While it may have taken some time, it seems that businesses have finally caught on to the importance of social media and the many ways an online presence can impact not only their reputation, but their profits as well.
In fact, according to a 2014 study conducted by Social Media Examiner, nearly 100% of businesses are using social media for marketing purposes and feel that implementing it is crucial to their success.
Furthermore, although it may come as a surprise, according to a March 2010 White House marketing survey, B2B brands have reported to be more active on social media than B2C firms.
Within that same survey, it also claims that 86% of B2B brands are using social media, compared to only 82% of B2C firms.
Not All B2B Brands Engage Social Media
The difference is not much. However, when you also consider that only 32% of B2B brands engage social media on a daily basis as compared to 52% of B2C firms, then it starts to make sense why there is a perception that social media is more of a tool to develop relationships with consumers, than it is a tool to cultivate and develop relationships with other businesses.
B2C companies may not be better at engaging their customers – a metric like that is hard to measure – what is clear is that they do so far more often.
The key to optimizing your ROI on social media does not necessarily require you to work harder and dedicate more man-hours, which would likely diminish your ROI.
In fact 86% of B2B brands have a dedicated individual or agency to oversee their content marketing efforts, so manpower isn’t the problem.
More so, optimizing your ROI is about learning how to work smarter and in effect learning how to amplify your social media efforts so that social media works for you.
Here are five ways you can both engage your customer better, and do so more often, so that you can amplify your social media efforts and increase brand engagement:
Google has given a boost to its Google+ social network by indexing and prioritizing it in the search results.
What this means is that the more content you post on Google+, the more visible it will be to other search engines, especially Google.
Google+ also has value added features unique to its platform that are perfect for B2B:
- Google Circles and Communities are both great ways to share content within your network. Joining these groups on Google Plus will help attract more followers and potential customers who want to add you to their own circles. Connecting with other people in your niche will ensure Google that you are a credible source.
- You can also use the Google Hangout feature to live stream a virtual conference, event, interview and webinar, allowing you to connect with clients in a convenient and visually appealing way. You also get the added benefit of being able to collaborate and share what you’re seeing on your own screen, which can be very useful for meetings and presentations.
Integrate +Post Ads into your Google+ account
Technically +Post Ads have been available for a while, but only in beta-mode. While only major brands, like Toyota, had access to +Post Ads in the past, they’re now available to any Google+ account that has over 1,000 followers.
Incorporating +Post Ads allows you to use your Plus posts as an ad creative, meaning your ads. In addition, not only will these specific ads appear on the Google Plus network, but they will also appear on the Google Display Network, meaning that people will be able to like, share, and comment on your posts anywhere on the web.
This is a great way for a company to get feedback on its landing page.
Repurpose your +Post Google ads into Facebook Ads
View your +Post Ads as a complement to your Facebook strategy rather than a replacement. Facebook Ads have sophisticated demographic and interest targeting, both of which help you reach a more relevant and targeted audience.
However, because Facebook is a walled garden, the content you post on Facebook should be repurposed for Google via +Post Ads to maximize reach.
Give old company presentations new life on LinkedIn
According to SearchEngineLand.com, 91% of all successful B2B marketers use LinkedIn in their social marketing efforts – the highest percentage of all the social media channels.
Assessing risk is one of the key jobs of any decision maker in an organization and LinkedIn helps decision makers mitigate that risk. Using applications like Slideshare to share your business presentations in LinkedIn can attract more like-minded customers.
Connect your LinkedIn account with Twitter to amplify reach
Twitter is a great platform because it rewards sharing and discovery as much as it does creation. Its 140-character limit makes it a perfect fit for posting the titles of content you share across the Web.
By linking your Twitter account to LinkedIn, your LinkedIn post will automatically post on Twitter as well, increasing the visibility of your business both on Twitter and LinkedIn.
By now I’m sure you’ve noticed the theme of this article: Repurpose! Repurpose! Repurpose! Remember a good marketer lets social media work for them, not the other way around.
Megan M. Ritter is an online business journalist with a background in social media marketing. In addition to researching and sharing her knowledge about B2B marketing, her writing also covers business communications technology and globalization.