B-to-B Internet Marketing: How to Participate in Social Media Effectively
Social media is generating a lot of buzz right now among marketers and B-to-B Internet marketing practitioners. Marketers who can leverage social media to help distribute business content and increase the overall community of advocates for their business can experience significant growth.
Social media allows your customers and potential customers to communicate directly with you and your employees online, and it allows interesting content to spread quickly. While new social media tools launch every day, most businesses really only need to focus on the major players: Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Monitoring Social Media
An important part of leveraging social media for business is to understand what conversations are happening online related to your industry and recognizing where you should respond. Here are some great tools you can use to easily monitor your business and industry mentions in social media:
- Google Alerts: Set up multiple Google Alerts for your company, brand, products, leaders, industry terms, etc. The alerts will get delivered directly to your email inbox at the frequency you indicate (e.g. daily or as they happen) and are a great way to help you track mentions of your brand and relevant keywords on the web on news sites, in blogs, etc.
- Twitter: Monitor mentions of your brand on Twitter with tools like Twitter Search or HootSuite.
- Facebook Insights: Use your Fan Page’s Facebook Insights Dashboard to stay on top of discussions occurring on your company’s Facebook Fan Page and to see stats such as fan growth and page views to gauge your page’s interaction and engagement.
Getting Started With Twitter for Business
Twitter is a social network on which users share short, 140-character messages with each other. Users “follow” or subscribe to receive messages from each other. As mentioned previously, you can use Twitter’s free search engine, Twitter Search to search for your business, as well as competitors, and industry mentions on Twitter. Understanding how and if people are talking about your business and industry will give you enough information to determine if you should invest the time to start and manage a Twitter account for your business.
Using Facebook for Business
With more than 1 billion users, Facebook has become the major player in the social media industry. Facebook can serve as a powerful platform for building a community of advocates for your business to help increase word-of-mouth marketing. The first step in leveraging Facebook for business is to set up a business page.
LinkedIn: The Social Network for Business Professionals
The social network many business people are most familiar with is LinkedIn. To get started using LinkedIn for your business, it is best to set up and complete a personal profile for yourself as well as a company profile for your business. When setting up these profiles, remember to include all important information such as your website and blog URLs. Additionally, it is important to take the time to make the descriptions of you and your business interesting to read and an accurate reflection of your experience, knowledge and passion.
Once your create a presence for your company on these social networks, you’ll need to have valuable, relevant content to share with your new audiences. We’ll discuss how creating a company blog can help you produce a steady stream of content to share with your audience in our next blog post.