B2B sales lead expert Mac McIntosh recently interviewed me for his Sales Lead Insights blog. He asked lots of great questions, a few of which were cut due to the length. One of these questions was:
“You mentioned more companies are asking you about social media marketing. Is it something B2B marketers need to pay attention to? Why? And what should B2B marketers be doing about it right now?”
This is a question I’m frequently asked by B2B marketers and small business owners. Many people mistakenly believe social media is for consumer companies — or for their teenage kids!
I know it can be hard to wrap your head around social media, so I give the following simple strategies for B2B marketers and business owners who want to want to get their feet wet.
1. Claim your company name on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.
By this I mean, even if you don’t use Twitter, open a profile under your company name so that someone doesn’t hijack it.
If you’re a one-person business or the CEO of a small business, claim your name on the main social media platforms (i.e. LinkedIn and Facebook) and claim your Google profile as well.
2. Join a LinkedIn Group and participate regularly.
Since starting my own B2B Social Media LinkedIn Group, I have come to really appreciate the Group within LinkedIn. I’ve met people ranging from Ben Hanna (@B2BOnlineMktg) at Business.com and Steve Woods (@stevewoods) at Eloqua to all kinds of consultants and corporate marketers.
It’s been a wonderful experience and a very easy way to keep my ear on the ground of social media marketing as it relates to B2B.
I recommend that B2B marketers or business owners join one or two Groups where your customers hang out (this is key) and then answer and/or post discussion questions. It helps if you find a Group that is well moderated (for example, I do not tolerate spam posts on my Group and I try to keep the conversations moving).
3. Read blogs and leave comments.
Business owners frequently ask me if they need a blog. Actually, you don’t need a blog to take advantage of the blogosphere. Instead of starting a blog, read other people’s blogs and leave insightful comments that add to the discussion – and when you do, be sure your comment includes your real name and website URL.
When your comment goes “live,” your name is now a clickable link – which people do click on. How do I know this? When people subscribe to my newsletter, I ask how they found me. Fifty percent of my new subscribers find me via comments I leave on other people’s blogs.
(You can also read a blog post I wrote in July, “Search, Articles and Blogs Drive Traffic and E-Newsletter Subscriptions.”)
In fact, I got a speaking gig from an association manager who found me via a comment I left on a blog. She followed it back to my blog, then my Website and then started following me on Twitter. A few months down the road, she hired me. That’s how social media works.
Be sure to read my interview on Mac’s blog as well as the interviews he’s done with a number of B2B marketers. I especially like the one with B2B Marketing By Phone Expert Michael Brown.