Have you assessed your B2B business social media presence? Why or why not?
B2B-focused businesses stand to benefit from Social Media. And, yet, many shy away from it. Possibly because of the complexity associated with getting started and navigating through all of the business unknowns. Definitely, because they perceive that social media will take too much of their precious time, and don't see the value.
Many B2B organizations don't realize that B2B social media can help with lead generation, getting more business, and building business awareness, trust, and credibility with customers.
Some businesses, though, realize the benefits and, despite complexity and time constraints, decide to get started with social media. That's when I like asking questions to determine how best to simplify the social media process for them.
Here are my eleven (simple) "B2B social media assessment questions" so you can be thinking about how to get your business involved and benefitting from social media.
11 B2B Social Media Assessment Questions
1. What are your goals?
It's always important to start with goals and understanding what your goals are for your business, for your digital presence, for getting involved in social media.
Goals help you stay focused and help you make decisions about how to spend your time and money. They also allow you to evaluate whether that decision was worthwhile or not.
2. Where do you have an online presence?
This assumes you have an online presence. Ideally, you have a website that you manage and keep up-to-date.
You may also have social profiles you've created over the years - Google My Business, company profiles on LinkedIn and Facebook, possibly an Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter account, too.
Do you keep those profiles updated? Which ones work best for your business? Which ones don't work at all?
Do you participate in any online communities or groups? What about offline?
Do you have a blog for your business?
3. Who are your customers?
How well do you understand who your customers are? Do you know what matters to them and what value your business offers them?
How do you listen to them especially online? Do you know how they talk about the problems they have and the terms they use to describe their issues? How are they using social media - if they use it?
By the way, this is where a persona exercise comes in handy.
>> Check out Developing Personas for Content Marketing
4. How do your customers find you online?
Customers find you in many ways. Even if they wind up connecting with you in real life (i.e., in person or via the phone), chances are high that they came across your business online while learning more about solutions to their issues and doing their due diligence on your company and people. And long before you actually made that physical connection.
So, how did they find you online? What terms did they use in search to come across your content? What content resonated with them? What patterns have you noticed?
5. Who is your competition?
Have you spent time considering your competition? Not to copy everything they do. Rather to understand what they're doing online and how they're using social media.
How well does what they do resonate with your customers? Can you do better or differently?
6. Who will be your internal Social Media Champion?
B2B companies that have identified a social media champion are often more successful with social networking.
The champion helps determine your company's voice online. S/he is passionate about engaging in conversation on social media platforms and helps determine internal and external policies. Your champion can also call on other team members to get involved and interact with prospects and customers as relevant.
7. Who else in your organization wants to participate and contribute content?
The next evolution is for a B2B company to fully embrace social networking and make it part of how you not only go to market but also address concerns and delight customers.
It depends on how digitally and socially savvy your organization is - including management.
As you evolve in that direction, can you encourage others to participate and contribute to your efforts? Perhaps they can regularly contribute content to your company blog, and help you promote that content via updates to their own social networks.
8. Have you developed an overall content strategy?
Social media is hard to do if you don't have a content strategy. Trust me, it's really hard to come up with something clever to say out-of-the-blue. Having a plan and ensuring that the plan supports the business will provide guidance, structure, and inspiration. In fact, it goes hand-in-hand with #1 up above.
As you think about content, don't forget to consider what kind of content you've already created, and plans you have for new content. In addition,
- How do you distribute that content?
- Is it available online?
- How do you use your content during the sales process?
- How frequently do you create new content?
- Do you repurpose the content?
9. What kind of website analytics do you have available?
Data helps you run a business more effectively. When it comes to your website, analytics from Google and/or HubSpot (what I use) or other tools provide you with the data to understand which pages work and don't work, which ones attract and educate prospects, how your emails engage, and whether you're converting visitors into leads.
No data means you're blind.
- What data do you actively track?
- What does success look like?
- Do you have a CRM to track leads?
- Do you nurture your leads?
- Do you monitor specific keywords?
- What are they?
10. How do you promote your business and online presence?
This goes back to #8 above. It should certainly be part of your overall content strategy. However, it's valuable to consider promotion separately.
For example, a business such as Trader Joe's during non-COVID times considers in-store sampling an important way to promote new products. Images on Instagram can extend awareness to those who haven't had a chance to do taste-testing.
Or, your business may include being at a farmer's market where you interact with people. Images you take there can help promote your business on your blog and website as well as on social networks.
Training events, trade shows, presentations allow you to promote your online presence and vice versa.
11. Which blogs and websites are relevant to your industry?
Some blogs and websites function as journalistic publications focused on your industry. In fact, depending on the industry, you may have a tight blogger network to get involved in.
Other industries have more going on in social network groups, and event sites. Do you know the ones relevant to your world? Can you get involved with them as a contributor, and can you involve them in your content creation?
How Do You Assess Your B2B Social Media Readiness?
What did you discover from this eleven-question B2B social media assessment? Any surprises? Would you add to the list? Let me know.
If you're looking for guidance on whether your B2B social media efforts are successful, take a look at this article:
Thank you for reading!
Note: This classic article from 07/12/2011 has been updated.
Photo Credit: Simple in B&W on Flickr.