Social Media: Everybody’s Doing It
Blank says the real value of social media is extending your relationship outside of it as well. Social media has become the foundation for forming relationships and networking offline. It all begins with how you interact with your audience.
You can retweet someone's post or take the step to shoot them an e-mail about it. "Take social media to the telephone and have conversations," Blank says. "It's very simple to say thank you or great post." The most important factor in all of this is putting yourself out there—the Web is a building block for greater relationships when it comes to business networking.
10. Social media offers special opportunities for b-to-b.
Social media can dovetail with business-to-business strategies in exciting ways, Kerpen and Henley say. "Social media is a terrific way to generate leads for business-to-business companies," Kerpen says. "Just remember that leads don't come right away, just as they don't come right away in the offline world. Instead, they are nurtured over time."
Henley offers the following strategies for business-to-business publishers:
• Select b-to-b-focused keywords—[such as] phrases with "manufacturer," "wholesale," "producer," or "distributor" in them. "This ensures that the traffic you are driving to your social media is your target audience," she says.
• Post information that is interesting to your target audience. "For example, if your target audience is a structural engineer, think about what is interesting to them—pictures of cool structures, jokes about engineers, photo contests getting them to guess how many steel joists a structure has. …"
• Don't panic if you don't have a million fans. "Your target audience is a much smaller size than Skittles'," Henley says. "The key is to keep growing it steadily, and to keep it engaged."
Whatever your approach, following these building blocks will help to ensure your social media efforts are rewarded—with exposure, brand awareness, integrated marketing and, of course, dollars. PE