Turn Friends Into Finances: The B2B Social Media Question
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The question is, 'Is it really worth the effort?'
Perhaps you're an avid Twitter, Facebook and blog-user in your private time, or maybe you have only the faintest notion what those phrases mean. Whichever camp you're in, you're probably wondering how (or even if) social media can be usefully applied to a B2B company. We're here to show you how it can.
Some B2Bs can be remarkably hard on themselves, claiming they're not interesting enough to command a social media following. Others dismiss it as a drain of productivity; a waste of time, sceptical of social media's ability to generate actual finances.
So why bother?
For an initial expenditure of next to nothing, you get access to an entirely new audience to communicate with; social media is also remarkably easy to use.
Start Making Friends - Start by inviting and searching for existing contacts and develop it from there: invite the prospects you meet at networking events and business opportunities you acquire through marketing. Publicise your social media accounts on your web site; your email and marketing collateral, and provide an incentive to join to get a healthy following. Then use your accounts to develop promising business opportunities and increase your PR & networking potential.
Keep It Efficient - Because it's free, social media only costs you the time you put into it. Thankfully, it doesn't have to cost much: most of the main social media sites now integrate with each other, meaning you can update one account and have the rest update automatically. Broadcasting your news across social media suddenly shrinks from a fifty minute chore to five minute job.
Know Where To Go - You only need to use the main social media sites to achieve a satisfyingly broad coverage (Facebook, Twitter, Del.Ic.Ious, Technorati and LinkedIn are the big five). Keep it simple though: build social media around your business, not the other way round. Docnet doesn't have a Facebook page because we don't find it relevant, but our staff use Twitter, Del.Ic.Ious and LinkedIn to spread news, attract interest and develop business opportunities. Pick and choose the channels you prefer, and add more later on if the need arises.
Get Known - Finally, in the world of B2B sales where competition is fierce and differentiation hard to come by, having a social media presence automatically singles you out as a different breed of business from the rest. It will also help you to publicise how ethical, environmentally-friendly, innovative, efficient and approachable you are by using it parallel to traditional PR and advertising efforts. This will ensure maximum coverage for minimum cost.
And if you still need persuading that social media can help your business? Speak to Docnet for a thorough, truthful diagnosis of your social media needs.