We all know that guy. He's the one who's an expert on every subject. He always shows up to parties, and no one seems to know who invited him. You put up with him for the sake of charity, but as soon as there's an out you're gone.
Sadly, there are B2B companies who mimic this behavior - always inserting themselves into conversations. Of course, not you. But, there are some basic principles to follow to ensure your B2B social media campaign is the life of the party, instead of the one that people are just waiting for the right moment to unfollow.
1. Proper Etiquette
Just as in a face-to-face social forum, basic etiquette needs to be practiced. You may be an expert in your field, but it doesn't need to be flaunted in everyone's face. Share information regarding your industry, not just what your brand is up to. Some B2B companies have even taken advantage of sites like Pinterest to share a laugh with their audience.
Bottom Line: It's not all about you.
2. Start a Dialogue
As the natural flow of a conversation develops it becomes (or should become) sort of like an instrumental piece.You have your own sound, but work with others to develop the rhythmic flow. In order to accomplish this a dialogue must take place.
Once a topic is started, let's say on Facebook, follow through by responding to people's comments. In this way, you'll engage your audience ,while skillfully coordinating (or conducting) the conversation. It's rather disappointing when a question is asked, or a topic raised, and the moderator is nowhere to found. It's akin to leaving the conversation midstream - just rude.
3. There's a Time and a Place
Timing is also crucial for the success of your B2B social media strategy. Check out this excerpt from Surepayroll's handy infographic regarding the best times to post, tweet, or pin:
4. Don't Be a Stick in the Mud
Just as in real time, if the conversation is going nowhere then it's best not to force it. Continuously analyze your social media strategy. Based on the number of new leads, sentiments expressed in social media, views, and shares, you will be able to determine if your current strategy is helping or hindering your efforts.
Don't feel like you have to stick to a plan that's just not working. If you're not seeing a great ROI, go back to the drawing board. You can then take your content marketing from sucky to spectacular.
5. Use Hashtags
It's a bit of a cliche at this point, but hashtags really do work well. You can use them to either discover what your audience is interested in (and get some great content ideas in the process), or to start up a conversation that will engage your audience. Who doesn't enjoy late night hashtags with Jimmy Fallon?
Mr. Fallon's topics often become a worldwide trending topic with minutes. While you may not realistically expect the same results from your B2B post, it just proves the power of the hashtag. People love to give their input and this gives them the opportunity to do just that.
There you have it! Our top five B2B best practices for social media. Need a little more guidance in starting your B2B company on the road to social media success? Get your free guide to social prospecting!