4 Specific Steps to Get Noticed on Social Media NOW

Social media may seem overwhelming. You can’t be everywhere at once, so how can you choose the social media channels where your web presence will have the most impact? It’s a question a lot of businesses struggle with, and it’s especially daunting for B2B.

Below are four steps to get noticed on social media now:

1. Find Your Audience


Who is your customer? Your first step is to flesh out an accurate customer persona. Is your buyer male? Female? How old? Do they have a college degree? What are their likes and dislikes? What do they read? What do they want or need?

  • Your Assignment: Once you fill in the basic demographics, take a look at this Pew Research Center report. Match your buyer demographics to the social media market where they have the most presence.

2. Pick Your Social Media Channels

 4 Specific Steps for B2B Businesses to Get Noticed NOW on Social MediaNext, check out your biggest competitors. They’ll have the same potential customer base, so it makes sense to find out who is engaging with your competition and on what channels.

  • Your Assignment: Running a competitor analysis can give you a clear picture of where your competitors are seeing success and what content their audience (and yours) most responds to.

Yes, there are a lot of social media options these days. Here’s the basics about the biggest social media platforms and what to expect.

Google+: Social media studies often overlook Google+, even though it’s a channel growing in both functionality and popularity. Google’s search algorithm favors Google products (surprise, surprise), so that means Google+ is a great social media option for many businesses. Google+ also offers additional SEO value. You can optimize your posts with keywords and hashtags, and each email you send to a Gmail user will include a button to follow your page.

LinkedIn: LinkedIn is populated with business folk, so it’s typically a great platform for B2B communications. Keep your posts professional and to the point. Add links that drive traffic back to your website. Keep your private messaging personal and never spammy. More than 80% of B2B social media leads originate on LinkedIn, so make your content count.

Twitter: Engage your audience and make new contacts on Twitter. Twitter is a great place to connect with industry leaders, influential bloggers, brand advocates, and publishing platforms who will help you spread your message. Regular, active participation in industry hashtag chats is a valuable way to develop relationships with the right people.

Facebook: The big daddy of the social media sphere, Facebook offers an ability to hold lengthy conversations with customers and ask for input. However, sometimes it’s not the best place for B2B, so do your homework before committing.

Pinterest and Instagram: If you can create great visual content, consider Pinterest or Instagram. Users are engaged and love to share—just be sure you’re connecting with the right people by narrowing down your target audience.

For a more in-depth explanation of each of these social media platforms and more, check out our post: Which Social Media Platform Is Right for YOUR Business?

3. Determine Your Content Types

Content comes in all forms: video, graphics and photos, tweets, longer blog posts, surveys, and links. No matter what social medium you choose, longer posts and rich content that includes graphics and videos is most widely shared and will help you sell your brand. Share photos of your products, your business in action, your staff, and your customers, if possible. Involve your customers by asking them to share photos of how they use your products. Ask them for input directly or post fun quizzes.

  • Your Assignment: Study the results of your buyer persona exercises, social media platform matches, and competitor analysis. What types of content are most popular on that particular outlet? Use content from others as a template and starting point. (…but don’t copy!)

4. Craft Your Social Media Strategy

The information you’ve gathered thus far gives you the basis for your social media plan. When you know who your customers are, where they hang out, what kind of content they engage with, and what social media channels are most advantageous—then you’re ready to get rollin’.

A word to the wise: One way to manage several social media channels is with automated posts, but be wary of automating too much. While some programs seem chatty and human, recipients almost always know they’re being addressed by a bot and not a person. You’ll also want to be careful about cross-posting. Longer posts crafted for Facebook will be truncated when posted to Twitter.

If you need help crafting a complete social media strategy, contact Cultivate Communications or download the free resource below.

