There are a number of best practices and “rules” of B2B social media marketing being shared by experts today. For the most part these rules can help guide you to an effective social media strategy. However, as with any marketing medium, there are certain instances when it’s okay, even preferable, to break from the conventional norm.
Here are a few examples of those situations I wanted to highlight based on both my own experiences and the experience of Oktopost customers I serve (well, sell to ☺):
The Rule: Don’t Overtly Promote Your Brand
The Exception: There’s an interesting unwillingness on the part of many B2B marketers to promote their brand. They want their social content to be recognized as altruistic, objective thought leadership. While this is certainly a noble idea (and one that should be adhered to regularly) brands have to be willing to promote themselves, their products and their content once in a while. After all, one of the main reasons your B2B brand leverages social media is to drive engagement and leads.
The Rule: Follow Back and Interact
The Exception: B2B social media marketing isn’t about interacting for the sake of it. It’s about interacting in meaningful conversations with a particular type of follower. This is not to suggest that B2B brands should arrogantly dismiss everyone who doesn’t fall into this category. But it’s important to know who to follow back and interact with, because the last thing your brand needs is to waste time engaging the wrong audience – an idea that relates nicely to our concept of social listening.
The Rule: Leave Social Media to the Professionals
The Exception: The growing importance of social media in B2B circles had led many organizations to silo the practice; they’ve become apprehensive at the idea of having anyone but a dedicated social media manager or agency handle such responsibilities. But as I’ve learned, getting other people involved – notably employees within the organization – can pay huge dividends. By getting as many people involved in social media as possible, measuring the results, and rewarding the most active employee advocates, brands can amplify the efforts of their marketing departments. When you do this, make sure your “professionals” leave your employees with clear social media guidelines. You can even create an advocacy board of useful (and approved) content for them to share.
What other social media rules can and should a B2B organization break? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below, and as always, if you would like to learn more about Oktopost, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cover image via Flickr @biker_jun