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A CEO's Guide To Implementing A B2B Social Media Strategy

Social media has changed the way the world communicates. Businesses, individuals and groups now have access to a fantastic array of (largely free) tools to communicate faster and more effectively than ever before.

A business can choose not to adopt social media but by doing so it will be opting out of the best marketing opportunity of a generation.

Most businesses of any size have a few pioneers that are actively using social media but a strategy is defined by Wikipedia as:

“A word of military origin, refers to a plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal. In military usage strategy is distinct from tactics, which are concerned with the conduct of an engagement, while strategy is concerned with how different engagements are linked”.

It is how the tactics are linked that defines a strategy. This blog aims to illustrate how the social media tactics are linked in order to create a strategy.

In order to do so we’ll need to understand broadly what tools are available and how they can be used tactically and we’ll need to define the business goal.

Defining A Business Goal

The first step in creating a social media strategy is to define the business goal. The goal should be significant enough to represent a fundamental improvement in the business and to make further investment in online marketing both in terms of budget and resource a formality. A business goal might go along the lines of:

“Increase the number of business enquiries generated by online activity by 100% within 6 months of the launch of the website through social media activity”.

Social Media Tactics

  • Listen to the marketplace to tune into thousands of conversations that are going on about your brand, your specialist subjects and your industry.
  • Engage in online conversations to start new relationships and maintain existing ones.
  • Position your people as experts in your subject.
  • Solicit and build a portfolio of public, online testimonials from happy customers in widely used social networks in order to build profile, trust and reputation.
  • Build new communication channels in order to communicate with many more people at greater speed and reduced cost (build personal business networks).
  • Distribute and promote content (often interactive) that others will want to share in order to raise the company’s online profile.
  • Take advantage of new, highly-targeted advertising opportunities to raise brand awareness and drive traffic (small budget initially to prove concept).
  • Build inbound links and driving more traffic to website(s) through social media.

Social Media Tactical Tools

Each tactical tool is valuable in isolation but the secret to extracting the maximum return on time and effort invested is using the tools in concert.

A useful simile might be that of an orchestra. Talented, trained musicians using individual instruments can make great music but together a co-ordinated, planned, team approach under the leadership of a great conductor can generate a great result.

table-for-socialoct113

Implement a Social Media Strategy

In order to implement a social media strategy then, certain pre-requisites exist. Some are technical, presence on social networks, blog in place etc. Others are more to do with internal commitment and leadership.

  • Senior management commitment to creating content and “leading from the front”.
  • Consistently branded internet properties (website, blog, Twitter page, YouTube channel etc.)
  • Google Analytics installed on website to report on traffic generated to site and measure conversions (enquiries, brochure downloads, visits to microsites etc).
  • Commitment to measure and report on telephone sales enquiries generated by source.
  • Commit staff resource / time and provide clear guidelines on min/max time to invest.
  • Communicate strategy and tactical plan to team.
  • Commitment to training team.
  • Reward / recognising team members contribution.
  • Allocation of sufficient budget to make an impact.
  • A willingness to learn and evolve based on results.

At digital marketing agency Intergage, we provide training and consultancy in putting a social media strategy together. To find how we can help you implement your social strategy, please contact us on 0845 456 1022.

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