Apr 6, 2011

Three Questions to Help Plan Your B2B Social Strategy

Stop pushing press releases into your social streams! Don’t keep pushing the same old messages out! You need to engage!

How many times you read or heard those statements over the last year? After that, how many times have you thought to yourself, “Then what the heck am I supposed to do? It’s the only content I have.”

If you’ve found yourself in this position, rest assured you are not alone. It’s one of the most common challenges facing B2B marketers today.

That said, as complex as the social web can be, your approach to it doesn’t have to be. All you need to get started is the answer to three simple questions about your customer. These questions are at the center of every B2B social media strategy and the answers are your guide.

Where are they?
Understanding where your prospects and customers hang out online may be the single most important question to answer. But the fact of the matter is it takes real effort to discover. So before you rush out and begin building any presence on the social web, your first step is to start exploring and understanding where on the web (social and otherwise) the people that matter to you spend their time.

What do they like?
This question not only helps direct the search for your customers on the web but also feeds directly into your content and editorial strategy. Your target is to learn as much about them as possible from their professional interests to their evolving media consumption habits.

The key point to consider is that as a group, your customers have a set of shared common interests, problems, and values. It’s this information that is vital to the creation of content that is going to influence and attract new and existing customers to your business and brand.

What do they know?
First similar to the “what do they like?” question, it will guide your content and editorial strategy. But more importantly, this question is one that helps guide your efforts once you begin the process ofparticipating and interacting on the social web with your prospects and customers.

As you begin meeting new people and building a community, the real work is in understanding what each of them knows about you and where they are in their buying process. That is the “what do they know” that you care about. Armed with that information, you and your team can have the appropriate dialogue to support their specific needs. After all that’s the whole point right: to start and nurture relationships, accelerate the speed at which new opportunities become customers, and
build brand awareness.

So that its, a simple three question approach to building an effective B2B social media strategy. It’s at the intersection of these three questions that the most successful B2B social media efforts are born.