Social media should be an integral component of everything your B2B organization does including marketing, customer service, sales, and product development. It’s surprising how many B2B companies still overlook this key task.
If your idea of integration is putting a Facebook logo on all your B2B marketing collateral and calling it a day, then read the following eleven suggestions for going beyond the basics.
Eleven Different Ways to Integrate B2B Social Media
- Every e-newsletter and email should have a call to action for the social web. This includes having your company’s social media links included in every employee’s email signature line. People reading email are already online so it’s a lot easier for them to just click on over.
- Make sure all of your B2B social media profiles are properly branded to match the look and feel of your brand. Skin your YouTube page. Have branded wall paper for your Twitter profile. And create a messaging document to make sure your tone and voice in social media match your offline messaging.
- Make all your content easy to share with services like AddThis or ShareThis. Facebook says companies who integrate Facebook “Like” buttons throughout their website see an increase of 65% more referral traffic from Facebook.
- If your company gets mentioned by a third-party blog, include that in your press room. Almost 80% of Internet users read blogs (Source: Social Media Examiner). Getting blog coverage is as credible as getting traditional press coverage.
- Create a microsite where you consolidate all your social media activity, so consumers have one place to go to view all your activity. Have feeds from Facebook and Twitter, an RSS feed from your blog, current YouTube videos, a Google News RSS feed for your company news and press releases, etc. Use the portal as your social media home page and call-to-action for all your offline (and online) activity.
- B2B companies that blog get 67% more leads per month than companies that do not blog. To get credit for this traffic from an SEO perspective, make sure you integrate the blog under your corporate domain. Blogs hosted on Tumblr or Blogger, for instance, do not increase your website rankings. Use a platform like WordPress to integrate your blog into your corporate site.
- If you’re hosting a conference or event, provide a Twitter hashtag so attendees can tweet about the event. The average Twitter user has 126 followers (Source: The Guardian). If ten people tweet during your program, that’s over 1,000 additional people exposed virtually to your event. You can even use Twitter hashtags to let audience members tweet questions during a panel discussion. Tweets can be projected on a screen behind the panelists.
- Create a mobile version of your website so business executives on the go can access your site from smartphones. Use QR codes to drive people to your mobile site and have links to your social media profiles. If you’re a local B2B company, use Foursquare to reward frequent visitors with special discounts.
- Analyze your search engine traffic to see what keywords people are using most often to arrive at your site. Then, create an automated search feed for these keywords on Twitter to identify conversations people are having using these keywords. These people may be prospects. Tweet with them.
- Run a Facebook fan contest and promote it beyond Facebook. Add it to your radio spots, print ads, and e-newsletters. Require people to become a fan for a chance to win a prize. But don’t stop there. Tell them they will get three extra entries for mentioning the contest on their wall and for inviting friends to participate. Now you’re taking advantage of social media’s viral effect. Develop a custom Facebook tab for the contest and require people to provide their email address as they sign up (winners being announced via email). That way, you accomplish two things: you get new Facebook fans and at the same time build your email database.
- Run a Facebook promotion with the prize being tickets to a local sporting event or concert. Local events encourage entries specifically from people in the area you service. Team up with a local media partner for co-promotion, such as a local radio station or newspaper, to save costs on promotion and publicity. You’ll get more coverage in the press than if you did it alone. Have people either “like” your Facebook page or write on the media partner’s Facebook Wall. That way, both organizations benefit.
Social Media Isn’t Just For The Marketing Department
Remember, integrating social media is more than just integrating it into your traditional marketing programs. Social media should be integrated into every aspect of your business including customer service, product development, market research, and more.
The key is to start with the business goal, not the communications goal. Know your audience. And think of ways to extend the conversation from offline to online. How are you integrating social media into your B2B organization? Let us know in the comments below.