B2B companies looking to get a leg up on their competition should consider how social media can help. Through strategic use of the various social media platforms and tools there are several tactics you can implement to help your business position itself ahead of your competitors.
1. Do Your Research
Using social media to thoroughly research your industry and competition will alert you to exactly what is happening in your business space. Setting up the tools and keywords/phrases to monitor your industry is imperative. Cast a wide net of search terms including your business and products, your competitions business and products, industry terms, events, people’s names and Twitter handles within your organization and your competitors, authors and bloggers that cover your industry, twitter hashtags, etc.
2. Identify Opportunities
When you see a topic or trend gain popularity or when you identify a need for a new feature or service, take advantage of the opportunity. Promote your capabilities in that area or get your team working on a solution that you can offer to those that need it.
3. Produce More Educational Content
Realize the decision-makers are doing more research online, and social media is helping facilitate that process. Provide more content to help buyers learn about your products and services, inform them why your solution solves their problems and give them the takeaways they need to educate their colleagues within their organization.
4. Showcase Your Service And Support
B2B customers expect to have their issues resolved when they happen. B2B companies that excel at providing prompt, courteous service and support should highlight this during the customer buying cycle. Because service and support can make or break a B2B purchase decision, demonstrating your competency in this area can put your company at an advantage over another.
5. Ask For Feedback, Then Use It
Customers are always a great resource when you need to see where you’re doing well and where you’re falling short. Asking for feedback can help you identify new opportunities and correct any negative experiences. There are many ways to use social media to solicit feedback, including your Facebook page, Twitter feed and LinkedIn Groups. You can also set up polls or surveys and use your social media connections to request participation.
Once you have the data, analyzing and acting on it is key. If you can satisfy your existing customers, then you’ll meet the needs of new customers as well.
6. Engage Your Customers
Once you have a customer, use them to your advantage. Make sure they connect with you in as many channels as possible, and try to get them to engage frequently. Studies have shown that customers who follow you on social channels are considerably more apt to promote your brand to others. If you can get your customers speaking on your behalf in your social channels it will help immensely as buyers deeply consider customer reviews and testimonials when making purchasing decisions.
Are you using social media to help you beat your competition? What other tactics are working for you?
Adam Q. Holden-Bache is the CEO/Managing Director of Mass Transmit, an Internet Marketing Agency specializing in email marketing, web development and social media marketing. Follow Adam on Twitter @adamholdenbache.