Are you a small B2B fish in the overwhelmingly big pond that is social media? Do you want to show prospects that you mean business, and that you’re here to stay? Then create a killer B2B social media strategy that will amplify your small business PR.
Don’t get drowned out by bigger B2B businesses in your industry! Find out how to carve out your own corner in social media and grow it. Read on for B2B best practices to use in social media.
(Click here for more information on how to get up to speed on social media.)
Focus Your Efforts
Who’s your audience? If your target audience is too broad, then your small voice is competing for attention in a sea of noise -- and you won’t get anywhere! Sharpen who your audience is and be as specific as possible. Focus on one segment or persona at a time.
Once you have an audience in mind, craft and shape your message to fit that audience personally. In marketing, personalization is key. When prospects realize your addressing their personal needs, they’ll want to engage with you. When you win over this audience, you're ready to expand or shift to another segment.
Listen to Your Audience
Once you know who your audience is, listen before you act. Don’t jump in with both feet. Just like begining any signficant relationship, this will require forethought and finesse.
Put on your detective cap and investigate your new audience. Join forums, Facebook pages, and any other networks or groups where they gather. Carefully examine their content. What do they share? What don’t they share? What problems do they encounter?
Step Back and Reflect
Now that you have the basic knowledge, it's time to move forward. Don’t focus on what you want -- this is still about them! PR for small business is about creating content that will help your prospects and customers -- not simply sell to them.
Make social media about your audience, not your business. --Dominique Jackson
You can mention your product or service, but it shouldn’t be the focal point of your content. Don’t create click-bait -- luring people in and then delivering self-serving content. This will only destroy someone's trust, which is hard, if not impossible, to win back.
Brainstorm about what content will win over your audience. Think about some big themes that you want to present and how you can reduce these into snippets of content that that you can weave throughout your social media campaign.
Create Killer Content
Now comes the fun part. Put your ideas into action. You can create the content yourself if you have the time, use internal resources or outsource to freelance writers. Get an experienced editor to refine your content so it motivates and compels attention. It will cost you, but without great content, your time and effort will be wasted.
Don’t forget to add a visual component to your content. Research shows that content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images. Visual content is a must if you want to take your small business PR to the next level. It is surprisingly easy with free sites like Canva or Picmonkey, which have thousands of stock photos and designs to help you create attention-grabbing graphics.
(Click here to learn how to jazz up your visual content and attract more readers.)
Make an Effective Schedule
By this time, you should have all your content ready to go. This doesn’t mean you can sit back and just click “publish.” There should be careful thought and planning behind how you schedule your posts.
What days of the week is your audience on social media? What time of the day? Lunch time, perhaps? On the train ride home? You can use such tools as Facebook Insights to gather this information -- then use it to boost your small business PR.
Your work isn’t done once you’ve shared your content. Now comes the interaction stage -- engage your audience. Use hashtags. Reach out to influencers. Answer questions about your content.
(For more super ways to boost your marketing plan with social media, click here.)
A lot of key people in your audience may miss it the first time around, so don’t be shy about re-sharing your valuable content. This will ensure a maximum amount of views.
Reach Out to Media Outlets on Social Media
Follow relevant journalists and bloggers on social media. Show them a little love by retweeting or commenting on their tweets, posts and stories. Writers want as many people as possible to see their work. You can help them with this.
(For more great tips on how to spice up your social media presence, click here.)
Once you have an online relationship with media people, it will be easier to reach out to them when you have something to pitch. You won't be a John or Jane Doe but a known entirty.
You may be a small business, but you can still create a commanding presence on social media using these B2B best practices. Social media is a great tool in PR for small business and, used properly, is the tool that keeps on giving.