When you think of brands that have an extraordinary social media presence, most companies that come to mind are probably B2C. Sure, B2B businesses have a more difficult time growing and reaching their audience, but it’s not impossible.
The key to a successful business to business social media strategies and campaigns is to put your resources into the correct social media channels – and share the right content to them.
By using these simple Social Media tips and implementing them, your brand can be noticed by company executives and considered for services. In fact, according to Forbes, 83% of executives actually use social media in their decision-making process to use a company. In addition, 92% of these executives said that social media has influenced a decision of theirs within the last year. Wow!
1. Engage with customers
Developing a relationship with customers is vital for small businesses to succeed. Loyal customers not only continue to purchase your product or service but also serve as advertisement by recommending your business to friends and family.
Social media is an excellent way to create a direct conversation with your current and prospective customers. Help them troubleshoot their issue with a product, answer their questions, interact with their comments, thank them for their positive reviews and try to diffuse negative ones. You wouldn’t ignore a customer if they asked you a question in a store, right? Treat them the same way online.
Develop a consistent engagement checking schedule to ensure every tweet, comment or reply is addressed. Comments are always ideal, but a like or similar reaction will suffice. Use social media listening to find conversations about your brand. This will allow you to like or favorite positive comments on Facebook or retweet them on Twitter. Take it one step further by reaching out and thanking them for their kind comments via direct message – and even offer a coupon or sale code if applicable. A little appreciation can go a long way!
2. Create a calendar
If you are a small business, chances are you may be completing most marketing and social media in-house. Social media can be a bit more time-consuming than most realize – and it often is placed on the back-burner when life gets busy.
Create a social media calendar and stick to it by scheduling weeks or months ahead. Don’t think you have enough content to schedule? Here are a few ideas to help you get started:
- Area Interest: Share articles and photos about the city your small business is located in. It is content that your audience most likely appreciates and will engage with – and it’s also a great way to build relationships with other small businesses in the area. Promoting another business’ event will foster a two-way relationship, encouraging them to do the same for you. This allows your business to be placed in front of an additional audience.
- User Content: Complete a social media sweep to discover photos of your products, business, storefront, etc that customers have uploaded over the years. Share this across your feeds (while crediting them, of course!). Users love to see their photos being shared by their favorite businesses!
- Industry News: Share articles that are relevant to your business. This positions your brand as a trusted source for information in an area of interest.
- Employee Feature: Upload a photo of your employees and share a short bio. It humanizes your brand, and chances are, that employee will share it! Friends and family will comment and interact with the post, increasing natural engagement and impressions on the post.
3. Choose the right platforms
If your audience isn’t on Facebook, don’t waste time curating posts for it! Research which platforms your audience uses most and place the majority of your resources and time into that network.
Note that if you are trying to reach a few different audiences, it is okay (and recommended!) to change the tone and voice of your posts on various channels. What resonates with Baby Boomers probably won’t be as effective on Millennials. Put yourself in your
audience’s shoes and consider what they’ll respond to best. Social media isn’t a one-size-fits-all industry – all social networks are not created equal!
Determine one or two platforms that are best suited for your audience, and continue to work at it until you’re comfortable navigating them. Don’t spread yourself too thin – it’s better to do a high-quality job on one platform than a low-low-quality one on four!
4. Be Visual
In the third quarter of 2018, Facebook had 2.27 BILLION monthly active users. Facebook has 80 million small and medium sized business pages. How do you cut through that noise and make sure your content stands out? Through visuals.
The best piece of visual you can use on Facebook is video. 100 million hours of video is watch every day on Facebook! While it may seem daunting to start creating your own videos, it doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult. Websites like Animoto and Lumen5 make it effortless to create social media videos – even with no video production or editing experience at all. Both also provide extensive stock video, too. Insert a few of these in between your own branded photos and you have a packaged video. Short on ideas for topics? Here are a few:
- Product Features
- Event Highlights
- Review Compilation
- Tip Shares
- Recipe Features
It’s important to remember that 85% of Facebook users watch videos with the sound off. Be sure to add plenty of text and captions to ensure your audience can understand the video without switching on that volume button!
5. Utilize hashtags
Hashtags can significantly increase your reach on social media! Don’t listen to the jokes and criticism they receive. Hashtags are absolutely vital for connection and here is how to find the perfect hashtag.
Create a list of hashtags that are relevant to your business and alternate sets of them for each post. Be sure to include a few niche hashtags as well as broad ones. For example, if your business, Pizza 101, sells pizza in Detroit a few hashtags to try are #Pizza #PizzaLovers #DetroitPizza, #Pizza101, #Foodie and #DetroitFood.
It’s also important to regularly utilize holiday hashtags such as #SmallBusinessSaturday! Sprout Social has curated an incredible Hashtag Holidays Calendar for 2019. We highly recommend using it – and reminding your audience about the little days that really do matter. Just be sure to only celebrate the holidays that matter to your audience. 41% of people tend to unfollow brands who share information that isn’t relevant to them – yikes!
And there you have it! A few tips you can start implementing today on your brand’s social media accounts. Just be sure to connect the account’s to your business’s website and choose a handle that is easy to find. Make it easy for your customers to find you!