If your B2B company’s marketing and sales teams have yet to harness the benefits of social media to increase sales engagement, it’s time to take notice: In the current digital era, a social media presence is no longer a nice-to-have, but a must-have for businesses.
One reason is customer demand. Customers of B2B companies are increasingly expecting them to provide the same digital experiences and interactions they have in consumer channels. Another reason is business value. B2B companies that previously shied away from leveraging social media are now realizing the potential it has to help them engage clients, generate leads, and maintain competitiveness.
To help you tap into these benefits, this article offers five tips to increase sales engagement through social media.
Any business strategy, including social media marketing, should have a defined goal. When you increase engagement through social media, your goal is to get your audience (both customers and prospects) to interact with your brand. The following are other social media engagement goals that may apply to your business.
Before you start typing a witty tweet or Facebook post, make sure you know your audience. Let what you know about clients and prospects guide what you post, when, and how often. The more you know about your audience, the better you’ll be at determining the type of content to offer in order to engage them.
Regrettably, many businesses make the mistake of assuming what their audience wants on social media. In most cases, those assumptions don’t match audience expectations. Instead, take the time to learn your audience’s needs, pain points, and preferences, and then use your social media platforms to address them.
Part of knowing your audience is knowing the social media platforms they use and how they use them. For help, check out the infographic, How to Choose the Right Social Media Platform for Your Business.
Don’t make your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn page about your company and its products. Use social media to share relevant and valuable content to increase sales engagement.
Not sure what will resonate? Talk to your customer service, client services, marketing, sales, and support teams. What issues are they hearing or tracking? What questions are customers asking? Are there topics in your blog posts that tend to get the most views or shares? Are there trends in your industry you can follow, report on, share, provide commentary around, etc.?
Share guides or templates your audience can use to improve the way they connect with their own audience, handle daily operations, or achieve work/life balance. Ask your subject matter experts to share tips or lessons learned from their own experiences. Offer informative white papers about your audience’s industry.
Whatever you choose, keep these tips in mind:
Like consumers, business buyers want to know they are dealing with real people. Avoid sounding like a press release on social media platforms. Set the right tone by being conversational and fun.
Also, recognize that are few things that will feel more impersonal on social media than a channel where comments are ignored. Ensure there is someone actively monitoring social media to respond to your audience’s questions and concerns promptly.
Engagement is not a one-way street. Effectively communicating with your audience requires listening to them. Seek feedback and input from your audience. Hear what your audience has to say about your brand and offerings. Don’t be afraid to ask them what they would like to hear from you. You may be surprised by how much your audience helps you to engage them.
While it’s not a tip for how you can increase engagement, it’s an important bonus tip when social media engagement is conducted on behalf of your business: Consider creating a social media policy for employees. Companies often think about restricting access to their social media accounts by giving administrative or user permissions to a select few. But, depending on your circumstances, you may need to create company policies that describe what’s acceptable when employees use their own social media channels to engage with customers and prospects.
For example, sales teams in the B2B space use LinkedIn to reach out to prospects, or they might have Twitter followers as a result of their business relationship with clients. Perhaps your company is using LinkedIn Elevate to encourage the sharing of curated content to boost engagement and drive leads. It’s smart to establish rules for posting or sharing when the company name is being used or when messages could be misconstrued as coming from a company spokesperson when they are not. This social media policy template from Hootsuite may help.
Ultimately, social media is a social network. Its purpose is to connect and interact with others. Consider ways you find social media a useful tool for connecting with others in your personal or consumer life and see how you can apply or adapt those same principles to connect with others in your professional life. Use the tips in this article to help you get started.