Businesses clearly use social media to reach their consumer markets with great success. Our personal feeds feature as many posts by brands we like as they do memes, invitations to events and pics from our mates’ night out. But if you have only ever used social media for your own personal accounts, it can be hard to see how to apply your personal experience to a B2B marketplace. So where do you start?
When it comes to putting our business in front of other businesses, many people don’t know how to make social part of their marketing mix. Central to any marketing strategy is a deep-dive into understanding your audiences. And in social this is certainly true, whether your audience is consumers or businesses. Whatever your market, you always need to connect to actual people. You don’t talk to a business but to the people within the business.
Not so much business to business, more business to human.
When defining your social media strategy think about the people who work within the business. Chances are you want to speak to people in particular roles such as chefs, PAs, heads of IT. For example, if you run a venue and want to promote meeting space, you don’t want to target local businesses so much as HR or marketing people within those companies.
A technique which many marketers use to flesh out target audiences are personas. Personas are a tool commonly used to focus marketing and flesh out ideas of who your key audiences are. And, as the name suggests, personas are all about people: they are pen portraits not of the business you want to target but of the human beings who work there.
When you’ve worked out who your audience is think about what motivates them, rather than what you do.
What might they want to learn?
What do they need to know to stay current in their area of expertise?
What problems might they need solve?
If you answer these questions by making sure the content you post to your channels is useful for them, then you are on the way to engaging with the people who work at your target businesses.
And remember, business doesn’t mean boring. Although working in B2B marketplace may mean you have to be professional, it doesn’t mean you have to be bland. Think about the tone of voice your brand uses online and remember that it is okay to inject personality.
Social media provides you with an excellent way to create brilliant customer service, to really engage with your customers and that means having conversations, to comment and reply – to chat with them as individuals.
So if you are thinking about marketing your business using social media, remember: don’t make your B2B social media marketing business to business, but business to human.