It is a big world out there. It was made much smaller by the invention of the jet engine, then the worldwide web and social media came along really bringing to life the theory of the 6 degrees of separation, being that everyone and everything by way of introduction is just 6 steps away. So really it is a small world, even smaller in the business to business sectors, so how do you make the most of this social media platforms to connect, engage and communicate with your customers?
Social media is a digital platform that supports all areas of the marketing communications mix it gives you open access to multiple organic communities that your stakeholders are part of.
The ever developing relationships that you have in the physical world can be re-enforced in the digital. Social media are tried and tested platforms that you can use to get your core messages out to your market place. Re-enforcing your physical efforts helping you to discover, acquire, and retain customers by listening for opportunities, commenting on relevant conversations and reaching out to your target audiences.
Social media is the ideal tool to support integrated marketing communications campaigns, extend the reach of PR efforts, content and third party media exposure. It is also a platform that you can use for personalised direct mail and raise awareness of sales promotions that you may have on your web site. There is so much that this can be used for it is important to put some thought into the best approach to complement your promotional client generating and relationship building activity.
Proactive and thought out communication within your stakeholder communities is a fabulous thing. As a business you can tell the world about your work and share your passion and insight, without sharing information about how you can help your customers solve different problems. The idea being that you generate inbound traffic (thanks Hubspot) that encourages your customers, prospects, opinion leaders and partners to enquire about your product or services. Whether it is Linked In, seeding articles in industry groups, Tweeting or commenting on discussion boards, you have an opportunity to raise the profile of your company and build relationships with current and new customers.
When embarking on a social media campaign it is important to have clear objectives about what you will be using it for.
In order to avoid any problems or misunderstandings, it is a good idea to also have few guidelines to provide practical advice when you are operating as an employee of your company and using social media for business as well as personal use.
See our blog for some more tips on social media guidelines for larger and smaller businesses.
Nicola Finn is managing director of Elaborate Marketing Solutions in Bristol that marketing support to medium and growing SMEs in the technology sector. She also does lectures, teaching professionals the professional Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) at the City of Bristol College.