Social media should be profitable in the B2B sector, if you deploy the right strategy.
I’ve successfully used Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube and Twitter to generate leads and sales for my digital marketing agency, The Media Captain. Social media has been one of the most instrumental marketing tools for my company’s growth. I’ve also deployed successful social media campaigns and strategies for hundreds of other B2B companies.
For those that say social media can’t be profitable in the B2B community community, my response to the naysayers is simple: You aren’t deploying the right strategy across the right channels with compelling content.
Social media is about storytelling and distribution. My job is to explain to everyone in the business to business community how simple generating business from social media can be.
1. Follow your prospects.
Let’s say you are at a trade show in Las Vegas. You are collecting a ton of business cards and you have every intention of sending follow-up emails to your prospects once you get back home. Here’s the problem though -- everyone sends off an email. You can instantly get in front of new potential clients by following them immediately on social media. See which channel they are most engaged with. If it’s Instagram, for instance, don't only show you follow you prospect; you should also engage with their content. If they have a small social media following, which is the case with most B2B businesses, they’ll value the engagement and they’ll likely follow you back. This will mean that you’ll continuously be top of mind to the business that you’re trying to have sign the dotted line.
2. Enhance your email signature.
Why are email signatures so darn boring? It seems like every email signature says, “Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest.” Is there some rule in the handbook of your business that says you can’t be creative?
Above your email signature, include a “P.S.” message in the byline. For example, at the end of every one of my emails, what if I included the following message?
P.S. Have you checked out my new blog on B2B social media hacks that can generate your business more money? [Read More]
Guess what? I have deployed the strategy above with the P.S. message above my email signature. It dramatically increased traffic to my blog from my target demographic -- every current or prospective client. I’ve been able to upset existing business and lure in new business.
3. Promote the living heck out of your blog.
What’s the point of writing the greatest book in the world if nobody is going to read it? Imagine if F. Scott Fitzgerald finished writing The Great Gatsby and just locked it up in a drawer so nobody could see it.
You wouldn’t believe how many businesses fail miserably on their blog strategy. It isn’t that businesses don’t write content. The major issue is that they have no strategy to distribute the article. You should spend a minimum of $20 promoting every single piece of blog content. You can use the strategy mentioned above with the email signature. You should also boost the post to your target demographic on Facebook.
If you are a relocation company writing about tips to save money when moving, target this to HR managers at Fortune 1000 businesses. You can select a bid strategy where you only have to pay if someone were to click on your ad. This will drive qualified traffic to your blog.
You should also set up blog retargeting across social media. Retargeting is a form of online advertising that can help you keep your brand in front of bounced traffic after they leave your website. For most websites, only 2 percent of web traffic converts on the first visit. What every business does with retargeting is have one piece of boring creative that serves for the entire quarter. Why not promote a new blog post every other week in the form of retargeting? This will mean after people visits your site, they will see a blog that allows prospects to learn more about your expertise and your personality through a blog.
4. Direct message via LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
The salesman in me loves door-to-door sales and cold calling. Since everyone is now on their smartphone or glued to their social media channels, start doing door-to-door sales via social media. You need to get in front of where people focus their attention.
Sign up for LinkedIn Premium so you can send InMail messages to members you are not connected to. You receive a specific number of InMail credits based on your subscription type. If you are serious about connecting with others in the B2B community, you’ll shell out the money for LinkedIn Premium.
A cheaper solution is to send direct messages via Instagram. Gary Vaynerchuk wrote a great piece on “How to Network on Instagram Direct Message.” The marketing guru claims that “Instagram DM (Direct Message) is the single biggest networking or business development opportunity of this decade.” You just need to have an Instagram account and do research into your prospective customer.
Twitter is also a great channel where you can do a Twitter Search to find what people are talking about based off of keywords and hashtags. For example, if I was looking to find businesses attending SWSX in Austin, I could hone in on these keywords and connect with them on Twitter and when the time is right, send a meaningful message to them.