For B2B organisations with a story to tell, social media can provide a fast and cost-effective way of spreading your gospel. That’s why it’s tempting to shout the same messages via every avenue you have, and that often means across all the platforms at your disposal.
But you should always consider the business objectives when putting any message out into the public domain. Ask yourself: what are you trying to achieve and who is our target audience? Only then can you select the right platforms and craft your messages appropriately.
By understanding how the different social media platforms work, and utilising them in the way in which they were designed, you can ensure that your content is engaging the right people, in the right context, and will truly strike a chord.
So, let’s look at the different platforms a little more closely…
- Twitter is essentially an open conversation with your followers – and the chance to converse with key influencers in your sector.
- It is also a great way of showing support for clients, partners and suppliers with the retweet and like functionalities.
While it is not entirely a visual tool the use of imagery has been shown to improve engagement with users.
- We find that a short paragraph of copy introducing your content, plus a link to the content, a few relevant hashtags and an eye-catching image is the winning formula for a successful tweet.
- Twitter is probably the most universal of all the platforms as it can be used for business-focused content as well as more informal updates and news.
In summary: Twitter is a great way of quickly and concisely sharing information, driving traffic to your site and engaging with prospects, clients and suppliers. As with most social media, however, you only really get out what you put in. To truly maximise its potential you should take Twitter’s advice and ‘join the conversation’.
- Facebook has many similarities to Twitter in that it is quite open in terms of what you can post and the style and tone of your messaging – it is not overly formal and can allow you to be a bit more conversational.
- Videos and photo galleries are also possible on Facebook which can really liven up your posts and help you stand out in someone’s feed.
- Originally deemed more of a B2C tool it is potentially more suited to raising profile to a wider audience than immediate business response.
- However, let’s not forget, many of your B2B targets are truly passionate about their sector and undoubtedly take their work home with them. Indeed many businesses and influencers are capitalising on the rapid reach of Facebook.
In summary: Owing to its market dominance promoting your business on Facebook can certainly be valuable. It’s crucial to consider your business objectives for each communication and the context your audience will be viewing in, before selecting the content and the tone of your material.
- LinkedIn is an indispensable B2B tool – tailor made for expanding and engaging your network. It is perfect for sharing news and insight and for interacting with prospects, clients and colleagues.
- Language and subject matter should always be professional and reflect your business or personal brand in tone.
- It’s also a guaranteed opportunity for your thought leadership to be published – so don’t be afraid to put your insights and expertise out there to be scrutinised!
- LinkedIn is particularly useful for advertising job roles and is a tool of choice for recruiters.
- Encourage employees and partners to share and like your content to increase reach.
- LinkedIn is also an invaluable resource for researching and collating prospect data for new business prospecting opportunities.
In summary: LinkedIn is a fantastic mechanism for sharing company updates and generated content with followers and connections and is great for growing your business network through shares and likes.
- Instagram is a very visual tool – focused heavily on imagery so is ideal for showcasing a good product shot or work examples.
- It is typically used by a younger audience so tailor your content to suit this demographic.
- Instagram is traditionally a bit more informal than other platforms such as LinkedIn so you can afford to be a bit more casual in your tone.
- Emojis are also accepted terminology in Instagram and are a great way to show a bit more personality and fun!
- Hashtags – while they may not be suitable on certain platforms are fundamental in Instagram. But remember hashtags are designed to help users find your post so keep them fairly simple and don’t get carried away on quantity.
- Multiple image galleries and videos are also possible in Instagram so could be a great way of conveying a full story.
In summary: Instagram is a fun, informal, image-based platform which is perfect showcasing your offering and injecting a little company personality into your communications.
Of course, there are other social media platforms out there but we have just focused on the main four in this blog. Also crucial to point out we’ve only focused on organic social media marketing here… paid or promotional activity to push your messages beyond your network is a blog or several in itself!
Social media is increasingly important as a marketing tool and so it has never been more important to understand the differences between the platforms and how best to use them to achieve increased reach and tangible results.
Hopefully you found the above useful as a starter for ten but if you need any further advice on how to make your social media platforms work harder for you contact Mark on 07595 301745 or firstname.lastname@example.org