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Social Media Strategy 101 For Your B2B

Sunflower Social Business Model by Intersection Consulting, on Flickr One of the most popular topics I have heard in the social media world is “social media strategy.” I see this topic come up often among social media writers and in Twitter chats.

I hold the opinion that this is a topic to discuss and understand. Any company, whether B2B or otherwise, that wants to be successful online, needs to have a social media strategy in place. Like the business plan, a social media strategy is the foundation upon which all social media activities will be built upon.

Which kind of social media strategy does a B2B need? Is it necessary?

The best answers come from you and your company, but my first suggestion is if your B2B does not have any sort of real social media strategy, create one today.

My B2B already uses Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. This is good social media strategy, right?

Not necessarily.

Recent surveys and reports show 96 percent of marketers are currently involved in social media marketing. The percentages of those who doing it the right way are less. Sorry, B2B marketers –- a well-liked post on Facebook with a kitten or puppy is not going to cut it. This is where your social media strategy really begins.

Your B2B should develop a clear set of goals for its social media strategy. Goals should direct your B2B towards comprehending which platforms are the best for your industry as well as how to properly use them. Your social media strategy should involve research to learn where your target market “lives” online, as well as what their pain points are and what solutions they are looking for. This is the type content your market really wants and a sound social media strategy will help you find and deliver it.

My B2B has hundreds of Facebook followers and thousands of Twitter followers. This means my social media strategy is working, right?

Maybe, maybe not.

Many B2B companies are still getting the hang of being social, if they are using it at all. I hear a lot of B2B marketers complain about having tons of followers on their accounts, but have no leads or business coming from them. Why? The discrepancy stems from the fact that these B2B’s are failing to measure numbers and metrics that really matter.

Your social media strategy must include proper measurement. Data and metrics may intimidate you, but your social media efforts are rendered useless until you embrace them. A B2B of any size can access measurement systems that range in cost from free to much more than free. Each program does the same thing though – it converts your data into easy-to-understand results.

Your social media plan must include a measurement system which measures success against your stated metrics.

Does my B2B social media strategy require blogging?

Yes and no.

Content marketing is another popular topic in the B2B world right now. The truth is that blogging is not easy. Depending on the industry, B2B companies may not have much written content to attract and hold the interest of their audiences. Some B2B brands are just not “sexy,” and their audience understands this. Your B2B must decide for itself whether to include blogging as part of your social media strategy.

You may find your audience responds better to online videos, podcasts, or images.

If your B2B does include blogging as part of its social media strategy, it is very important to remember to have consistency with your blog posts. By consistency, I mean publishing content that is relevant to your market and follows a regular publishing schedule.

These suggestions should help you get started with your B2B social media strategy. I am happy to answer any questions and to hear what works for you. Leave a comment below and I'll do my best to answer it!

For more information:

Jennifer G. Hanford is the owner and managing director of j+ Media Solutions, which provides social media, content, and data solutions for small and medium sized businesses. You can tweet her at @jennghanford.

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