These days Social media is an essential tool for launching your business to the world. Whether you sell to other businesses (business to business) or to consumers (business to consumer), you will need to use social media; you will just need to use it differently. Therefore deciding on the right platform for you and investing time perfecting your engagement is key to making this a successful way of marketing your business.
B2B: Business to Business
There are many reasons why some businesses don’t embrace social media. One was the issue of businesses spreading themselves too thin and not having enough content to cope with the demands of the social media platforms. This frequently led to duplications of posts and repeating the same information. Another problem found, was companies using the platforms to bombard people with promotional deals and special offers. This doesn’t really engage with your customers and becomes noise at which point they switch off and stop reading.
Rewind a few years and it was the norm for sales representatives to build relationships with their customers by meeting up and maybe go out for lunch. The supplier would have had some printed brochures with him to hand over to his customer, although brochure printing is still a very popular way of showing customers what you have to offer, people no longer have the time to have business lunches. So this can lead to a fractured relationship between supplier and customer. This is where social media has replaced this interaction.
It should always be used to engage with your customers, never use it to preach to them. You need to give them something beneficial that they will want to read and get involved in. It needs to be interesting or entertaining, not boring and sales orientated.
If your clientele is made up of other businesses, then your best platform choice would be LinkedIn. This is because it is set up for more professional networking and therefore allows its users to be able to connect on a more professional level. This is not suggesting that other platforms such as Facebook or Twitter would not work for you, but LinkedIn is likely to be more beneficial to your company. LinkedIn connect for business purposes, its less conversation than Facebook, and less comment based as Twitter is.
B2C: Business to Consumer
So if LinkedIn reins supreme for business-to-business companies, it’s safe to say they will not work well with a company who aims itself at the consumer market. Facebook and Twitter is probably more for you, engaging with customers through these two channels will help you reap the best rewards, as consumers prefer a less formal approach. Facebook and Twitter are much more comment based, and for a chatty style of communication between friends.
There is a reason you are unlikely to see law firms on Facebook, what exciting things can they talk about day after day? However fashion companies and outlets will have many things you say and have many options for people to comment back on, for examples, new fashions and styles. This will give your consumers the perfect chance to comment and you will in turn receive some very handy feedback.
These comments are usually shared with others, the more this happens for you the more success you will have with your company’s profile being advertised freely to others. If you put out a great blog or post and its shared by your readers, then in turn they share it with their readers – and so on then this is how content can go viral. We have seen video clips and comments shared between millions of people juts because it was deemed highly interesting amongst the masses.
Tailor your content.
There is obviously no reason why you can’t use all of these 3 social media platforms for your business; you just need to tailor your content. So you need to decide on what to say. You have to create great content which people find useful. Its no god you juts shouting out your best deals and offers, this is not worth your readers sharing unless of course you are giving stuff away for free. You need to offer readers something of value, helpful advice is a great place to start. What questions do you get asked most from customers, can you answer this is on your webpage or maybe even a blog?
The ultimate goal is for you to become an expert in your field. Showcase your knowledge by giving free advice to the readers, its may seen like you are giving away trade secrets but the more honest you are then the more likely the readers will share your content with other and return back on a regular basis for more. Try and write a blog article at least once as week, set up an RSS feed to your blog so you notify your past readers of new content being added to the blog every time you write a new post.
Try recording a video explanation of how to solve a common problem. YouTube is a fantastic way of showcasing your knowledge and building your brand. They are much more informative than writing a blog, especially if the problem you are trying to explain is a manual or physical one.
Nothing propels your reputation more than being an authority within your industry. This will help to build trust between you and your readers, who may not buy from you straight away but they will over time come to trust you and eventually you will reap the benefits.
Nothing builds your online brand more than being considered to be an authority within your market. This builds trust and trust means customers will buy from you, but not only that they will share your expertise with others helping to grow your company.
Social media is the biggest thing since the internet began and its unlikely to reduce in popularity anytime soon, you need to find the right platform for your business and embrace it – its going to play a big part in the success or failure of your company or organisation in the future.