1) Become a thought leader
Provide consumers with industry knowledge and become a resource for up-to-date information. Being a thought leader means you have authority in your industry and will be sought out for the consistent, relevant information you provide. Using a company blog is a great way to showcase thought leadership.
2) Get your employees involved
Have your C-suite execs – even if they use a ghostwriter – get on board with a business social media account for themselves. They will help build your brand and be a reputable resource for information. People like to have direct access to C-suite execs; it makes them feel empowered to have that access. If employees use social media on behalf of the company, be sure to have a social media policy in place to protect your brand.
3) Support Customer Service
Practice social listening to know exactly what your followers want from your social media. Employees who use social media on the company’s behalf are engaging with potential and current consumers and need to provide exceptional customer service. Customer service on social media, also called “social care,” not only includes responding to positive (and negative) reviews, but also doing simple tasks like retweeting a consumer’s tweet. This kind of engagement shows you're listening and care about your consumers, and is especially true in the B2B environment.
4) Monitor social mentions and Google Alerts for your company and its competitors
See what people around the web are saying about you. Social media has moved to web 2.0 and companies now have little or no control over organic representation. By tracking social media mentions and setting up Google Alerts, you can find where you’ve been mentioned on the web, which will give you an opportunity to actively engage those referencing you, or respond to any potential negative situations involving your company.
Keep up with what your competitors are doing by monitoring social mentions and setting up Google Alerts for them, as well. This way, you can see what your competitors are up to and what new tools they have, and use that information to discover ways you can continue to be competitive.
5) Use Facebook for B2B Outreach
Contrary to popular belief, Facebook is great for B2B companies because your target companies primarily use Facebook to reach their consumers, meaning your consumers are on Facebook. Wherever your target audience is on social media, you should be there, too. Create a Facebook page for your business and be sure to post at least once a day. Use A/B testing to determine what time of day is the best to post. Healthcare companies selling to hospitals will find Facebook to be a beneficial platform, as hospitals are present to connect with their potential patients.
6) Try A/B Testing
Use different posts, different sites, and post at different times and compare your results to see which gets more engagement. Facebook has a good analytics feature (once you have more than 25 fans) that will show you the time of day your fans are on Facebook. For the most engagement potential, you want to be sure your posts are right in front of your fans and the easiest way to do that is to post when most of your fans are online.
7) Get engaged with your audience
Engagement through social media means your posts received interaction from your followers. Interactions with your followers increase your reach, which represents the number of people who saw your post. If a follower engages with your post, there is potential for all of that person’s connections to also see your post. Increased exposure is exactly what we want. Typically, engagement can be increased by you making the first move. Make deliberate attempts to like your followers’ posts, retweet their posts, or respond to their posts. As always, if anyone responds to your post, or shares, or likes, be sure to reply back or say thank you!
If you’re interested in gaining more followers, a good idea would be to host a tweet chat. A tweet chat is an online chat conducted on Twitter where anyone can join and discuss a predetermined topic by following a chat-specific #hashtag. Not only will these tweet chats get you engagement, it will also help you gain exposure and set yourself up as a thought leader.
8) Create a personality behind the social media handles
Set yourself apart from your competitors by infusing personality into your content and social posts. People generally do not like to follow businesses on social media when all of their posts are salesy, which gets old and boring. Create a life behind the Twitter handle or Facebook name and let your followers know there is an actual human being behind the content. Be relatable to your audience and create relationships, just as you would in person.
9) What I use to analyze results
Twitter & Pinterest have the most engagement with my target audience. Hootsuite is a good platform for utilizing multiple social sites within one location. The right tool and social platform for your business is really up to your industry. Try using A/B testing to find which is the best for you.
10) Have fun!
Use the creative social atmosphere to your advantage. Social media has a creative atmosphere that gives you potential to stand out from your competitors. Use it! Be tasteful and be professional, but be fun, too.