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What not to do on B2B social media

How do you build a successful B2B social media presence? That’s a question that we’re often asked here at Fieldworks.

Regular posting, monitoring interactions and checking analytics – these are all things that help answer that question.

However, what we don’t often talk about is what’s not advised. Despite what many people think, managing a social media platform well is not easy; it’s more than sending a couple of tweets each day. Here are a few of the common pitfalls associated with building a B2B social media strategy:

Mistake #1 – Being overly self-promotional

Yes, the purpose of social media is largely to generate brand awareness for your company. But that doesn’t mean your followers want to constantly hear about why your product is the best.

Many businesses use social channels to blast out salesy messaging, rather than actually trying to engage with people through thought-provoking content. But is this satisfying your audience? Think about what you yourself are looking for when you have a quick browse on Twitter – I bet it’s not a constant stream of product descriptions. Why would it be different for your prospects?

Instead, your business should focus on adding value by sharing original content such as reports, statistics and blogs. This will prove you’re an expert in your field without actually needing to state it all the time.

Mistake #2 – Ignoring your community

If people are taking time to engage with what you’re posting, you in turn should acknowledge them. After all, retweets, shares and likes are an excellent way to expand your social reach – so the more you encourage this, the better.

Posting your own content is vital, but that content should start conversations. There’s no point having tons of followers if you’re going to ignore them. Turning them into a potential prospect relies on proving that you’re just as interested in what they have to say .

The clue is in the name; being sociable is what social media is all about.

Mistake #3 – Saying the same thing

It’s likely that your business has more than one social channel – and ultimately, you’re investing in them to achieve the same objective.

However, an audience on Twitter is often totally different to those on LinkedIn or Facebook. So why would you tell them exactly the same thing?

Some companies will upload an identical posts across all social channels, either in a bid to save time, or to cut corners. The can look lazy to followers, especially if the message is not formatted correctly for the platform, and therefore is unlikely to prompt any interactions.

Spending time crafting a message that is appropriate to a specific channel will prove far more successful. If it’s on Twitter, where many people might be viewing on a mobile device, you’ll want a short, easily digestible post that will catch users eyes when they’re scrolling. Whereas on LinkedIn, although it’s equally important to have a snappy post, it’s acceptable to be more business focused in your messaging.

Understand which prospects are following your brand on each social network, and develop content and style that will resonate with that particular audience.

Mistake #4 – Being everywhere

With so many social channels out there, it can be difficult to decide which ones to use. It’s this situation that leads to some businesses trying to be present on all social networks, which can be just as damaging as not being on any at all.

Operating a strong social media account takes time – and more importantly, care. Signing up for too many often means these two things will be sacrificed; mistakes will be made, channels will be neglected, all in your bid to try and reach a larger number of people.

Instead, it’s important to consider who exactly you want to reach, and choose a few social media channels that act as your route to these specific people. Particularly in the B2B space, not all social networks will be relevant, so focus on the platforms that your prospects are most likely to use.

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