I spent the day with Nigel Botterill today – filling my boots with his motivational thoughts and positivity. One of the day’s memorable phrases (and there were many!) – “If you want to catch a fish, go where the fish are.”
We’ve all heard the stories of how social media effectively connects brands and consumers. And most of us can understand that very easily. The case studies speak for themselves. But what about Business to Business companies? These companies need to talk to customers in the business space – They know they should be on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube – the “fish” are there – but how do they hook them? They will probably never have a million followers – or want them. A social media presence is still of huge importance to them. Why?
Because in the same way that the numbers show that “all the people” are on social media platforms - Twitter is on target for 1billion users by 2012 and Facebook now has more page views every month than Google - the reality is that business customers and consumers are there too.
The principles don’t change as much as you may think. The rules that have been followed by successful B2C brands apply to B2B, as well. It’s the content we need to think about, isn’t it? And there are some thoughts on etiquette in one of my previous blogs…
First, though, it’s vital to figure out exactly what the business wants to achieve by using Facebook, Twitter et al. Frequently, businesses get onto Twitter or stick a page up on Facebook, just for the sake of having a presence online -but without direction or a defined set of goals, they and their social media managers are almost certainly on a road to disappointment, and their pages languish in the grey no-man’s land of dormant accounts.
Achievable & sensible goals for a Business to Business campaign can be geared around improving customer service and reputation enhancement, for instance. Increasing customer loyalty & engagement, and, as a result, driving sales. That’s gonna be music to their ears!
Strategy and planning is the next step – to be done by an expert social media manager who has the time to research the best way forward and the ways in which to implement it. Social media requires considerable time and effort. Sometimes outside help is necessary.
Most importantly we need to define the measure of success for our clients. Metrics can include a target number for a membership or subscription service. a number of click throughs or perhaps a target revenue. Social Media success comes from delivering some sort of value to members and followers. This can only happen once the conversations have been started and the contributors listened to.
There’s a great article here on what our business clients should be asking us http://bit.ly/saucyhorsebHrjor . Thanks to @DianaVickers1 for the tweet on this today.