I hate to show my age here, but when I graduated from Georgia Southern University (I am not going to tell you what year) with a public relations degree, social media pretty much did not exist. So even though I learned the tricks of the social media trade in my professional life instead of in my crib like later generations, I am always looking for ways to be a social media rock star, and help clients do the same. Here are four of my favorite tips for getting B2B companies (and their employees) on board with social media strategies.
No. 1: Get to the point already.
Let’s be honest – most of us are on the go and we are reading this stuff on our phones, right? It’s tough – but it can be done. I am the world’s worst about getting wordy, and sometimes it’s hard to say what you want to say in a certain number of characters. But think about what you would click on. Would you want to read a paragraph on the small screen of your phone or just have it laid out for you in a quick, short to-the-point post? That’s what I thought. Not only that, if you want employees to share your posts, you don’t want them to have to read a lot either. And if they are going to comment on your post, they need room to do so.
No. 2: Engage, engage, engage.
You can never do this enough. In the industries we work in – including data center, security, marketing tech, etc., -- there are so many journalists and influencers that we are trying to get our clients in front of every day. Make a handy dandy list of all the bloggers, journalists, analysts and other influencers in your target industry and start following them. You can set aside time to follow or check in on a few a day or a week. See what they are talking about, and if you have some insight to offer them, do it! I blogged a while back on the best way to influence your influencers, and showing them some love on social media is great way to do this, too.
A hashtag? Oh, you mean a tic-tac-toe board? Yes, that’s all that used to mean – that or a number sign on the telephone, but now they are everywhere! Hashtags are important to make sure you are in the right conversations on social – Twitter, Facebook and more recently LinkedIn. Doing a little research to see which hashtags your influencers and other people in the industry are using – especially your competitors – helps you stay involved in the conversations going on in social media land.
#4: Encourage others to advocate for you.
This is my favorite one, mainly because it’s great to get everyone in the company involved. When I see an organization or business and see its employees sharing things on social media, not just from the company pages themselves, it gives me a good feeling. Because if they are excited about that company, then I should be excited, too. Companies have employees. Employees have social media accounts and they have followers. Think of all the potential viewers you could have if you asked 20 employees who have 200+ followers to share a post from your social media platform. It adds up. A great way to encourage this is to send a weekly email to employees asking them to share posts from your business’ handles. Include recent blog posts, events or webinars, up-to-date coverage or even company culture photos for people to share. Make it “happy.” Not only does this get more eyes on your posts and ultimately your content, it keeps employees in the loop about what’s going on with your company and keeps them engaged with each other.
So, there you have it – some tips to get your started on social media best practices.