Earlier this week, the Magenta team attended an interesting seminar hosted by BusinessAMP, a Brighton-based networking and development organisation, to learn even more about social media strategy.
From common mistakes to handy tips – along with the categorical do’s and don’ts of online marketing – the masterclass provided an engaging opportunity to delve deep into the world of social media, and how to convert followers into genuine business.
The presentation by Jason Squires, a confidently self-proclaimed social media guru working with businesses across the UK, set out key objectives and topics to consider when working on social media marketing for B2B agencies.
Three objectives were collectively agreed among the group before starting, as social media managers want three things:
- A large following of potential customers
- To engage with said followers
- Turn the audience into paying customers and raise brand awareness
Although revenue may often be a key driving force behind social media strategy, it’s important to remember that each and every account is individual, personal and subjective – and every company will have different reasons for its online social presence.
When planning social media strategies and content, it’s fundamentally important to focus on what you’re actually putting out to your followers. People like people, and even the most susceptible of prospective customers don’t want (or need) to be directly sold to 24/7. Jason suggests a ratio of 4:1 for your content posts. So, out of every five posts, only one should be directly selling or offering your services; the other four should be engaging, thought-provoking and entertaining for your followers’ benefit.
Jason also pointed out a key pipeline plan that he believes is fundamental to success online. That is, the ‘SEBM’ strategy. ‘S’, standing for ‘strategy and foundations’, ‘E’ standing for ‘engaging content’, ‘B’ symbolising ‘building a following’ and finally ‘M’ meaning ‘monetisation and social selling’. With absolutely everything you share online, you must think – what do you want to achieve? What is your goal? Who are you actually trying to target, and why?
In Magenta’s case, for example, we primarily focus our efforts on Twitter, closely followed by LinkedIn. As a small B2B organisation, this selection of channels enables us to share our personality, business ethos, thought-leadership and day-to-day activity to our audience.
Another key element of social strategy is the need to be clear and concise. According to his research, accounts have just one tenth of a second to gain initial interest before a user may click off. So, always think when designing and managing your accounts – how can I share the most information, in as little time? To assist with this, Jason suggested a number of different tips, including:
- Listing a link to your services in your bio, not your home page
- Including a call to action and educational content immediately greeting them
- Having a bold, simple and easy to digest statement sharing what your business is offering in your header/cover image
- Using a logo for business or a clear headshot for a personal account. As your lead image – people want to see who (or what) they’re connecting with!
Twitter and LinkedIn appeared to present themselves as the resounding favourites among those in the room – for B2B companies especially. For B2C, Instagram and Facebook may be preferred. Regardless of the site and platform you’re using, however, there are several points of common ground that those managing accounts should naturally adhere to…
- Be clear, concise and approachable – don’t waste people’s time. Have clear calls to action and share useful, educational and easily accessible content.
- Know your markets – if you’re a B2B business, know how best to present your company and its offerings. If you’re B2C, know who you’re selling to and what they want to see.
- Be social–savvy – invest time, money and efforts into tools that will make your social media management easier, streamlined and ultimately, more effective. Tools like Hootsuite are absolute life-savers for those managing multiple profiles, in this instance.
- Be personable, yet professional – regardless of whether you’re managing a personal or a business site, people like to talk to people. Know how to position yourself appropriately in line with your values and brand, and be personable!
- Finally, share great content! – It sounds obvious, but no-one will want to follow an account that shares irrelevant or bland content. Try to include a mix of entertainment, thought leadership, news and insight.