Have you ever been in a relationship where one partner wanted more, and the other was hesitant to take the next step?
Many B2B marketers are facing a similar roadblock. They’re ready to ask social media followers to “marry” them, but some of those followers are beginning to question why they liked the brand in the first place.
A recent study found that only 20% of CMOs are using social media for engagement. Two thirds of CMOs also report that they’re not ready to cope with social media.
Even though B2B marketers typically have a more difficult time forming a loyal fan base on social media than their B2C counterparts, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a substantial opportunity to create connections. It is essential that all B2B marketers keep in mind that the goal isn’t to form a relationship with companies on social media, it’s to form a bond with the individuals that work within the companies that you are targeting.
If you really want to create a lasting relationship with your audience that is mutually beneficial, consider the following recommendations to begin taking the next steps towards engagement.
5 Tips for Wooing Your Social Media Audience
#1 – Understand Audience Habits
What is one of the best ways to get to know someone? By asking them questions about themselves. The same logic applies to your online audience.
One of the first steps B2B marketers can take is to gain a true understanding of prospects social media habits and needs. This insight can be compiled in a few ways including”
- Talking to your existing customer contacts. Never take your current customers for granted. They not only have similar pain points of your potential customers, but you also have a direct line of communication with them.
- Using social media listening tools to help determine when your audience is spending time on specific social networks.
- Gaining insight into what they care about. Platforms such as Twitter and Facebook provide insight into what your audience interacts with the most.
#2 – Be a Good Storyteller
Another great way to relate to your partner is to share stories that they can relate to. Unfortunately, B2B customers have often gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to well-developed storytelling.
Remember that the point of social networks is to create a social interaction, not to boast about product or service benefits. Put marketing effort toward developing engaging questions, creating case studies and user scenarios.
#3 – Offer Variety in Social Media Publishing
Dating someone can quickly become boring and routine if you always take them on the same date, order the same meal and have the same conversation.
Similarly, your social media audience looks forward to interacting with brands that offer a variety of content types and visuals. Examples of content types that can be shared on social media include:
- Moving Imagery
- News Articles
- Influencer Content
- Crowdsourced Information
The list of types of information that can be shared on social media is nearly limitless.
#4 – Introduce Fans & Followers to Their Favorite “Celebrities”
How awesome would your significant other think it was if you took them to a concert to see their favorite band and got backstage passes so that they could meet the band members in-person.
Within each industry there are “celebrities” or influencers that are known as being authoritative on a particular subject. Promoting content that is co-created with industry influencers can be an excellent way to build credibility with your B2B social media audience.
#5 – Next Steps Sometimes Require an Investment
Once you’ve solidified the relationship with your partner, you may want to invest in purchasing a token to signify the commitment. Often, that investment can be in the form of an engagement ring. The ring can signify your readiness to take the next step and their acceptance symbolizes their commitment to join you.
Social media advertising can both generate interest and be the tipping point for your social media audience to take the next step. Before making the leap into social media advertising it is essential that B2B marketers ask:
- What do we want to accomplish with a paid advertising campaign?
- How much are we comfortable investing?
- What will we be promoting with our advertisements?
3 B2B Companies Engaging Audiences on Social Media
You may not think that the top beaches, or asking followers to share what is on their summer reading lists will help sell electronics. However, HP is sharing content that their consumers care about and can connect with. HP has a business model that appeals to both B2C and B2B consumers alike.
Not only did FedEx host the #FedEx400 to raise awareness for autism, but they provided an excellent play-by-play of the event for their online audience to consume. Their social media team also does a fantastic job of humanizing the brand by sharing images and tweets about national BBQ month near their headquarters and stories that feature their customers.
GE has so many products that their social media strategy could quickly become scattered and overwhelming. However, they’ve done a fantastic job of providing a glimpse into information that matters most to their customers.
Are You Ready to Begin Wooing Your Social Media Audience?
Just like any relationship, it takes time to build trust, authority and loyalty with your social media audience. Also, it’s a relationship that must be nurtured consistently in order to grow and evolve.
What do you believe is your biggest opportunity for connecting with your social media audience?