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19 July 2012

Social Media

Social Media Tips for B2B and how to maximise your use of LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter

 A company who sells B2B can implement social networking using similar techniques as a B2C – the approach has to be slightly different considering your audience, but the desired result remains the same. To really penetrate the minds of your potential leads there are a variety of ways in which you can stand out from the crowd. At FDC we can show you how…

LinkedIn

With over 160 million current members, 2 new users every second and seen by many as the ‘white-collar social network’, LinkedIn is a powerful and increasingly popular online gathering of professionals; your key to the door of business opportunities. To maximise your outreach and connection visibility be sure to involve yourself in at least 5-6 groups which are relevant to your company, industry or sector. Optimise your profile by adding a company image, mission and open your own groups for creative discussions. Devise an effective group strategy which all of your employees can follow so you are each promoting the same brand message. More than 2 million businesses have a LinkedIn profile so get in on the game to reap the benefits.

Facebook

Many see Facebook as a B2C network because, after all, it was originally built for the general public. However, at FDC we believe different. If LinkedIn is the white-collar event, Facebook is the barbecue party afterwards! Think of Facebook in this way and your B2B setup will reach a wider audience. A few good starting points are to firstly add significant company achievements, milestones and events to your timeline – for instance, when your company started, your turnover year on year, new team members and include their pictures if you can, to create that emotional connection… With over 78% of business executives declaring Facebook a necessity for success, don’t pass off the opportunities available. Take advantage of Facebook’s advertising facility if you have the budget to do so - shop around to acquire free trials and decide if it can work for you. Target your audience by interests, likes, even location with this effective promotional tool on the world’s largest social network.

Twitter

Twitter’s growth is on the incline by 60% this year and already boasts over 200 million active users. One of the best free third party tools for Twitter is HootSuite. The capabilities of this platform mean it can be used across all social networks to set scheduled tweets and posts, allowing you to post over the weekends without actually sitting at your computer or lifting your smart device! Twitter is fast paced and gives the opportunity to easily contact celebrities and influential people in many industries, such as Lord Alan Sugar who himself tweets about a single exciting business idea every Sunday. Twitter enables global outreach which in turn means you can contact anyone who uses it on an even playing field and follow respected people/prospective leads. Use the keyword alerts facility to keep an eye on what people are up to, trends, join conversations about your industry and most importantly, the strategies which they are using and whether they are effective.

One final important factor to mention for all networks is recognition of complaints and customer queries. If handled correctly, these instances can actually benefit your image instead of damage it! For instance, Oreo Cookies posted a controversial image of a multi-coloured layered cookie for Gay Pride last month, igniting a homophobic backlash. And what did they do? Sit back and let it happen. Since it was uploaded almost 200,000 people liked the post, roughly 60,000 shared and in excess of 30,000 commented. Negative press always has the potential to be flipped to a gain, think carefully about approach and don’t be too hasty on your reply. In some cases, less is more.

If you found this post to be interesting or would like to know more, feel free to contact me on Twitter or LinkedIn.

By Sam Hurley

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