“Don’t create social media driftwood.” – Virginia Miracle, Head of Digital Media Strategy – Ogilvy PR
As I sat at the Integrated Marketing Summit last October and heard Virginia say these words they became a mantra for me in communicating with my smaller B2B clients. At least once a month since I have talked my ambitious and new Twitter zealot client out of a jumping in with both feet to an overly ambitious Social Media strategy.
It is hard to talk reason into some of these folks who have had their eyes opened to the viral power of Social Media. Let’s face it there are some attractive draws:
- You can create a Facebook account in less than 5 minutes
- You can create a LinkedIn Group in less than 5 minutes
- You can create a Twitter account in less than 5 minutes
- All are totally FREE
- You can spam everyone in your contact list your new Facebook group, LinkedIn Group and Twitter account handle for FREE!
So any idiot with an internet connection in your organization can invest exactly 30 minutes establishing your on-line Social Media presence and have absolutely no idea what do next. Then as quickly as they are done creating accounts they will get distracted by the real work, deadlines, product delivery schedule, etc and the driftwood piles up.
The only thing worse than no Facebook account, LinkedIn Group and Twitter account for your organization is a barren one that hasn’t been updated in 6-9 months and makes you look disorganized and unprofessional.
So what is a small (less than 5 FTE's focused on marketing) company to do? For my clients I recommend the following “toe in the water” approach.
- Skip Facebook altogether. Earlier this month the folks at Earnest did a B2B Social Media Experiment of their own and they deemed Facebook the least successful of the Facebook/LinkedIn/Twitter trifecta. Their case study is definitely worth a read.
- Join relevant industry and previously established LinkedIn groups before you start your own. Think of your industry keywords, market segment, etc and search those terms in LinkedIn groups. See what groups your competitors are active in and join the dialogue. Don’t start your own discussion thread until you have diligently listened, commented and observed for at least 7 days.
- Set up a Twitter account and find analysts, key journalists, business partner accounts and follow them. Make an effort every day to Re-Tweet some article link that one of them posts even if you have only 1 or 2 of your own employees as followers. People like to see their posts Re-Tweeted even if you only have 1 follower!
- Share the work load across the team. Have frequent internal sharing sessions to keep everyone focused on the overall strategy. When your team is small you likely don’t have one full time person to devote 40 hours a week but if you can find 5 people in the organization who can each give you 5 hours a week then you bring about measurable results.
Does your small B2B organization have a Social Media success story?
About the Author:Heather has spent the past 15 years advocating for the customer perspective in her approach to software development and product marketing. Her penchant for collaboration is what drew her to the Savvy B2B team. Read more of Heather's posts here or contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.