company than a B2C company to ease into a Social Media presence. I said harder, not impossible! Let’s take a closer look at the top Social Media networks and see where your business can find its groove.
Let’s get the obvious out of the way. If you’re B2B, a LinkedIn presence is a must. Truly, there is not a better platform for you to have a presence. Not only can you aim to engage with industry influencers, you can also flex your expertise by weighing in on discussions, sharing content, and posing questions in Groups.
Be mindful not to spam Groups or to over-post to promote yourself. Just like any Social Media platform, it’s Social, and a two-way street. It’s much more effective for you to show why your company is awesome and insightful, than just to scream why you are awesome.
Should a B2B Business be on LinkedIn? YES. Make sure to update and post from your personal profile, weigh in on Group discussions, and update your LinkedIn Company Page 5+ times per week.
Admittedly, I am a latecomer to Google+. I remember vividly that when Google+ launched, I rolled my eyes along with millions of others. Several years later, I’m a believer. Not only are the benefits of Google+ synced with SEO, but hashtags are a fantastic way to explore topic lines and weigh in on topics of interest. Better, using relevant hashtags allows you to have a presence in the sphere that your prospective clients are seeking.
Should a B2B Business be on Google+? Yes. In addition to your own hashtags, Google+ will automatically select related hashtags to help users experience related content. Aim to post on Google+ 1-2 times per day.
Twitter is the ideal place for content sharing and sourcing. With your 140 characters, you have adequate space to accommodate a blog post title, link, and accompanying image. As with all Social Media platforms, engagement is key, so make sure to take time each day to RT or respond to relevant Tweets, acknowledge those who engage with your content, and make strides to grow your follower base.
Should a B2B Business be on Twitter? Yes. Ideally, make an effort to send 5-10 original Tweets per day, as well as engage with the Twitter community. Be mindful that the life of a Tweet is just a few hours, so ensure that Tweets are scheduled accordingly throughout the day, based on when your target market is active.
This is where things get a little tricky. Facebook is by far the most personal and popular of all Social Media platforms. Ads, page suggestions, and sponsored stories litter timelines; and let’s not even talk about the algorithm changes that constantly give Social Media marketers a migraine. Facebook largely aims for businesses to pay to play and 9 times out of 10, it’s the B2C companies that survive and thrive. Facebook is an escape, a way to connect with friends and family, and a source for news and viral content.
Should a B2B Business be on Facebook? Probably not. In most cases, Facebook is not the right vehicle for a B2B Social Media strategy. Many businesses believe that Facebook IS the place to be because of its popularity, but for B2B, that’s often not the case. Time that would be invested into Facebook would be much better served on LinkedIn or Twitter.
Pinterest & Instagram
I group these together for no other reason than because they are all extraordinarily visual and my answer tends to be the same. Though Pinterest and Instagram have made waves in buzz, it’s nearly all centered around the B2C arena – recipes, DIY ideas, quotes, and customer-based items lead Pinterest, while food, activities, and life snapshots lead Instagram. I’ve seen countless B2B (and B2C) companies create an Instagram or Pinterest presence, only for it to be abandoned within a month. It’s just not a space or place that welcomes those in the B2B sphere.
Should a B2B Business be on Instagram or Pinterest? No. Due to the direction and speed with which Pinterest and Instagram move, I advise not creating a presence.
What is most important is that you are where your target market resides on Social Media. It’s easy to be convinced of the opportunity of a Social Media platform based on buzz by employees, co-workers, family, media, and your friends. Just because there is buzz, it doesn’t mean that the buzz nvolves your target market. A good rule of thumb is to consider your content. Do you have enough original content to post for the next 3 months?
Regardless of what Social Media platform(s) you pursue, make sure that you’re providing a clear and strong presence; don’t take too big of a bite if you’re not ready to become fully involved with a particular Social Media network. Update your accounts regularly, join conversations, respond promptly to questions and complaints, and make sure that your Social Media profile information and graphics are current.