Why It Matters: Honing Your Business's Social Media Strategy
Businesses have all gone social media crazy over the last decade. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Reddit, Snapchat, Medium… this list goes on. Needless to say, it’s been hard to keep up.
Around every corner someone seems to be peddling their services to take your social media presence to the next level, or maybe your marketing team is thinking about retooling to hire a social media manager. It’s easy to get caught up in all the hype, but before you commit cold hard cash to any of these efforts, take a minute to step back and ask the question, “Does my business really need to by on ‘X’ platform?”
The answer depends on your business model, but more often than not, the answer is probably a resounding no.
Now before your social media managers grab their pitchforks, your business does need some presence on social media. Every company should have a well maintained website and LinkedIn page at minimum, but working tirelessly to keep the plethora of other platforms up to date is probably a waste of time, energy and money.
This is particularly true for B2B companies. At the end of the day, not that many people are interested in Instagram posts about industrial floor epoxy surfacing, accounts payable platforms or digital compliance services. Are you asleep yet? Most corporate social media efforts aren’t bad, they are just simply barking up the wrong tree.
The point of this piece isn’t to bash the hardworking and talented teams that generate content for these platforms, but to say their efforts could be more beneficial to your organization addressing other outreach tasks. Any professional looking post is going to require time and creativity to generate, and if it’s not driving meaningful sales, what is the point?
Some businesses like to use social media to attract new talent and showcase their companies culture, but if your top prospective talent decides to walk away from your team because they didn’t see a fun post of your analysts playing corn hole at happy hour, there might be bigger problems.
So how should most B2B companies tackle social media?
Company Website — This is a no-brainer. You need to have a professional digital presence showcasing what you do and who you are.
LinkedIn — LinkedIn is all about connecting professionals, and it today’s digital world, it’s a great place to find sales leads and show off your business on a platform where users are more interested in business-related content.
(Possibly a) Twitter — If you’re a B2B company really pining for a corporate social media account, grab a Twitter handle. The main advantage of Twitter is that it allows you to efficiently repost relevant stories about your company and chime in when need be. Journalists love Twitter, so it’s a great way to make announcements and respond to questions. Just don’t worry about updating it every 5 minutes. It’s not going to be driving sales.
By honing your social media efforts, your outreach team can focus on the most relevant opportunities to your B2B business model, whether that is company materials, having a booth at industry events or some good old fashioned advertising (and you’ll save lots of money).
Now this isn’t to say social media is irrelevant to all business. Far from it. If your business relies on connecting with the masses, hop on every platform you can, and make it look sharp.
Social media allows for countless opportunities to not only get in front of, but interact with your target audience in ways that are just starting to be explored. Social media is a great place to announce sales, events and product launches if your target audience is at the ready to pounce (think concerts, clothes, sports teams). In fact, many of these businesses fail to leverage these platforms to their fullest potential (but that’s a discussion for another day).
However, if the sale isn’t just a click or two away, even these businesses are often wasting their time. Personally, I love Heinz Ketchup, but never in a million years would I be interested in their Facebook page.
Does Wells Fargo cater to the banking needs of millions of customers? Yes. Is Wells Fargo wasting their time maintaining an Instagram feed? Yes. Does Wells Adams, a “side character” from the reality TV show The Bachelorette, have over 15 times as many followers as Wells Fargo? Also Yes (61.4k to 930k for reference).
I think I’ve made my point.
The main takeaway is, don’t get caught up in the rat race and jump on every platform out there. Tailor your social media efforts to your business. Your business doesn’t need a presence on every platform just because it's hot. Look at your business and only invest in the outlets that make sense. Otherwise, you may be spending a lot of time crafting a post only your coworkers and mom are going to see.