We understand why we’re engaging in B2B social, we understand the market and we now know which platforms we’re going to use. Now we need a strategy.
Here are five musts for a perfect strategy…
You need to know these people. I know, a total revelation, but you’d be surprised how many companies wade into the digital space without considering all the same things they’d consider when undertaking offline projects. With B2B, targeting is slightly different. You’re not really chasing demographics; you’re likely targeting job titles. It sounds awful to type cast professionals, but I’m afraid you’re going to have to if you want to be successful in the B2B space.
Work out average ages of people in the job roles and research where they converse online. Finance people have their own forums, salesmen love to talk on LinkedIn groups, Marketing Managers will talk anywhere there’s a digital soap box! Also try and work out how they behave online. CEOs tend to be time poor. Does this mean they’re less likely to read a blog and more likely to digest a punchy video? It’s also worth noting that just because you can’t see people posting in places like LinkedIn, it doesn’t mean they’re not reading. Lurking spectators are big in the world of B2B social…
If you’re struggling to find research that pinpoints behaviour, ask your current clients what they get up to online.
What are the specific aims of your investment? If you’re starting out, you might just want to prove that as a business, you can have a voice in the social media space. If you’re slightly more advanced, you might want to build out brand awareness of a particular product line. Work out short and long term goals. It’s difficult setting social goals, but they do give the business focus and you can always rejig them as you move along in the programme. If you’re finding the goals difficult to set, why not use a competitor as a benchmark?
What is the big idea? What is your creative launch pad in the social space? Make sure whatever it is, you’re able to relay it back to the business and get everyone on board. Social media is scary and it’s a massive unknown to lots of people. Control the urge to blast people away with theory. If you can encapsulate an idea in a few sentences that everyone can understand, you’ll have far more buy in than you would if you hammer everyone with a two hour theory lesson. Social media is supposed to be exciting… make sure the business is excited about it and that everyone feels like a stakeholder by the end of your pitch.
Social media can lead the horse to water, but can it make it convert?
What I mean by this is that if B2B social media is performed properly, you can generate a lot of buzz, a lot of traffic and lot of industry excitement. This is no good if you have nothing to show at the end of it. As a business, stepping outside the social media space a bit, you need to know what the ideal journey is for prospective clients. If you’re driving them to your blog, where do you want to send them next? Is there a call to action at the end of each post that drives readers to a landing page? What is on the landing page? What’s the conversion point? Is it an e-book? Is it an e-mail capture form? Is it a follow or a like? This is not just a social project, it’s UX and technical as well.
Work out what the ideal user journey is, make sure you’re tracking where your users are going and make sure you’re constantly refining your social performance.
Did I just jump into data a touch early? I think it did. If you’re generating buzz from multiple areas, you need to monitor what impact it’s having. Make sure your analytics are set up and working effectively. Make sure you’re analysing data from your social hosting space, your owned social spaces and your website. If the business is generating lots of blog to website traffic, do you know what your users are doing when they land on the site? What’s the dwell time? Where are they dropping off?
Data is king. If you can understand your potential consumer’s behaviour and you can refine your strategy as you go, you my friend, are well ahead of the curve.
Pack those five points into a strategy document and make sure you stick to the plan. If you’ve performed all the grunt work I laid out in my last 4 blogs, you’re on your way to delivering a well planned and executed B2B strategy. At the end of the year, you can celebrate with a party, make sure you send me an invite. It’ll be a blast.
Next week we have the last instalment which is based around social ROI and what we can expect in the future.
See you then.
Any questions on the B2B series, speak to us @STEAKLondon
By Pete Wood, UK Social Media Director, STEAK
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