A shift in focus from outbound marketing tactics (telemarketing, direct mail, trade shows) to inbound marketing (social media, blogs, corporate websites) has been driven by increasing digital and internet capabilities and usage and changed the way companies interact with customers. We’ve moved from an era of information scarcity to information abundance. This might mean the power is in the customer's hands, but it also means you have a slew of powerful, fairly easy ways to connect with them. Here is where social media comes in. If you’re a B2B company, you’re likely not as worried about having huge amounts of followers, but you do want to establish yourself as a thought leader and an expert in your field. Social media accomplishes this by allowing you to share relevant, updated information in a timely manner. If you post a quality blog article every week that people read and share, you put your content and your company in front of your audience’s eyes on a regular basis, not to mention you attract new eyes and ears. A few powerful ways enterprise can utilize social media? Open communication channels, build your reputation, research your customers, and network.
Social Media: Communication and Building Your Brand
Building your brand means establishing your company as an expert, a thought leader, the go-to guy. This is accomplished by creating and disseminating quality content (make it a mix so each stage of the buying cycle can find something relevant) in the right places. Build up your brand reputation by having up-to-date, visually appealing social media sites that you regularly post to. These post might be comments on industry trends, sharing useful information, and especially sharing your own quality content (think blog posts, whitepapers, case studies, etc.). Basically: Get on people's radar.
Knowledge is Power: Social Media as a Research Tool
Social media isn’t just about communicating. It is a data mine – from profiles of customers to conversations and comments on various topics to relevant trends. A few things to track on social media: your customers, your customers’ customers, and industry trends. One of the best ways to get the attention of your customers is to know theirs. You can speak to the problems of your customers’ customers and highlight how you can help them address these. (If you walk into a meeting with conversation feeds that back up your point, you’ve captured their attention.) Another good idea: track industry trends. What are some important keywords in your industry? Track these with tools like Google Alerts to keep abreast of industry trends.
Measuring and Allocating Resources: Closed Loop Reporting
Knowing the efficacy of your social media efforts is important in securing buy-in and higher budgets for your enterprise inbound marketing efforts. Establish a closed loop reporting system that tracks how a customer found you to when they bought. For example, wouldn’t it be helpful to know that a customer that bought from you a week ago looked at several blog posts from you 6 months ago, or clicked on a link to a whitepaper from your Facebook page 2 months back? Tracking this information helps you put your marketing dollars in places they count – the places where you attract the people that eventually becomes customers. Get your systems and analytics lined up to easily accomplish this.
Use social media to reach out to people. Networking is an invaluable tool and social media has made it possible to connect with people in so many ways, in so many different forums. The only steadfast rule – connect with people through channels they value. Social media is all about conversations – be a member of these conversations to raise awareness and capture leads and customers for your business.
About Digital Impact Agency
Digital Impact Agency is a creative firm specializing in interactive media and inbound marketing strategies for manufacturing and technology companies, professional service firms (architectural, engineering, construction, legal and consulting), nonprofits and enterprise companies. We are a team of innovative entrepreneurs focused on creating the most strategic and effective communication channels for our clients.