Prelude: I’ve been focusing about 60-70% of my time engaging with people on LinkedIn, and Good Monster is crushing because of it. Literally, I’m just messaging people to ask if I can do anything for them, or if Good Monster can help them grow, or if I can learn more about their company.
It’s 2016, everyone’s on social media, and we are still not using it to its potential.
As I sit here at my desk writing this on a fine Monday afternoon– which I typically reserve as office days– I wonder what the marketing and advertising industry would be like if their were more case studies that show what an “all-in” social media marketing strategy could do for a brand’s growth. Sure there are a few, but there’s not an overwhelming amount of data that can show what would happen if you put all your chips into connecting with people online.
Brands are still pumping billions into TV, radio and print because that’s what they were taught coming out of school with a degree in marketing. Then this is reinforced by ad agencies that make a sweet commission from media buys. And if you ask about going more digital, they suggest investing/gambling/dumping your budget into banner ads and popups.
But what few are stopping to think about, is that getting slapped in the face with ads has been dying since the mid 2000’s. Remember, 2006 was 10 years ago. Why are you still marketing like it’s 10 years ago? Your customers have changed, why haven’t you?
Answer: again, because that’s they way it’s always been done.
The Biggest Opportunity is in B2B
I’m going to narrow in on the B2B industry now, because they are typically that slowest to make changes. In my experience, because they think that business people mysteriously don’t use social media or the internet the same way “normal people use it”, they don’t think there’s any value in engaging people there. It’s a sales driven industry, or so we all think. And if you read my last article, sales versus marketing‘ , you can see my thoughts on that. What people in the B2B world don’t understand is that they have the most to gain from the opportunities on social media. They just don’t know it.
Consumer driven companies across the world are seeing the value in connecting with their customers via platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube. But B2B companies have struggled to find a way to validate social media as a valuable business development strategy. For example most companies are “on” LinkedIn, but there are very few companies that “use” LinkedIn. What I mean by this is that they just use it to post news and information about the company as if it were a press page on their website. This is essentially a waste of time, as very few people who see that information will really deeply care about it enough to be influenced by it. Sure this stuff will reinforce your company’s authority, but for social media to “work” you need to connect with people and solve problems.
This is how many B2B’s approach social media. Simply post it, and people will see it, and that’s it. They look at it like a checklist – “did you post that press release on our website, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and to our email list? “Check”, on to the next thing.
But there’s way more value in these platforms than most B2B companies see. And over the past 6 to 8 months, that’s what I’ve been aiming to prove.
We’ve Been Testing Stuff For you
My team and I here at Good Monster have developed a strategy that pushes these social media platforms to the limit. We been testing each platform and grading its value specifically as it relates to be to be industry. And here’s what we found:
- If you put in the time reaching out to people on LinkedIn and showing how you can solve their problems, you can build relationships and make some sales along the way. But it’s all about the messaging.
- CEO’s, CMO’s, CFO’s, CTO’s and VP’s are on Facebook. Advertising to them and their hopes, dreams and fears as it relates to business will get their attention–and their clicks.
- Twitter is pretty great to find and engage people in the press and public figures (with the right strategy)
- Snapchat is a sleeper. If you’re looking to build your workforce and culture, Snapchat is growing into one of the most powerful social platforms in the country to connect with people.
- If you are a CEO, you should be leading the charge and putting out as much content as you can. You lead the ship, and your potential clients will trust you more than anyone else.
Wrap It Up
So if you’re running a company, or are part of a company, who’s dabbled with the idea of trying to use social media to grow your business and your brand, use this as fuel to rev that engine back up.
You probably haven’t delved headfirst into social media because the other CMO’s at your industry trade shows, conferences and cocktail parties haven’t been doing it. But it’s time you beat them to the punch.
There are hundreds, thousands and potentially millions of your potential clients and customers out there ripe for the engaging. If you’re proactive about it, you’ll beat all your competitors to them,and my guess is this will make everybody pretty happy at your company.