If you’re in B2B, social media strategy may be something you’ve had on your ‘to-do’ list for a while but hasn’t really ranked as a top priority. Sure, you may have a Facebook page and a LinkedIn company page, but beyond that, the actual ROI of social media and where or how often you should engage on various channels gets a little blurry.
This two-part series (part two will be shared next week) is designed to provide you with key considerations and guidance as you construct your initial social media strategy. We will also provide suggestions as to which social media channels have the highest ROI potential if you’re a B2B brand and what factors, including how often to post, should be considered for each channel.
First, let’s consider how your social media strategy will fit into your overall marketing mix.
Considerations When Building Your B2B Social Media Strategy
Before diving into your strategy, take time to really think through how it will fit within and compliment your current marketing efforts and goals tied to ROI. To do this, ask yourself:
- How will we measure the impact of our social media efforts for each channel?
- Where can we have the most direct link to lead generation?
- What lead generation tools do we currently have in place? (Contact Us form, e-newsletter opt-in, white paper, e-book, etc.)
- What are our competitors doing in the social media space? Are there weak points we can capitalize on? Should we model our initial strategy after some of the success we see?
- What marketing tactics can we combine or integrate with future social media efforts? (Example: White paper shared on LinkedIn; e-newsletter promotion on Twitter, etc.)
- What marketing tactics are we currently using that could benefit from social media amplification, awareness and engagement?
- What time resources do we have internally to assist with social media? Do we need to outsource daily implementation or bring in an expert to create this strategy that we can then work?
- How will our social media strategy tangibly support our business plan?
- Do we have Google Analytics in place to track traffic referrals, bounce rates, average length of visit and total traffic?
Once you’ve considered each of the above points, you can move on to constructing your strategy.
Constructing Your B2B Social Media Strategy – Key Elements
After you work through the above considerations and review your current business plan, you can begin to construct the following elements as part of your overall social media strategy:
- The Situation – clearly define your target audience, current presence, competition and overall goal.
- Objectives – define 2-4 specific objectives that should be achieved as a result of your social media plan.
- Key Considerations – this can cover specific challenges and anything else you want your entire team to keep in mind in regard to social media.
- Tactics – You should have tactics for each social media channel you plan to engage. Outline the frequency of posts, social media tools to be employed, hashtags or @ mention ideas, contests, campaigns, cross promotions and anything else that should be implemented tactically on social media.
- Brand Standards – this can include dos and do nots, words to use and not use, the overall look and feel you want to have on social media, what your brand should communicate and words that embody your brand.
- Standard Social Media Responses – how will you respond when someone posts a comment, complaint, question or compliment?
- Social Media Crisis Responses – how will you diffuse or handle a small or major social media crisis?
- Measurement Goals – this comes back to the key considerations (above) in how you will measure your social media efforts back to lead generation, site traffic, increase in social media following and engagement across channels.
There you have it! Take your time working through this post and then get ready for insight as to which social media channels to use and how often engage next week. In the meantime, feel free to send me an email with questions or leave a comment below.