How to Integrate Social Media into Your B2B Marketing Without Looking Like a Self-Serving Pig
Though 80% of people have adopted social media, only 60% of small businesses are on board. This gap isn’t huge in itself, but when you see the stats of the businesses engaging in social media, the majority are using it for promotional reasons rather than priming the pump by building relationships first. Businesses using social media for self-serving reasons shouldn’t be surprised if conversions aren’t happening.
Rushing social media relationships is similar to trying to rush through a vinyasa flow yoga class. Your instructor is going to urge you to slow down otherwise you’re not going to reap the benefit of the practice. The same is true with social media, if you rush to the sale; you’re defeating process and purpose.
And please don’t rush onto social media channels if you haven’t got your traditional marketing such as direct mail, cross marketing, variable dating printing down to a science. It would be marketing ADD to try to master another channel when haven’t achieved mastery of the ones bringing home the bacon to your business.
According to CrowdAnalytix, community analytics experts, social media is an opportunity to listen to the conversation about your business not just broadcasting updates like many small to mid-size business do. According to a study done of a segment of its customers, CompTIA, found that 68% of small businesses are using social media to blast out offers when in reality they should be marketing 20% of the time and engaging in customer conversation the other 80%.
Social media expert Laura Roeder urges businesses not to rush their number of followers and likes. Roeder says her tipping point came after achieving 1,000 real, live, interested Twitter followers that then grew into 16,000 over the course of four years. No one is an overnight sensation if they’re truly building relationships with people. Remember social media is about being – well, social.
Michael Brenner, author of B2B Marketing Insider, offers these guidelines to keep your etiquette in check and not look like a self-serving pig on Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, or You Tube.
- Tell your customers stories about what you can do for them. Warning: Don’t try to be too slick because it could backfire on your like it did with McDonald’s when they created a Twitter hashtag for #McDStories.
- Translate your content into something meaningful and emotional to create conversations that connect with people.
- The goal of social media is still to support your business by getting and keeping customers.
- Social media is a platform for change. You have to change your approach to marketing along with it.
Now let’s end with some basic dos and don’ts from J. Mattern of Search and Social Blog. We wouldn’t want you getting a bad rap in 2012 for sticking your mouse in your mouth.
- Don’t spam, period.
- Don’t keep everything private. If that’s your game stick to email or IM.
- Don’t create multiple handles to sling your weight. Multiple identities are fine for multiple businesses, but using many handles to pull weight is a no no.
- Think before you speak. Not everything that pops into your head should be shared.
- Personalize your messages when you meet someone new. Explain how you found them. It makes it less creepy.
- Expand your circles. If the people and customers you’re talking with are only the happy, agreeable ones, you’re working in a box.
- Don’t send automated messages to new followers. It’s annoying.
- Use your real name. It holds you accountable.
- Don’t excessively link to your own site. You’ll be eventually looked upon as a sleazy link spammer.
- Give back. It’s a two-way street. Give as much as you get, if not more.
Remember it is never more important in social media to remember – you get what you give. Create value for your followers and in the world of social media that value is not just dollars off promotions.
Add Your Comment Below.
about 5 days ago - No comments
Awards make nice office decorations and offer bragging rights, but they mean nothing if the work behind them didn’t achieve pre-set objectives. Nine times out of 10 those objectives are financially focused – more customers, more sales, more donations, more buy in, more attendance and more orders. Mail Print earned five AMBIT awards at the Kansas City Direct More >
about 2 weeks ago - No comments
Do you feel like you’re constantly playing catch up? If so it’s particularly hard to stay ahead of trends. We can relate; thus the reason we’re posting a 2013 marketing trends piece in late April. Take a breather and read the eight trends projected by Forbes and CIO Network magazines. 8 Marketing Trends Projected for More >
about 3 weeks ago - No comments
IKEA, the world’s largest furniture retailer, is rolling out an “IKEA Family” loyalty program. Specifically designed to keep the steam turned up on its integrated marketing channels (email, print, and social media). IKEA has a loyal customer base of 3.6 million people who opted into IKEAs database to receive specials, flyers and its annual print catalog, More >
about 1 month ago - 1 comment
Mail is still first class in the eyes of 73% of consumers in America who still prefer to receive direct mail for brand communications. So despite all the press and pixels that social and email marketing get, direct mail is still tops in the eyes of consumers. Despite the exposure of digital channels, direct mail More >
about 1 month ago - No comments
Air New Zealand started in the ‘70s but is not stuck in the ‘70s. It knows batch and blast emails are a thing of the past. Instead of sending generic emails about promotions, it sends automated, personalized emails prior to, and upon return, of each of their customer’s flights. Air New Zealand transformed its entire More >
about 2 months ago - 1 comment
No customer wants to hear all messages via email; via direct mail; via social; via traditional media. You get the gist. Today’s preferred channels for communication have created new consumer behaviors. And consumers prefer different channels of communication depending on personal preferences. This means to effectively communicate one-on-one with any customer you need print plus More >
about 3 months ago - 1 comment
If your business wasn’t part of the early adopters of variable data printing, this blog post is for you. This piece will keep you far from the technical grenades that can burn you if you don’t prepare your database or file correctly for hand off to your variable partner for execution. Data First, Creative Second More >
about 3 months ago - No comments
During the Mad Men era of advertising in the 60s, an agency wouldn’t work on an account that didn’t have several million dollars in mass media spending power. Then in the 90s, an agency wouldn’t work with a client that didn’t have huge budgets to build out an integrated marketing plan that included many expensive More >
about 3 months ago - No comments
Businesses of all sizes are posting content, but few have a content marketing plan. Why research, interview, write, edit and post, if you do not have a clear path where your blogs will take you and bring back leads, sales or deals in return? With only half of small businesses achieving profit growth, according to More >