Guest Post by: Maria Pergolino
Today, many marketers look to jump on the B2B social media bandwagon while expecting a simple integration with current B2B marketing efforts. Although many think this, it’s simply not the case, as most run into barriers along the way.
Barriers to successful implementation include simple, and sometimes complex, problems to resolve for many marketers. To break through these barriers, marketers will have to evolve and oftentimes change the organizations way of thinking. Once they do this, they will reap the rewards that come from successful B2B social media marketing practices.
To help you navigate social media waters, we give you the five barriers to B2B social media marketing success and how to resolve them:
1. It’s difficult to go viral – Many marketers dive into the B2B social media tank looking to reach as many prospects as possible with the first or even second piece of content and sometimes set unattainable goals in a quest to ‘go viral’. Although getting in front as many eyes as possible seems like a viable goal, it’s not always easily achieved and not always the most productive when considering an ultimate goal of building relationships and generating leads.
Jumping into social media should be more strategic and planned out than the creation of one or two campaign elements in the hopes to attract thousands of visitors.
Leveraging social channels involves creating unique and informative content for your audience over a long period of time.
Will one of your creative campaigns go viral? Maybe. But as marketers we have to ask ourselves the question of volume versus quality. A video, let’s say, that attracts thousands of views may seem like a solid win. But how many of those visitors were from the target audience as opposed to irrelevant visitors just interested in seeing a novel creation?
2. Engagement failure – Although many marketers strive to maintain engagement with prospects, over time, it may falter. To correct this, consider making it easier to share content that’s fresh and relevant.
Begin to use channels including blogs, content curation, micro-blogging and other activities that make it easy for people to respond and easy to share.
Creating and distributing quality information is only half the battle. Equally as important is the fact that someone needs to be there when your visitors respond, comment or share your content.
You can’t expect to build relationships if you are not responding to your audience. Be sure to allocate resources for follow-up.
3. Difficulty to measure results – One of the hottest marketing topics of the past year was how to measure the ROI of social media efforts.
To become effective in social media, marketers need to adopt different methods to measure and analyze data to show a return like blog stats and third party Twitter dashboards. Create milestones such as number of Facebook “Likes”, Twitter followers and shares of content.
Then, connect the social metrics to already established metrics such as website visitors. Doing so can help upper management see the influence building social relationship has on metrics already known to be an influencing factor to lead generation.
To take measurement to the next level, consider using a powerful backend for management of marketing data. This includes leveraging marketing automation or CRM solutions to transfer data into useful statistics.
4. Creating a winning reader experience – Building the right experience for readers takes time and effort. From creating valuable content to tracking results, marketers utilize many different tools.
The best way to achieve this goal is through a serious commitment to researching and writing. Oftentimes writing is the easy part if you do your research well. Become a master at using Google and similar tools to find information to inspire your writing and help you put together winning content.
Develop a content plan that outlines concepts that will be covered throughout each month and then stick to your plan. Don’t over commit to your writing goals as everyone is already busy. But do make a plan you can live with such as devoting 20 minutes a day to research and writing.
If you can produce just 4 relevant pieces of content each month, you will be pleasantly surprised at the results. You will also see the benefits growing over time as each new post is a new, unique page on your website that will get indexed in Google and eventually show up in the search results.
5. Scaling follow-ups – Many marketers have difficulty scaling their follow-up procedures which may result in lost leads and wasted resources.
To resolve this, marketers should consider adding lead scoring and lead nurturing processes to their B2B social media and lead generation practices for maximum results. This will not only make it easier to follow up with large numbers of leads but it will also improve the quality of the user experience leading to higher quality leads and more sales.
Achieving B2B social media success doesn’t require large amounts of funding or resources, it simply requires careful planning and addressing the right solution for each issue. By encouraging relevant action, making it easy to deliver fresh content, using powerful backend tools, utilizing turnkey solutions and implementing lead scoring and lead nurturing processes, marketers will find themselves on the path to social media success and real ROI.