By using social media, B2B marketers can increase awareness, build industry contacts and gain valuable feedback and insights about their products, and those of their competitors. While Facebook has become the most popular social media site, there are plenty of others for your company to explore.
The user profile is generally what distinguishes social networking sites from other social media platforms. It helps set the stage for building relationships with people who share the same interests, activities, or personal contacts. This also means social networks enable companies to invite audiences to get to know its brand in a way that traditional forms of marketing or advertising are unable.
Here are the methods that businesses should, and should not do to effectively use social media platforms to enhance your business marketing model. By following these steps your business should maintain a solid presence in the world of social media marketing.
Take some time and analyse your existing social media strategy is. Understand your business needs, and how you intend to use the site. Once established, whose attention are you trying to grab? Who are your demographic that you’ll need to target. There’s no point in using all social networking sites because you don’t know which ones work best, sometimes using one or two will suffice. Don’t use all of them for the sake of it. Make sure there’s a company representative to manage the page and that they’re a page admin so they can make authorized decisions.
Deciding which social platforms to use:
Social platforms: Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Pinterest, Ning, Friendster. Professional sites: LinkedIn, FastPitch, and Plaxo. The professional site can be utilized as an online professional contact database.
Marketing through social networks isn’t as much about selling your product, as it is about engaging your followers. The goal of the community-based environment of social networking sites is to provide a platform for an open, honest conversation. The companies that are most successful at converting followers into dollars are those who interact most with the users and frequently post content related to their brand.
Facebook’s Fan Page is probably the best example of how you should be marketing you company through social networking sites. The page acts as an upgraded user profile for brands, companies, and organizations to be as involved as the users, and has plenty of tools to help you do so. As users become ‘fans’ of your page, all of your activity appears in their News Feed each time they log on. There’s also a useful feature called the Insights tool, which allows you to analyze page views, the demographics of your fans, and the number of people who view (or stop viewing) your News Feed posts.
‘Fan’ features your company should be using:
Comment on other users’ content or profile posts. By responding to what your followers post to your profile, you show them that you appreciate their interaction. If they know they have your attention, they’ll keep coming back.
Ask questions on your wall. Facebook users love to be heard. It can be surprising how many responses can come from one question.
Posting links or threads. One thing fan pages lets you do that Web pages don’t is encourage viral spread. If you have any content that you want to circulate quickly, the fan page is the perfect tool.
Posting relevant events. By posting upcoming events your company may be part of or hosting, you can help drive more attendees to the function. And for those who can’t come, they get a glimpse at how active your business is within the community or industry.