Retail companies have it easy when it comes to creating a social media presence. When Wendy’s created a Facebook page, people liked it because they genuinely to like their food. But how does an industrial, B2B company succeed on social media when selling a really un-sexy product like valves? They may have to get a little creative, but it can be done. I should know, I’ve been a social media manager for over three years and two of those years have been for industrial companies.
Post during the workweek.
You’re trying to reach an industrial audience while they’re on the job. Posting at night or on the weekend won’t appeal to them. You need to reach them while they’re deciding which product to go with on the job. They won’t want to make those decisions when they aren’t at work.
Don’t be afraid to have a little fun.
Just because it’s about an industrial product, doesn’t mean it has to be so serious. I like to start each Tweet with an attention grabber. For example if I’m posting about an industrial seal, I may say: Your fate is sealed when you make the investment in Centerpoint #Seals. Look at your product or service from an outside perspective to come up with a play on words or pun to go beyond a dry advertisement.
Follow a social network’s protocols.
B2B companies aren’t as experienced as B2C companies are with social media. They have the habit of making mistakes on social media (link other blog). Be aware of the difference between networks. Facebook doesn’t use hashtags as prevalently, but on Twitter it’s a great way to broaden your audience. Don’t link your Facebook and Twitter feeds. You should build unique content for every network. Come up with a plan to post on all your accounts that works for you and stick to it. And if it’s too much for you, don’t be afraid to hire outside help if you need it.
Share your company’s big news.
When your company is exhibiting at a big trade show, tweet away. That’s how your company reaches a new audience. The next time you release a product, its debut should be on your company’s social media page. Get in the habit of integrating social media into your traditional marketing. It’s one place where you control the message entirely and you can release the news entirely.
Text isn’t enough.
While it’s good you’re writing on social media, text isn’t enough to grab your audience’s attention. Adding a link is a good way to drive traffic to your website and it also gives you a place to expand on the point you made in your post. If a customer is interested in the product you posted about, they can click on the link to learn about it and possible purchase it. Adding a picture to a social media post either instead of or in addition to a link is even better. A picture breaks up the monotony of a feed full of text to make your audience look. The only thing better than a picture is a short video. A video is the easiest way to get content to “go viral” and is a much more effective way to show what a product does rather than say what it does.
Target a specialized audience.
Quality over quantity is key for industrial brands. I always start with Twitter to build a social media presence. You can use hashtags to target a specialized audience, follow potential customers in hopes they will follow you back, then refer your audience to your other social networks. Don’t build the audience on how many likes you get. All of your friends are liking you on Facebook is far less valuable than finding a few new potential customers.
When it’s all said and done, industrial social media isn’t all that different from how commercial companies do it. If you’re looking for a way to connect with other companies on social media, a new social network called KEYCONEX is available. It will connect businesses looking for products and services and those providing products and services. To find out more about Keyconex, follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Google+.