Using social to sell

Social media is one of the most monumental breakthroughs for digital advertising, but cracking the code to get results can be a frustrating experience. The truth is that for B2B, social media is one of the most used avenues for success: In 2015, a study from Google found that 89% of B2B researchers use the internet during their research process, but also that 46% of decision-makers in B2B markets are between ages 18 and 34 years old, which is one of the largest demographics for social media usage today.

Many companies will see the opportunities that social media offers, and rush into an advertisement campaign that yields poor results. But when dealing with the social, the first step isn’t to start with the sale.

To start, you need to ensure that the audience you’re targeting is the correct one. Not only is this the demographic you want to attract and sell to, but what social media platforms you want to engage on. For B2B, best results tend to gravitate from sites like Twitter and LinkedIn, but it’s worth investigating other platforms like Facebook and YouTube to see what strategy yields the best results for you.

After you’ve settled on platform decisions, it’s time to build a relationship with your platform and your audience. Start following companies on your radar, or other professionals. Join groups pertaining to your market on LinkedIn. This will allow you to see what your prospective customers are saying or are interested in, and more carefully cater your tactics to suit that.

Engagement is one of the best ways to generate word of mouth about your brand. Have you checked out Wendy’s Twitter lately? They generate huge amounts of buzz for their brand simply by injecting a little bit of sass into their social brand and puts them one step ahead of their competition. I guarantee you haven’t heard of what McDonald’s has said on Twitter.

But engagement doesn’t always equate to being sassy, and if used incorrectly can scare away potential customers. The important aspect of social media usage is being human: follow other users, retweet them, reply to them. Show that you have an active presence on the platform by generating indirect content, like thought-leadership pieces, or sharing interesting work from other colleagues and professionals. Above all, make sure that your content is relevant and aware of current trends, and relevant and aware of your audience. When acknowledging events and news, consider the worst possible reaction before posting, but don’t be too afraid to take chances.

After building your audience and your engagement on your primary platforms, it is time to finally develop and publish your ads. Carefully keep in mind the limits and advantages of your platform: If you’re creating a picture, make sure you follow guidelines for image sizes, as they can vary based on where you post. A multi-faceted approach, graphic, video, and text can yield fantastic results when considering multiple platforms.

If you have spent the time to consider and develop a social media strategy that focuses on a specific audience, on the correct platforms for your market, and have put in the work to create a strong relationship with potential customers and thought-provoking, relevant content, then you’re on the way to finding success for your business on social media.

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