First of all, let us introduce ourselves. ETNA Software is a technology solutions provider for financial services companies. We create all types of sophisticated custom software for electronic trading, portfolio management, and trading infrastructure. As a b2b company, we could be looking skeptically at social media; instead, our company employs a special social media strategy. Do you think this seems strange or that the results could be questionable? Let us share some ideas concerning our experience with you.
First of all, we identify the following business goals and benefits that we can receive from social media participation:
- Increasing brand value. Any company operating in the b2b field creates certain values for potential and existing clients. Therefore, it is possible to reach these people via social media and thereby, increase your company’s brand recognition.
- Looking for new business opportunities and partnerships. Big deals and partner relations quite frequently begin with personal interactions with people who may be the decision makers of your potential clients or people who can recommend your company to someone.
To be honest, an advertising campaign or online banner advertising, in particular, is not really relevant to b2b. Of course, you can argue that it depends on the placement; but, trust me, even with the most suitable and expensive banner advertising you will hardly find the same amount of contacts and leads as with community management in social media.
It is obvious that, in b2b, personal communications and company authority are definitely two major factors. That’s why ETNA Software currently has worked out the following principles of operating in social media:
Every big and respectable company should be “well-recognized.” When your potential client finds out about you, he will google your company name in order to find out some information about you. So, try to provide a better internet presence for your company.
Social Media Resources:
- All possible social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn).
- Professional directories (The company should create its profiles anywhere it can be relevant. A good bio and company description is the first step to success in reaching your target audience.)
- Your own blog will be a good addition to your official website.
- Press, articles, white papers. If your company has some ideas to share and finds them interesting for readers, go ahead!
The company should make readers interested, excited, and attracted. It is important to bring something relevant and useful if the company does not want to be lost in space. People notice you when they realize that you are doing innovative stuff and feel the need to be taught or entertained by you.
In our rapidly changing world it becomes difficult to be kept abreast of all the latest news. What is the easiest way? The answer is simple: social media, where news has been already selected and structured for you.
- Social media is now the best way to let people know about your company.
- After all, social media is a good facility to run marketing activities (marketing research, etc)
- So, if you have a blog, try to be creatively different. Figure out how your blog can help or entertain. If you don’t find the answer, you had better not run a blog; just save time for something more relevant to you.
- The same is true for press-releases, articles, and whitepapers. Remember that under the term “social media,” we recognize all literate individuals with their interests, opinions, and ideas. They are not stupid.
- If you write press-releases or articles be careful where you publish them. Do not depreciate your own brand by publishing materials in dubious resources.
- Do not copy and paste. Express your own opinion only. It will be highly appreciated by the readers.
- Even in a corporate blog, try to talk to a reader as an individual, not as a corporation. Personalize. Psychologically, people listen more carefully to the opinion of one single person rather than that of a group.
- It requires spending ample time surfing a massive amount of resources to keep abreast of all the news. This takes considerable time and effort. Fortunately, some people do this for you, but it is necessary to know where to find this pre-selected info. For example, if you are a software company, looking through mashable, businessinsider tech or huffingtonpost tech. As a financial services software vendor, ETNA Software must be competent in financial news. That is why we are looking at resources such as tabbforum.com, finextra.com, and derivalert.org. Knowledge gives us a valuable advantage as an innovative company.
- If you have the time and resources, you can become a valuable source of selected information yourself. But there is a risk of not being heard, so, try to calculate your resources beforehand.
- You can introduce your company to people anywhere: Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, LinkedIn, and other professional networks.
- I repeat, remember that that anything you do in social media, you are doing for people. Personally, I have found social networking to be a brilliant source of useful info for marketing activities. And to tell you even more, I use social networks for marketing research as a good source of primary information.
Whatever you say, nowadays it is not always necessary to order expensive field studies if you have personal, convenient, and free access to your target audience. Just capitalize on the benefits of the internet.