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B2B Social Media Tactics for the Not-so-sexy Industries

B2B Social Media TacticsWe’ve seen B2B brands like GE, Mailchimp, and Intel absolutely nailing it on social media.

Good for them, but we can’t all be the GEs of the world. The fact is, not all of us are going to have sexy products to build content around, and what may work for them may not work for you.

If your business operates in a seemingly boring space, like say consulting services in advanced engineering, and aren’t quite seeing results on your social channels, it doesn’t mean you and social weren’t meant to be. It simply means you need to rethink your approach. 

Here are a few tips you can start implementing right away.

Put the “social” back in “social media”

The Golden Circle by Simon Sinek

This one’s huge, and often overlooked. The “Golden Circle” concept, coined by Simon Sinek, says it all. People care more about the WHY rather than the WHAT. B2B marketers sometimes forget that social media is an opportunity to showcase who they are as a brand and WHY they do what they do. Tell your company story, share milestones, feature the faces behind the brand, showcase some behind-the-scenes snippets – the possibilities here are endless. The point here is to let your audience get to know you and your motivations.

Another thing to keep in mind - don't be afraid to engage with your audience. If someone comments on your post, use it as an opportunity to start a conversation. Even responding with a simple “thank you” can make your brand more memorable. In other words, be human. Humans tend to respond to that.

Be your industry’s CNN (or NPR or whatever)

It’s no longer just about the quality of content, it’s also about the timing. You should be delivering breaking news in your industry (so to speak). Don’t irritate your audience with content they’ve already seen or no longer care about. Instead, keep a pulse on your industry and share content that reflects that. It could be anything from internal technology trends to external factors that affect the space your industry operates in. Point is, roll it out when it’s hot, or about to be. Being in the know signals to your audience that you’re a trusted source and makes them more inclined to engage. Reis, a commercial real estate data provider did just that and reaped the benefits.

Another thing worth mentioning is that a recent survey found two-thirds of American adults get news from social media. If people are looking to social media for general news, it’s a safe assumption to make that they’re also looking to social media for industry-specific happenings.

Life is hard, don’t make it harder

You might think that the 10 pages of research you’re sharing is providing value to your audience, but when was the last time you stopped on social media to dive into heavy content? Probably never.

It’s great that you’re providing useful, insightful information, but you need to break it down for the modern-day user. Consider content repurposing. For instance, take the juiciest bits of that research paper and turn it into an infographic. Your audience, who has a million other things to worry about, will thank you.

Shake that tunnel vision

While the goal is to ultimately bring traffic to your website, don’t limit yourself to only sharing directly from your website or your internal offers. In addition to boring your audience with the same old content, you also run the risk of coming off as a self-serving organization trying to push products.

Don’t be afraid to share content from external sources, but not before doing your due diligence. Vet your sources thoroughly, checking for credibility and SEO health. And of course, it’s a good idea to stay away from competitor and competitor sponsored material. 

The idea here is similar to being your industry’s news network – it’s about being a resource to your audience and gaining their trust over time. It also plays into sprucing up your social by diversifying your content.

BE PATIENT – it’s a long game

This cannot be said enough. Just like other aspects of your marketing, social media is a long game, so play the long game. If you’re implementing these changes and aren’t seeing results in your first few months, know that it’s perfectly normal, and KEEP AT IT. Think about it this way, would you trust someone you just met? Or do you take the time to size up who they are and see if they’re worth your time and trust? The answer is probably the latter. Which is why you need to give your social media strategy the time it needs to start doing its thing.

This might come as a no-brainer, but if you want to start seeing different results, start by changing your approach. Remember that B2B doesn't stand for B-to-Boring, so don't limit yourself to just sharing the same type of material. If you're thinking that this social media shake-up won't appeal to the stakeholders you're targeting, keep in mind, just like you and me, they're human too.