There are 2.08 billion active social media accounts today — that’s roughly 29% of the world’s population. If you’re thinking these people are mostly teens, bored status updaters and random consumers, you need a reality check. Your B2B prospect is there too. They are coming to LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and others social channels to engage with brands, and get informed — 24/7, globally.
With an estimated 92% of B2B marketers are using social media, you could be missing out on leads and the opportunity to be positioned as a credible, thought leading company if you aren’t on board.
So how can you take advantage of these conversations and start positioning your brand as credible? Take a page out of the book from some of these B2B social media superstar brands. General Electric (GE) in particular has killed it when it comes to social media for B2B. They’ve managed to make boring products exciting by focusing on technology and innovation, while making sure that community engagement and creative content is at the core.
How can your business follow in their footsteps? We’ve rounded up 6 ways B2B companies can start building Giant brand credibility through social media:
Understanding Your Target Market
Get into the heads of your target audience and figure out what social channels they are on, and then start your focus on those channels. There’s a chance you may only need a Twitter account or LinkedIn, but you might also need Facebook, Tumblr or Instagram — again, this all depends on your audience and where they are searching.
Social Media Account Design
Your social media accounts should represent your brand as much as your website does. If your social channels look amateur your audience will most likely leave the profiles without any engagement. There should be brand consistency throughout your social media accounts – from company description and value proposition, to your profile and cover pictures. Be sure to have the same user name for all accounts – this makes it easier to be found and identified.
Social media is about connecting and communicating with your customers — and when they want answers, they want them now! Respond quickly and effectively to positive or negative messages. It shows that you value your customer’s opinion and comments, and are listening to their needs. And don’t forget that an effective response to a negative comment can minimize even worse backlash that could affect your brand credibility over the long term. If you need help responding to negative messages, check out our infographic on how to manage negative social media comments.
Remember the main goal with social media is to connect with others so having interactive engagement is essential. Don’t always post content filled words. Sure, words matter, but so does variety and creativity. Give your audience excitement by posting interactive contests, videos, infographics, and images.
Maersk Line uses almost every social media tool and has a strong presence across each channel. Their social media goal was to get closer to their customers. They engage with customers by using questions, images and links to start a conversation rather than selling their product and service. For example, they use their Instagram and Pinterest accounts to post pictures their followers have taken of their containers — known as “container spotters”.
By providing a variety of content you are opening the doors to more engagement and the possibility of your content being shared. The more your content is shared, the more likely you are perceived to be a credible, trusted source.
Social Media Influencers
Again, do more research. Find who the top influencers are in your industry and build a relationship with them. Start conversations with them through sharing their content or contributing to their social media chats. Once you have built up a relationship, they will start to share your content making your brand more credible.
What are you going to share on your social media to build credibility? That’s right — content! But remember the 80/20 rule – 80% on non-self-promotional content and 20% on self-promotional content. Self-promoting is too self-serving and it will get old fast. Content should be relevant to your audience and help to educate and inform. Remember: you need to post often but don’t post for the sake of posting – quality over quantity. Eventually, you will start to become a trusted “bookmarked” source.
Not sure where all this content will come from? Take a look at what you already have and repurpose it into bite-sized chunks for social. You can repurpose blogs into videos, infographics, ebooks, or even images. Repurposing helps get your message out in a variety of ways.