Everything About B2B Social Media Marketing
The social media marketing definition has been changing over the last several years. While even in 2006, B2B social media marketing was just getting started, today in 2012 over 90 percent of attorneys in small firms report using some form of social media. This guide will answer some of your questions about social media marketing definition and help you build a B2B social media marketing strategy that will bring in consistent, profitable leads.
The Biggest Mistake You Can Make
Social media marketing makes it much easier to share successes and get your message out to the world. Unfortunately, it also makes it easier for your competition to capitalize on missteps or for a minor gaffe to turn into a reputation ruiner. The one mistake that will turn the most people away from your company for the longest period of time is thinking that social marketing is just like advertising.
Advertising and social media have completely different goals. If your social media marketing definition looks a lot like how you define your firm's advertising, you need to think again before you make a highly visible—and highly costly—mistake.
If you seem like a salesperson hawking his wares, you won't make an impression as a great advocate, but as a scammer or spammer. There's no faster way to be blacklisted than to waste other people's time with advertising when you should have been engaging them with interesting storytelling and innovative content.
Tell Me: Who Are You?
This is a question that probably has a lot of different answers. In order to get the most out of your B2B social media marketing, you'll need to think about them all. Who are you, as a person? Who are you as an attorney? If your firm was a person, what kind of person would it be? These questions can help to give your social media marketing definition, and develop your brand whether you're working for a large or small law firm.
Remember that the market you're reaching out to with B2B social media marketing may be skeptical of marketing campaigns. Many of the people you want to reach will be alienated if you sound fake or focus on the hard sell. Make sure that your law firm's social media marketing has definition: someone in particular needs to be the voice of your company, rather than just having an impersonal, cold web presence.
There's no one social media marketing definition that will work for all firms, but every successful social B2B social media marketing campaign has something in common: they all focus on authenticity and communication. Until you know who you are and how you communicate best, your campaigns will seem scattershot and unfocused, or—even worse—inauthentic or high pressure.
Give 'Em What They Want
For firms that are working primarily with consumers, it can be relatively easy to identify the audience for your blog posts or Facebook feed. But what if you're focusing on B2B social media marketing? You need to incorporate your audience into your firm's social media marketing definition, because different audiences will want different types of quality content.
Content is always king. No matter what social media marketing definition you're using, successful social marketing takes thinking about the needs of the people you're talking to. What's more, you should try to develop content that doesn't look like what your competition is using for its B2B social media marketing.
Why not try something new—like a brief quiz (perhaps with a bit of humor in the questions or answers) about a legal topic your clients care about? What about a professionally produced video? Talented marketers are expanding the social media marketing definition every day, and you can get as creative as you want. Maintaining a brand identity for B2B social media marketing means you have to be professional, but you don't have to be stuffy or uptight.
LinkedIn: The Gold Standard for B2B Social Media Marketing
There's a reason that the vast majority of attorneys today maintain a profile on LinkedIn. For attorneys, LinkedIn is nearly 300 percent more effective at generating B2B social media marketing leads than either Facebook or Twitter.
While it's certainly a good idea to maintain a social media presence on more than one website, if you need to prioritize and your marketing is exclusively or almost exclusively B2B, it's best to focus your social media marketing definition on LinkedIn, learn its tools and interface, and then branch out. If your firm does both B2B and B2C marketing, you may want to focus on other sites even when you're just starting a social media campaign.
Maximizing the Effectiveness of LinkedIn Ads
When you start on LinkedIn, you may just have a profile and not know what to do next. Attorneys who are already comfortable with pay per click (PPC) advertising on search engines often start branching out their social media marketing definition by purchasing PPC ads on LinkedIn.
This can be an effective way to start your B2B social media marketing, but be careful about not just what keywords you're using, but also when you're placing your ads. You can use analytics tools to learn more about whether your ads have been successful, and what times of day or days of the week seem to generate the most profitable leads. Running analytics often is key to figuring out what parts of your social media marketing definition are working and which parts need more work.
Getting the Most From LinkedIn Tools
LinkedIn has worked to expand the social media marketing definition for many law firms by making free tools available that help you share and present content to other businesses. Let's say you've just made a killer presentation with some amazing ideas about an aspect of law that might interest your clients. Using SlideShare can help you make that presentation visible to people far beyond your law firm.
The biggest key to effectively using these tools is keeping on top of new developments. If you're using something first, and using it well, you'll outperform your competition handily. Every tool you use is another weapon in your B2B social media marketing arsenal—and you'll need every one you can get to thrive in today's tough economic climate.