It’s no secret that social media has become almost an obsession in the sales and marketing world over the past decade. Executives often wonder why so much time is being spent on this by the teams who run the social media strategy. Well, partly it's because marketers are scrambling to keep up with the latest social media platform and learn the ever changing ins and outs of successful social media practices. But still posting, managing, and browsing can be seriously time-consuming. The simple solution? Keyboard shortcuts.
Social media’s interactive qualities allow for meaningful exchanges between potential leads and businesses. Yet there is always the possibility of negative interactions: a post discounting a product, a negative review, or a comment blaming a company for a problem. How can you respond to these negative comments in a productive, respectful way? This post will walk you through some helpful tips for successfully responding to difficult social media posts.
A recent report by TrackMaven showed that B2B companies who use social media receive their highest engagement ratios on Instagram. While LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are the most popular platforms for B2B companies, Instagram is an open playing field with only 19% of B2B companies using the platform. Yet the data is staggering: the engagement ratio for B2B companies on Instagram (the average number of interactions per post per 1,000 followers) is 22.53, 20 times more than the engagement ratio for LinkedIn (1.09). If Instagram provides such high levels of engagement, why are so few B2B companies taking advantage of this social media platform?
Before making a purchase, over 70% of buyers conduct research by using social media. Overall we are reading that a buyer will use on average 5 digital sources other than your website to “check up” on you and your company. Interesting and actionable data.
A great resource to convert your prospects through the stages of the consumer decision journey is your social media content.
CEOs and social media...it's not a pretty mix. Did you know that in 2012 only 16 percent of CEOs were actively participating in social media? Three years 80 percent of CEOs are now engaged in social media.
Primarily people think about social media an easy way to keep up with friends, to get news or information updates.Some more advanced users use it to communicate via a quick note via a Facebook chat, Snapchat, or Twitter. Certainly it is less intrusive than a call. However, it's, even more, important to pay attention to social media as a tool for improving your business. Even B2B firms can learn from this tools ability to aggregate opinions and trends.
My first conflict around social media came when a prospect reviewed my firm’s employee Facebook posts, posts that included updates on our production managers youngest child’s potty training accomplishments.
I've been thinking about how special interest groups use “grassroots” efforts to alter public perception on certain issues. B2B marketing often faces difficult issues, such as regulatory change, and can be tempted to fall into these practices only considering the outcome, not the morality.
Today, the B2B buying cycle is search-driven, socially empowered and buyer-controlled. Bam!
This needs to be on the wall in everyone’s office. The path to business prosperity is paved with leads, communication and content. "The Business Man Looking for Expansion", as noted by the Chamber of Commerce in 1916, must be looking!
What’s new is the medium—linkedin-instagram-twitter-facebook-pinterest—not the activity of making connections, sharing ideas, looking and finding solutions by asking friends and associates.
The exception to the rule is found in the typically stated problem. Personal interest. I often hear, “social media is nonsense. It’s just people talking about nonsense that no one cares about. Waste of time.” I might offer that the magazine industry has the same trouble. Thousands of magazines with content that is just a waste of time. Trade shows are the same, sales calls the same, TV the same. Get the point? I agree that having helpful and relevant content is critical. That’s why a few magazines and a few TV shows and a few trade shows are worth your time, and you give it willingly.
In my last post about driving B2B sales through social media I declared:
“Everyone has an opinion about the value of social media, particularly in the B2C realm. But for B2B practitioners, good social media advice is more complex. There are many more nuances involved in terms of audience (multiple layers of decision-makers), complexity of product/services and sales cycle (a B2B purchase usually has a longer gestation period). Regardless of context, there are more ways to fail at social media than succeed. There’s much risk in the wrong approach.”
In balance, I also said: “start today”
…and the place to start?