The first thing you need to consider is your product or solution. Are you selling coffee in the high street or contact centres to banks? The use if social media should and will differ based on this. I can only really talk here in-depth about my experiences so here goes.
We are the latter of the two previous examples. A leading edge network integrator, providing bespoke network, telephony and data centre solution to mid-tier and enterprise customers.
I have to admit that I was once very sceptical when it came to B2B social media. Are IT directors really going to spend £2M with you because you’re friends on Facebook? I thought the answer was probably no but went about spending a couple of hours a week exploring the vast world of social networks. I started with what I knew; Twitter and LinkedIn. Within a couple of months we had 500 followers on Twitter. We got some press coverage from our tweets and some positive comment but nothing tangible. And are those 500 followers a) relevant and b) hanging around on Twitter waiting for my updates? It struck me that this is not a lead generation channel for B2B firms like ours, but more what I would call a ‘Brand Enabler’
Social media gives us marketing professionals the ability to crowdsource and communicate on epic scales in literally real-time. If, like us you have plenty to talk about then it’s the perfect platform for propelling your brand and helping you position yourselves as industry leaders and experts. For me, you need to let the networks do the hard graft and concentrate on niche, relevant content. That way the time you spend is reduced, but the impact can in some cases be tremendous,
As an example, this blog post has been written straight into WordPress. When it was ready to publish I automatically shared it to my LinkedIn profile and then all of my relevant groups. This in turn triggered a tweet to my followers on Twitter and if I had one, I could have sent it out through Facebook (and others) without actually doing it manually.
So the end result? My twitter followers see it, my 389 Linked in connections see it, my 50 marketing related groups on LinkedIn see it and they have a combined audience of over 1,000,000!, most of who get a daily or weekly email with my new ‘discussion’ on it. That’s probably where you have seen this today. So by spending just 15 minutes a day I now create, publish and share my content to a huge and relevant audience. How else can we achieve this? And don’t forget the best part of all, it’s free, other than the investment of our time.
Spend some time growing your followers, joining relevant groups and blogging each day. You will be amazed by the level of engagement. If you want to make a real success of it then I suggest you dedicate about an hour a day to social networking. As your following increases so will your comments and questions, the value and engagement of your blog and discussions will increase if you are active in replying.
This strategy is fine in the B2B world but the B2C world, despite having similarities is very different. When I have a bit more experience I will share my thoughts.
Good luck and if you have any further questions please let me know.
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