Although there is plethora of information available online on how to tap into the power of social media, as a B2B marketer I have attempted to simplify it for my fraternity. I have come across many who claim to be social media GEEKS and would not refrain from giving you a list of at least 20 tools as soon as you ask even the simplest question. I have not come across any school/course that tells you how to approach social media as B2B marketer. I must say fancy naming like “social media explorer” looks great on Linkedin profiles but does not do anything for real businesses.
Having learned the hard way here are 10 things that no social media GEEK told me but I think are very crucial for a B2B marketer:
1. Did you say UNGEEK social with CONTENT? No! It is all about conversations
Millions of dollars of research investments can go down the drain if your content has not generated conversations with your stakeholders. Brands collaborate with media, publications to generate great content but many a times your customers are your best content marketer. Create theme-based communities and cohorts where people can converse on the content and it stays fresh in the minds of your audience.
2. You thought SOCIAL is about telling YOUR STORY…it is actually about THEIR STORY
Social Media is about listening to the stories of your ecosystem and amplifying them. They are the best amplification of brand stories. For example ‘Wellness before Business ’ started by Tech Mahindra with the mission to spread awareness about wellness made a promise that we will publish people’s real stories and not be a loudspeaker. So far, we have received such inspiring real stories that reinforces your belief in the program construct. Read more if you want to contribute too!
3. Social Media Scientists ….not really; you need to be Social Media Artists
Do not dump data on your audience; story telling must come out. Let us take the example of Tech Mahindra’s ‘UP 100’ initiative. It connects citizens of the state with the UP police & emergency services. It is the world’s largest integrated response center. To tell about it through a video, we consciously chose not to concentrate on data and showed lives of real people instead. Know more.
4. You can buy Lists, you can buy likes, but you cannot buy relevance
As B2B marketer, we should not run after just number of followers and likes. Are the relevant stakeholders talking to you, about you, reaching out to you is the most important measure. For example when we created a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) platform called ‘In The Future’ we were clear we wanted futurists an thought leaders to find it relevant and we don’t get carried away by a million likes or views.
5. It is NOT Dating; It’s Parenting! It never stops
Social media engagement is a continuous journey it is not one FLASHY campaign and you are done. You have to nurture the relationship with your audience.
6. We need not be everywhere…We are NOT GOD
Well I have come across B2B marketers who want to be on every possible social media platform to maximise reach. If you have millions of dollars to burn may be yes it is a great idea else ask yourself a question where is my audience where can I get the best engagement and which platforms renders best for my content format.
7. KISS or MISS; keep your messaging simple
Keep it Simple and Straightforward. You super long format content is no longer appreciated by audience; unless you are JK Rowling and you created masterpiece. Even the most complicated technology, business and strategy players have invested in byte size content. I have a simple yardstick – if my 12-year-old son does not get it, perhaps it is too complicated.
8. Connect, learn, love, lead—it’s a process; Rome wasn’t built in a day
Do not imagine yourself to be a thought leader from the word go. It takes time to build reputation, and especially so in the B2B context. First step is to know what you want out of your audience. Are you following the right leaders, listening to the right kind of conversations? There is no harm in learning from industry leaders. Only when you start to drive relevant conversations of your choice and pertinence will the audience begin to follow you.
9. It takes a village to raise a kid…and social media quotient of a brand too
It is not a ONE man/woman, ONE function job! It takes an entire cohort of leaders, associates, partners and customers to create a positive social media quotient of the brand. Especially in an industry like ours where associates are the biggest brand ambassadors. They must be our key players in this entire journey.
10. Social, Personal, Real – People do not fall in love with perfection
“To err is only human,” and hence, to pick up from where we last left is what matters. We all make mistakes, faux pas on social media; that is ok. Gracefully apologise and then move on. We are all human after all, and our audience realises that and respects that.
So, as B2B marketer on Social Media let us concentrate on serving value instead of noise. Watch out for useful tips, from my UNGEEK world!