6 Keys to Social Media Success for B2B

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By Rachel Hadley Isn’t it annoying when you’re enjoying your weekend -- perhaps with your family -- and someone starts talking about work? At a non-work function? And they won’t stop?

For the majority of business-to-business companies, targeting people on Facebook can feel just as intrusive. But there are a number of other networks that provide great opportunities to drive sales.

Here are six keys to social media success for your B2B company.

  1. Clearly define your goals.

Based on your business goals and overall digital strategy, clearly define your goals for leveraging social media. Understand exactly what you'll be measuring to determine success.

  1. Choose appropriate networks.

For any company, but especially B2B companies, it is important to prioritize which network will best help you reach your goals. Pick one network and leverage it well, rather than using all networks with no real impact. For any business targeting other businesses, I would recommend choosing from the following: LinkedIn, Slideshare, Twitter and/or blog.

  1. Optimize content.

After implementing a content plan, it will take a few months of testing to truly understand what works and what doesn’t. Constantly try new things and take risks. Make sure that you're serving as a resource for your audience --  give them a reason to follow you!

  1. Advertise.

You’ll want to build and expand your base, which means that advertising will be critical. For as little as $10 a day on LinkedIn, you can promote your page and/or updates. The most important aspect of advertising on social media is making sure you do appropriate targeting. On LinkedIn, you can target based on company name, size of organization, industry, job title or category, skills, gender, and/or age. (You can also exclude specific companies if you want to rule out your competitors!)

  1. Measure performance.

You won’t know if your social media efforts are returning a positive ROI unless you measure and track accordingly.

  1. Leverage your employees.

People do business with people. Don’t miss out on opportunities from your employees' relationships. Leveraging your current employees alone, social media can help you to exponentially expand your reach. Ask -- and incentivize -- employees to share news about your company on their social channels.

Have other tips for effective B2B social media marketing? Share your thoughts in the comments!