Never forget that social media is social…the whole point is to build relationships and keep your customers interested and in the loop. When you build audience, you keep your sales pipeline full. Want to know more? Download this free guide to content marketing, Side Door Thinking.

related-resources_01

Side Door Thinking: Learn the smart marketing tactics you need to truly engage with more customers.Stop banging on the front door of your customer’s mind …when the side door is wide open. Download this FREE guide, Side Door Thinking, to discover how you can use storytelling as part of an effective marketing strategy.

You’ll learn how to:
  • Increase Your Referral Rate
  • Increase Your Social Media Reach
  • Leverage New Product Lines & Revenue Streams
  • Earn Your Customer’s Loyalty & Business
  • Position Yourself As An Industry Leader & Trusted Resource

How Well Do You REALLY Know Your Audience?

How Well Do You REALLY Know Your Audience? by Cultivate CommunicationsSo you’re pumping out tons of great content, but you’re starting to see that it’s focused around the same topics, and it’s not getting the traction that it used to. Maybe it’s time to refine your content marketing strategy and ask yourself:

How well do you REALLY know your audience?

Sounds like an easy enough question to answer. But when you get down to brass tacks, do you truly know what motivates your target audience to buy? Or are you basing that answer on your own assumptions and viewpoints? Have you ever asked your actual customers about what motivates them, or what business problems they have that keep them up at night to see how you could help?

As content marketers, we understand that the words and images we create help potential customers navigate their way through a buying decision. We should never assume that we already know what our audience wants to hear or see.

To truly understand what motivates your potential customers to buy, you need to “walk a mile in their shoes” — and realize that there are many different types of shoes all those customers walk in.
{ Tweet This }

For example, a C-Level executive who has a lot of budget and decision-making authority may not jump into a buying process until the end, where he or she may be interested in product comparison data, case studies, and ROI analyses. The content needs of this executive are vastly different from those of the person who may have first initiated contact with your company to garner general information. That person may have little budget or decision-making authority, but may have a strong influence on the executive or on other decision makers in the chain of command.

Enter the buyer persona . . .

Think about all the types of visitors you’re drawing in with your content — it probably runs the gamut from CEOs to interns. All of these people view their roles and responsibilities through different lenses and have different needs that can be met with your content. Understanding and empathizing with what motivates each visitor/reader can help you dial in and personalize your content marketing efforts by constructing well-written, targeted content to help these individuals:

  • Understand what issues they face
  • Decide what steps to take to solve their issues
  • Gain the confidence they need to take action

 “For you to achieve your goals, visitors must first achieve theirs.”
   — Bryan Eisenberg { Tweet This }

Your buyer personas should be specific to your business and sales cycle. But for the sake of discussion, let’s use the examples of some typical B2B buyer personas below:

  • Initiators
  • Influencers
  • Decision Makers
  • Buyers
  • Users

Free Buyer Persona Template DownloadBegin by building out information related to the specific role of each buyer persona listed above. Examples of information you may want to flesh out include:

  • Title
  • Time spent at current role
  • Reports to
  • Number of direct reports
  • Daily tasks & responsibilities
  • Likes/dislikes about role
  • Pressures
  • Concerns
  • Immediate needs
  • Long-term goals
  • Budget & decision-making authority
  • Buying stage

{Customer Personas} At each phase of the sales model detailed in the link above, each type of buyer persona is going to have different types of questions and content needs. Once you’ve determined the appropriate buyer personas and filled in all the salient data above, begin to map them to the various stages of your sales cycle. Your sales cycle should reflect your own business model, but for illustrative purposes, I’ll use this basic sales cycle model.

Each type of buyer persona is going to have different types of questions and content needs. Completing this exercise will help you map your content marketing efforts to areas where you currently have gaps, and help you broaden the scope of your content to be sure it includes something for all your target buyer personas.

Like many new endeavors, this step of determining your buyer personas so your content marketing reaches and resonates with the right people — and at the right stage of the sales cycle — can be a rather daunting task. That’s what we’re here for.

Call on the Content Engineers at Cultivate Communications to help your content marketing efforts. Let US walk a mile in your prospects’ and customers’ shoes so you don’t have to. We’ll even bring the shoehorn.