Savvy Speaks: How Do You Engage B2B Customers with Social Media?

Savvy Speaks: How Do You Engage B2B Customers with Social Media?
Savvy Sisters - Wed Oct 26, 2011 @ 10:46AM
Comments: 7

FaceBook. Linked In. Twitter. Google +1. Etc. You've done your research, you've picked your poison(s) and you've hung out your social media shingle. But while examples and advice abound for B2C social media engagement (coupons and contests, anyone?), how do you get B2B customers engaged with your social media outlets?



Answer Questions

If social is all about the conversation, make sure you're talking about a topic that matters to your audience. Helping them solve their day-to-day problems is a sure crowd-pleaser. Invite your audience to hit you with their best shot and then over-deliver on your response. 

Ask Questions

Next to having their questions answered, many B2B customers love answering questions for others. Give them a chance to share their knowledge, opinion, expertise and they'll be all over it. (Note: the question doesn't always have to be related to your business. This is social networking - have some fun with it! Ask about favorite movies, opinions on pop culture, etc.)

Cultivate the Culture

Every audience has the potential to develop its own culture around shared language, experiences, opinions, etc. Get to know the cultural markers of your community and use them to create content that really resonates with your "tribe."  



Be a good host

Think of your social media efforts as the client appreciation party. Invite everyone and make sure they know how to get there. When they arrive, hit them with a cocktail (or an inviting, well-designed SM space) and some interesting conversation about things you have in common (links to relevant industry articles, for example). Like the client party, do not start the conversation with 'Hi, buy stuff from me." Get to know your customers, let them get to know you. Make sure they leave with your contact info, and you can be pretty sure they'll come find you at the office when they are in need of your services. (And no photocopies of your butt cheeks, please!)


At a very basic level, you should consistently monitor the primary channels and respond to anyone who is talking about you or your company. 
Not only will your audience come to see you as a resource if you share relevent content, but tweeting someone's content is a great way to make a connection with a writer (commenting on the article is even better!)
Be helpful
Beyond paying attention your own accounts and sharing information, monitor topics that are interesting to your audience and answer any questions people have. There is a huge benefit to being seen as a helpful resource.


There are a few things I do on Twitter:


  • Retweet – it's the crack of Twitter – don't know anyone who doesn't like their tweet sent on to the universe.
  • Value – I try to stay away from “At home, drinking a margarita – bored as hell” tweets. Unless I'm replying directly to a person (“Hey, What are you doing right now?”), these types of tweets don't leave my account, instead I focus on value, what great information can I pass on?
  • Respond – if you respond to me, I'll respond to you. That's how it works in the playground.
  • Headlines, baby – there is a reason why good headline writers are worth their weight in gold. A snazzy caption gets noticed and if you can incorporate humor, all the better.



Deliver value: Don't expect your prospects & customers to drool over your latest product feature or opening of a new office location. Populate your social media channels with information that will somehow benefit them.

Guide the way: Remind prospects & customers at every turn where you maintain a presence in the social media landscape. Then invite them to subscribe, follow, comment, like, etc.

Shine the spotlight on them: Nothing gets someone engaged as fast as  including them in what you're doing. Invite your customers to contribute a blog post or be featured in a video you plan to put on YouTube. Share their story on your Facebook page or a relevant LinkedIn group. Tweet about your customer's success.


How do you engage customers and prospects with your social media efforts?

Is it paying off?


Comments: 7


1. BusinessVibes  |  my website   |   Thu Oct 27, 2011 @ 09:37AM

And remember that social media is not a place for selling but rather for sharing. Share your content, attract audience with your ideas, make your tweets or comments interesting. In this way you would be simply worth to be followed.

2. Stephanie Tilton  |  my website   |   Thu Oct 27, 2011 @ 03:27PM

Thanks for the reminder!

3. Debbie Bruce  |  my website   |   Fri Oct 28, 2011 @ 07:58PM

I think it's also important to point out the importance of curation. Social media, too often used as a platform to scream 'me me me!', shines best as a two-way conversation.

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