Social media can be both a polarizing and connecting medium. At its core, however, social media founders intended it to be a platform that connects people, be it college students with their peers, professionals with other professionals, or small businesses with local customers.
For companies, a social media plan that is focused, strategic, and humanizing helps to create a loyal brand following with existing clients and reach a new audience of prospects. Building connections and trust online can be tricky for companies, especially during a pandemic or a polarizing election, but it can be done.In this article, we share a few simple tips for a social media strategy that focuses on building connections.
Posting on social media “because everyone says we should,” is not a good approach or reason to build out a social marketing strategy. When creating a social media plan for your business, it’s crucial to be thoughtful about why, what, and when you are posting or sharing content. Really understanding your audience and knowing their current needs and what is impacting their lives should play a role in the content you post and share.
AdRoll wrote a great article about social media during Covid-19 that has great takeaways, including focusing on your audience more rather than your company, trying new things, and being patient. Being aware of the current climate and how your audience is affected can go a long way to help you craft content that is thoughtful, sensitive, relevant and meaningful.
The major part of a social media strategy focuses primarily on posting and sharing interesting and relevant content. But what happens if people start commenting or asking questions? What if users send your company direct messages asking questions? What if partners or vendors start tagging your company in posts? Who is going to respond to these things?
Remember that social media is meant to connect people. It’s not just a platform to shout into the void. A great social media plan for a Business to business company involves a responsive element. This includes monitoring and replying in a TIMELY manner with appropriate responses. Too many companies just assign “the intern” with handling social media. I’m not knocking the intern’s capabilities, but do they understand your value proposition and your brand identity enough to be the voice of that brand online? Maybe. Maybe not. Ideally, the person or people involved in responding on social media truly understand your brand, your position, and your audience.
Share Owned and Curated Content
It’s a common misconception that brands should only share their own (owned) content on social media. It’s actually more engaging for social media users to see a variety of content.
For companies, sharing owned and curated content is a winning strategy. Yes, you want to share the thought leadership content you invest time and money in creating. However, you also want to share the most current and relevant industry news. Companies with a strong presence on social media share content from their own website, industry publications, partners, vendors, and of course clients (if relevant).
Mixing up the type and sources of content provides variety and ensures that you are taking part in the current conversation happening online.
Connecting with Social Media
It can be hard to define the ROI of social media, so it can be cut from marketing budgets without a second thought. However, it’s important to keep in mind that when clients and prospects aren’t able to connect with your company in person, online is the next best thing. In addition to checking to ensure you have a professional B2B website, prospects and clients will look around on social media to learn more about who you are as a company and what you have to offer. Make sure you have a social media presence that is consistent with your brand message.