How to Use B2B Social Media Marketing to Build Quality Customer Relationships

Blog Post By:Eric Dudley

As B2B marketers, we often operate under the assumption that B2B social media marketing must be an integral part of our customer engagement and marketing strategy. However, we are relying on the notion that all social platforms are byways to quality relationship-building with a group of followers. This is an assumption driving a weak B2B social media marketing strategy that will struggle to produce the quality customer relationships that contribute to revenue.

So, we are here to help you course correct. Backed by Forrester’s recent research on social relationships strategies, we analyzed which B2B social media marketing strategic approach and supporting tactics show a measurable return on investment. With this in mind, we recommend following these 3 steps to begin building a strategy that supports your relationship building objective to drive new growth and customer acquisition while showing a return on marketing investment (ROMI).

  1. Define Your Social Media Objectives & Strategy
  2. Select the Social Media Platforms to Support Your Social Relationship Strategy
  3. Leverage Smaller Networks to Build Social Relationships

Define Your Channel Objective & Strategy

Regardless of which social media metrics you are tracking, if these metrics are not tied back to goals that are aligned with your strategy, the return will be hard to measure. In other words, the first step is to establish what is your social media objective. From there, your next step is shaping your strategy and the supporting tactics to support your objective. Lastly, establishing metrics that will serve as mile markers to hold your strategy accountable to accomplishing its original intended purpose.

For social media relationship-building, set out to deepen customer connections to ensure a higher quality lead upon conversion. Start by deeming “relationship-building” as your objective for social media marketing. Next, develop a strategy and supporting tactics to drive the execution. Then define which goals and metrics best track your efforts.

Select the Channels to Support Social Relationship Strategy

While Facebook and Twitter are the go-to reach channels, they often do not offer the relationship aspect that many B2B marketers are looking for. This is often reflected in low engagement metrics needed to justify resource allocation and time spent on social media marketing. While this may be a classic case of metric misalignment, there is something to be said for selecting the channels that excel at social relationship-building…But make sure you have the metrics to prove it.

In support of your clearly-defined social relationship strategy, upheld by outlined and executable tactics (as granular as a social content calendar, post scheduling process, or infographic creation and social promotion), decide which social platforms are going to best support your goals.

For example, if you need to prove the value of prospect engagement through LinkedIn, align your relationship-building strategy with a measurable goal such as “direct message replies” that can be met through targeted content promotion to 1st degree connections with personalized direct messaging. The reality is that building valuable social relationship requires a platform that encourages interaction with a smaller, targeted group.

Leverage Smaller Networks to Build Social Relationships

That brings us to our final point, where we demonstrate why the smaller social channels help you engage these customers to build foundational social relationship building blocks.

Instagram has demonstrated its ability to connect you with your followers in a highly-effective conversational way – even the most followed B2B brands on Instagram like Microsoft and Adobe, who have over 160,000 followers receive only between twenty and fifty in comments on any given post. The opportunity to reply to a comment with a customized message is readily available.

Leveraging these smaller networks to support your relationship-building goals for B2B social media marketing ensures your efforts are set up for increased success earlier on. In these cases, your brand is more readily positioned as personal, attainable, relatable, etc. The perception of ease of access and outstanding customer service can be established during the awareness and consideration phases. What an opportunity!

By now, we have demonstrated that it is within your control to construct a social media marketing strategy and goals & objectives that are aligned with social channels to create personalized touch points through social relationship building. So, what are you waiting for?

Contact us today to learn how you can achieve your goals with a B2B social media marketing strategy.

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