The social media explosion that’s occurred over the past few years has been a boon to people who want to connect with school friends and long-lost acquaintances. For businesses, especially businesses that operate in the B2B space, social media is less fun and a lot more challenging.
After all, finding a balance between the casual tone most of associate with social networks, and the more formal tone used in B2B transactions just isn’t all that simple.
Not only that, but social networks challenge these same companies to create compelling, shareable content that’s appropriate for social. (And remember, each and every social network has its own unique audience demographic.) Not only is creating this kind of content challenging, hiring freelance writers to do it for you can be very expensive.
If your business has been struggling with the challenges of striking an appropriate tone for the B2B market on social media, here are a few things you need consider.
What Makes B2B Social Different?
Anyone who has spent time on professional social networks like LinkedIn (and the myriad of other tightly focused professional networks) can tell you that they are significantly different from the more social, social networks such as Facebook.
For starters, they are definitely not the place to post up your vacation photos or political views. (In fact, a good social media strategy for B2B operators should include a strict prohibition on political talk of any kind.)
Now this doesn’t mean that your business-related social content can’t be graphically interesting and compelling, it just means that you need to keep the endgame in mind as you craft your plan.
How to Create B2B Social Content
Fortunately, you know your customers better than anyone else. (Or, at least you should know them better than anyone else.) As you craft your social content plan, you need to keep this demographic profile in mind.
It may turn out that the kind of companies you do business with skew young and have an appreciation for lighter content. You may also find that your customers are older and don’t necessarily embrace social media as much as their younger counterparts. The B2B best practice methods you develop should be based on what’s best for your customer.
For the most part, B2B social content is going to be comprised of white papers, research studies, and other business-related materials. Again, this doesn’t mean they can’t be made to be as interesting as possible. Simply taking statistics out of a business report and presenting them as an infographic is a great way of repurposing content and creating something your customers will actually read.
Finding the Right Social Networks
It’s also very important to remember every social network has its own personality. The highly technical Slideshare presentation for online computer training that was such a hit for you on LinkedIn probably won’t drive as much traffic to your site when it’s posted on Facebook. Tailoring your content for each network and, indeed, knowing which social sites your customers are using is a big part of finding social media success in the B2B space.
About the Author
K Alliance provides organizations of all sizes with a better way to train employees: online computer training courses.