In the early days of social media, many brands spent their time getting as many ‘likes’ as they could, creating dialogue around their products or services, and pushing special offers. However, savvy B2B marketers bided their time, waiting to see how it would all play out in terms of social media and technology, and what could happen to really drive their businesses forward.
Today, it’s not enough to have tons of likes and followers. Well, definitely not in the B2B space at least. The real power of social media is user data, and getting that data isn’t about likes and basic conversations. There is a huge demand today for B2B social media campaigns that truly nurture prospects, drive real interest among users, and harness user data more effectively to shorten the sales cycle.
So where to start? Forget the occasional post approach, you need to change your way of thinking, from ‘once off’ to ‘ongoing’. Once-off campaigns just aren’t cutting it any longer. To shorten the sales cycle, you need a continuum of conversation, and should plan a series of engagements that go beyond a three month campaign. This allows potential customers to familiarise themselves with your solution, and gives you the time to gather and employ all that lovely user data.
Next, don’t limit your presence to one social network or another. Be wherever your prospect might be, which is all over the Web. All experiences need a consistent message, shared across a wide variety of platforms. And don’t forget about mobile, we all browse, buy, consume, bank, from our mobile phones. Excluding that platform from your efforts is a huge mistake.
Collect and attribute data. We all know what B2B marketers need to know about their customers, and this goes beyond scratching the surface. Naturally they are interested in finding out what their business interests, but don’t stop there. They also want to know what makes them tick on a personal level, and this is the true magic of social media.
A virtual treasure trove of personal data is available whenever an individual takes part in a social media campaign. Clever B2B marketers can take this to a whole new level when they know the right questions to ask, as well as how to effectively analyse how users are interacting with the campaign.
Finally, remember that data isn’t worth anything unless you have the right tools to gain insights from it. This is where having a great CRM tool comes in. It helps you design more targeted messaging, and helps to attract, retain, and satisfy customers to grow your business.