The connection between businesses and social media is growing noticeably stronger every day. Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, and various blogging sites are hosting accounts for big, and small, businesses reaching out to their customers, both of the present and potential.
Although business-to-consumer companies find it easy to take on the social media marketing and PR world, many business-to-business (B2B) companies are finding it hard, or unnecessary, to move forward into this unfamiliar world.
As an aspiring journalist and self-proclaimed social media addict, I understand the importance of using social media. I’m still surprised by how slowly many organizations are moving towards leveraging social media, particularly B2B companies.
In a meeting between PR Newswire and Standard Register, a large B2B printing company, I realized that Standard Register faces a problem that many other B2Bs may be facing right now. In an effort to help lagging B2B companies adapt, I’ve put together the following steps:
Step 1: START SMALL
A very important part of getting into the groove of social networking is starting small. Trying to handle too many accounts can be overwhelming, especially for an established company, and potentially fatal to a company’s digital side. Instead, choose just one site, like Twitter or a blog, and update consistently and often. Tweet and post about the company’s current events or links to other blog posts that could be of interest to potential customers or just to the Tweeter himself.
Step 2: GET THE WORD OUT (Build Your Social Network)
Letting customers and other friendly businesses know about a new social network is crucial to a successful foundation. In meetings, conference calls, and even emails, leave the guest with a link to the account. Make sure the customer knows the network is a new, great way to keep up with current events and get other customer reviews. Once the site is established with close customers, the word will travel quickly through the business family. A company can see this growth through the number of followers or friends and through blog views.
Step 3: ADD MORE NETWORKS
With established networks, it’s incredibly easy to expand into other networks. To add a Twitter account to the blog, or vice versa, where one can be linked to the other. Thankfully, most social networking sites are connecting with each other and providing links to make tweets or status updates with just a click, making the transition even more seamless.
The last step in this process is social media success. A B2B company, or any company for that matter, can make that jump into the media world, which opens up a plethora of new opportunities, customers, and experiences; of course, all to be happily accepted with open arms by any sane company.