You need volume to reach critical mass. But you also want to ensure that the time you spend on social media is spent with the right people, so quality of connections is crucial. Here are some tips to build both the quality and quantity of your social media community.
You’ll want to get to 25 ‘likes’ of your company Facebook page as soon as possible so that you can give your page a vanity url and see statistics on how much visibility your posts have received. These metrics are not available to you if you have less than 25 Likes.
Here are five ways to increase your Likes on Facebook:
- Post regularly. Don’t let your account gather dust by going weeks and months without an update.
- Include Facebook button/information (as well as other Social Media accounts) in your company email signatures.
- Include Facebook buttons on your website Home page
- Include Facebook buttons at the conclusion of blog articles
- Pay for Facebook ads promoting Likes for you page if you have to
Twitter don’t follow the recommendations that Twitter provides when you are setting up your account, but rather follow people that are important to your B2B market.
When I help my clients set up their Twitter accounts, I will search Twitter for customers, prospects, referral partners, from within their market to follow. This helps to keep the Tweet stream relevant and free of celebrity tweets.
The first important threshold is obtaining 100 followers on Twitter. The magic really begins to happen when you reach 1000 followers – you’ll begin to see more ReTweets and conversations will happen more frequently.
It takes time to build a robust Twitter following, but if your followers match your market, even a small number of followers will provide a dynamic community.
- Tweet on a regular basis. Again, don’t set up the account just to let it go dormant. And make sure your profile includes a photo or logo image – defaulting to the Twitter “egg” will prevent people from following you.
- ReTweet the valuable information shared by your followers. No one joins Twitter to be ignored. Everyone gets excited when they see one of their tweets retweeted – you’ll be noticed by your network by demonstrating that you notice them.
- Spend a little bit of time on Twitter every day so that you can respond in a timely manner if people reach out to you or comment on your tweets.
- Use hash tags to highlight subject matter of interest or the audience that will find your tweet interesting, for example the tweet might read “Almost 60% of #Nonprofits dissatisfied with their #fundraising software [link to article}” the hash tags on ‘nonprofits’ and ‘fundraising’ will ensure your tweet is seen by people searching Twitter on those keywords.
- Publicize the fact that you are on Twitter by including Twitter follow buttons on your company email signatures, website Home page, and blog articles.
LinkedIn is so very crucial for B2B. The etiquette is more reserved and formal than Facebook and Twitter, but it’s important to be present there. I like to update at least once a week with the best of the information I have to share.
Also, I have a routine of sending an invitation to connect almost immediately after I’ve spoke with a new business contact – people that I meet at conferences, phone inquiries, vendors, service providers, email introductions. By doing that simple exercise, my LinkedIn community is now up to 879 connections through whom are secondary connections to 13,470, 788 other professionals. That’s staggering.
A powerful use of LinkedIn is discovering who in your network could potentially make an important introduction for you. Let’s say you’ve heard someone speak at a conference or you’ve identified a company that you’d like to do business with – you can search an individual or company name and LinkedIn will show you if someone in your network is connected to that individual.
So let’s say I want an introduction to Katherine Short. I searched her name on LinkedIn, which brings up her profile, and to the right there will be a diagram on how I am connected. One of my connections, Ben Westerberg, is connected to Katherine. I can now ask Ben if he would introduce me to Katherine. The idea being that if Ben makes the introduction, Katherine is more likely to take my phone or be on the lookout for my email.
In summary, these are very basic beginner tips – but I find they are often overlooked. Take some time today or over the weekend to review these three “must have” social networks for your B2B – use the tips above as a check list. The more you participate, the better your results will be and you’ll be positioning your B2B to get better exposure and awareness on these powerful platforms.