I really believe this quote by John Wooden to be true, especially when it comes to doing social media:
“If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything. I’m positive that a doer makes mistakes.”
According to data published earlier this year by Content Marketing Institute, social media use by B2B companies keeps increasing across the board. The report suggests B2B’s mainly use their social media accounts to distribute content, but either way – they’re “doing” social media:
Of course, mistakes go hand-in-hand with starting and doing new things – like social media for your business. And when it comes to social media mistakes, no one is exempt – not even B2B companies. B2B’s may learn from others’ social media mistakes – especially those mistakes which have been made publicly. Other social media mistakes may not seem obvious, and the B2B companies making them may not even realize they’re making them.
The following are 3 common social media mistakes some B2B’s make – but your business doesn’t have to make them, too:
B2B social media mistake #1: Only using blogging and social platforms for sales pitches or broadcasting your company’s solutions and messages.
Who wants to listen to someone who only talks about themselves all the time? Of course, B2B’s can and should use social media to introduce themselves to potential clients. However, most people quickly tune out sales messages, so judiciousness and balance are very important. In my opinion, people inherently trust brands, but B2B’s must continue earning their trust through building real relationships. Social media provides excellent opportunities for businesses to demonstrate their human sides.
B2B’s must remember that social media includes the word “social.” Social is not only a word – it’s a concept. People use social media for a variety of reasons, but most of those reasons revolve around being “social.” The B2B’s using social media with success are those that are engaging and having conversations with their audiences. They know that taking the time to listen to their social media followers also helps them build relationships, which may help convert more leads and close more business in the long run.
B2B social media mistake #2: Failing to understand and work with the unique characteristics each social media platform provides.
B2B’s (and the rest of us) may become frustrated with how often social media platforms seem to change their formats…or their algorithms…or their reach percentages, etc. However, the basic atmosphere of each platform dictates the need to post content differently, depending on where you’re posting it. This doesn’t mean you can’t post the same content – you just need to be aware of the subtle differences between each platform’s posting styles and audience types.
I personally like how this HubSpot article explains it:
For example, Facebook and Google+ are more visual networks , and content shared there should include more images. Twitter is more about sharing news and information, so most tweets need to include links. Taking the same approach across all social networks will greatly decrease your effectiveness and, worst of all, waste your time.
B2B social media mistake #3: Not giving social media enough time to make a real difference for your business.
Most organizations focus on what’s most important for their survival: revenue and profit. It seems many companies still hold the belief that unless a marketing activity generates revenue – sooner, rather than later – then it must not be working out. Social media just doesn’t work that way. Building an organic following of loyal fans who become brand advocates – and who hopefully become potential clients, or who at least refer potential clients – doesn’t happen overnight. Or over many nights.
Although it takes some time to see positive results, B2B’s can do their part to actively speed up the process. Having powerful CTA’s (calls-to-action) on your company’s website, being well-versed in SEO, and emailing your existing contacts are examples of ways to help get things rolling faster. Having a lot of patience helps, too.
Companies recognize they need social media, and more B2B’s need to jump on in and start using it. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Knowing about some of these avoidable social media mistakes means you and your business can start doing it – and doing it well.
Social Media Today 8 Things B2B Social Media Marketers Are Doing Wrong