Last week I had the opportunity to speak to the talented members of San Diego Media Pros, a local association for media professionals. The topic? B2B social media tips for marketing their businesses. Given how many questions they had, I thought I would create a blog post to summarize the tips and recommendations we discussed. Because, once the questions started, they didn’t stop until we ran out of time.
In a word, it was awesome.
The audience was made up primarily of visual storytellers, they help their clients tell their stories. I wasn’t sure how much time and knowledge they had about their own social media marketing. It turns out, overall, they do a lot with social.
At this point, I wanted to point out that they are already experts in media production. Personally, I’d prefer it if they would leave the marketing to the marketers. It’s not fair for them to be good at everything.
But here we are, and life isn’t fair.
Their questions centered around how to better use the different platforms to promote their business. I tried to focus on actionable tips that they could put into practice quickly.
Here are the highlights and my advice from the meeting. This information extends beyond just the creative production experts, to most B2B companies, just change the examples to fit your industry.
- Begin with the End in Mind
- To quote Stephen Covey, it was true when he published The Seven Habits book in 1989, and it’s true now. Know what your goals are before you get started. Determine your business and marketing goals, then look at your social media platforms. Which will help support your goals?
- Go to Your Audience
- Once you know your goals, who are you trying to reach? Who is your target audience? Go to where they are. If your audience is using Instagram, be on Instagram. Then when you’re there, you can ask yourself, “What would my audience want to hear? What do they care about? How can I create relevant content that they’ll find valuable?
- Be Interesting
- No one wants to hear boring information from you. Just like people don’t want to always be learning. You’ll have better results by providing different types of content.
- Types of content include: informative, educational, entertaining, inspirational, and promotional.
- Share Your Expertise
- Don’t just share promotional information about your business on social media, you’re better than that. Instead, share your knowledge and expertise, help your followers learn something new. If you don’t, someone else will.
- An example of this is that we know businesses are shooting video on their phones. Win their trust and attention by helping them do it better. Suggest simple resources that can help them improve. Then, when they want a more complex video, you will already be a trusted resource for them.
- Make a Direct Connection
- You want to take every opportunity to drive traffic back to your own website. This gives you the opportunity to build a direct relationship with your audience. On your website, you can capture their email information for ongoing communications, special videos, lessons, a newsletter, and information about your services.
- Be Focused
- Start with one social media channel and do it well. Once you have your processes and content built up, then you can expand. This gives you time to focus on building and engaging with the community, you know, the “social” side of social media. There is increased emphasis on this community aspect, especially as social media continues to evolve.
- One thing you need to do is claim pages associated with your name or your business name now across all platforms. Do it so you have them, even if you’re not using them until later.
- Crush it by Being Consistent
- Create consistency across your social media channels with your branding and company description. Use your SEO keywords to optimize your company descriptions. Also, use keywords to describe your videos.
- Be consistent with your posts and the timing of them. Develop a schedule and stick to it. Scheduling tools like Buffer and Hootsuite can help you get on track and stay on track.
- Lights, Camera, Live Video!
- Using live video on platforms like Facebook Live, is hot! It cuts through the algorithms on Facebook so more of your followers will see it. Use it as often as makes sense for your business and your audience. Keep it relevant and the information valuable, and it will work for you. YouTube now offers live video, as does Twitter on Periscope.
- When you’re going live, you want to be both spontaneous and prepared. So plan out content and do some “pre-scripting” or bullet points to keep yourself on track.
- Optimize, Hashtag, and Promote!
B2B social media tips for being found across platforms include:
- YouTube: On YouTube, help others find your video by using a specific title, text description and SEO friendly keywords in the description. YouTube is currently the second largest search engine. Adding a thorough description provides more context for the search engines to find you.
- Instagram and Twitter: Use lots of visuals! Hashtags can help your content to be found as well as localize your business. There are sites like Hashtagify that provide insights into common hashtags for your specific niche.
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn is important for B2B and can be used for video, blog posts, and more. Since people tend to check LinkedIn less frequently as other social media sites, you need to post more often to try to stay on top. Join LinkedIn groups, answer questions, engage, and be active.
- Google+: Interest in Google+ continues to decline for everyone but Google. The Google algorithm still places some importance on having a single Google+ page that has some activity on it. This will help the ranking for your website and business, so you may as well create it and make sure your listing is current.
My last piece of advice is more for those starting out or those who have been doing their own social media marketing for a while and it has grown to the point of taking up too much time. Find your priorities for your time and then go from there.
- Don’t Try to be an Expert at Everything!
- Partner with marketing agencies/solopreneurs. Don’t plan on learning it all yourself. You can partner and trade expertise, and bring each other in on client projects when it makes sense.
- Learn enough to be dangerous to help your clients and yourself.
- Discover enough about your clients to reach them. If it starts taking too much time – find someone who can support your efforts. Then you can focus on what you do best, making your clients look good.
If you want to learn more about using social media to promote your business, or need some help, we coach, consult, and partner to help you (and your clients) grow your business.
Lastly, here is the live video I posted on my Facebook page that night after the event. It includes some of my immediate takeaways from the presentation. Why so serious? It was my first foray into live video, which is the first of many. Enjoy!
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