Thursday, 18 September 2014

Guest Post: Lessons learned from the trials and errors of a B2B social media manager


The Comms Crowd's Hiwot Wolde-Senbet shares her learning experiences on managing social media channels in B2B.
A little less fluff and a bit more substance 
works well in the world of B2B


Growing up as a part of the social media generation, I have seen many of my PR and marketing counterparts adopt different practices. And of course, some are better than others and some are simply laughable. We all know those that send out mass messages to their families and friends on Facebook asking them to like and follow a certain company. Sure, it could work if your company sells milkshake that appeals to everyone. However, in B2B, your friend’s aunt that works at Asda isn’t really going to help you spread the word about the merits of enterprise wide trading systems. In B2B you must know your audience and really understand their issues.

Most of us in this game know how to use the main social media platforms; along with some measurement tools such as Sprout and Hootsuit. If your target audience is the average Joe and you are doing social media for B2C, you can share something a bit witty with a fairly attractive photo of your favorite product to generate likes and build up your followers. However, I've learned that you have to work that bit harder with social media management in B2B. You have to demonstrate understanding of your market and its needs and most importantly - interact with your niche.

Your objectives in B2B must go beyond creating a buzz for your business and need to work towards creating a platform that is credible and attracts the power brokers and the influencers. It is also important to remember, social media is more than a communication platform; it is part of your marketing, PR, customer services, business development and sales. Therefore, managing it in a way that reaches the right people and shares appropriate insights is vital.

Since clients have to find you relevant and interesting to follow and engage, here’s some tips that I have picked up along the way to make sure your social media comms don’t sound like a broken record but resonate with those that will affect your business’s performance.

1. Clear messaging: Identify and clarify what you want to say about your company and how you want to say it. This can help promote the services or the products you provide along with your company’s values and mission.

2. A targeted audience: Know who your industry’s leaders are, who your current and potential clients are, anybody who is anybody in your industry that is relevant to you and ensure you connect with them.

3. Relevant talking points: Identify issues, trends and regulations that impact your audience’s business and share relevant news.

4. Platform consistency: Ensure your platforms are up to date and consistent.

5. Listen as well as talk: They say the best way to lead is to listen more and talk less, so tune into what your followers are discussing and participate when relevant.


Subsequently, you need to put some performance measurements in place, regularly track your progress and re-evaluate. By following the steps above, you are on a road to growing your B2B social media platforms in an organic and sustainable way and ensuring ROI.


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