As we have discussed in previous posts, the key to success in B2B social media is the development and sharing of content that will appeal to your target market. When we work with new B2B clients, we always have an in-depth discussion about content and these critical questions:
1. What type of original content do you already have? Articles, videos, radio show, infographics, presentations, photos, testimonials, whitepapers
2. What type of content will appeal to your target market?
3. What type of original (developed by you) content will be developed on an ongoing basis?
4. Who will be developing the content? A staff member, the owner, a group of people, Mediavine Marketing?
5. What other content can be used to supplement your original content?
6. How often will the original content be developed?
7. Where will the content be placed initially? The website, YouTube, a trade publication?
8. Where will the content be shared? LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, social bookmarking sites, etc.
9. Will others be able to share the content as well? In other words, is your website set up to allow comments and sharing of your content?
Once we have established the who, what, when, where and why of content, we inevitably start discussing the details of developing content. Many B2B companies really struggle with this, and understandably so. Most of us will not acquire legions of raving fans who are waiting breathlessly for our next product or announcement.
So, what do we B2B companies share out there? How about thinking in terms of “edutainment”?
We’ve adapted the term “edutainment” from the educational world, but we think it applies well to social media. Edutainment is designed in order to keep people interested and engaged, and the goal is to provide some valuable knowledge to the target market by keeping them engaged with entertaining content. It doesn’t have to be hilarious and earth- shattering, but it does need to be interesting and/or useful enough to encourage further exploration of your digital profiles and even an email opt-in or phone call. Articles/blog posts should have targeted and interesting titles, and the articles themselves need to be written in a more conversational, less “whitepaper-ish” tone. Videos, rather than the “salesly”, long and over-produced showcases of yesterday, should be shorter, authentic and address a “pain point” or offer a way to solve a problem. Think about showing your prospective clients what their success would look like if they work with you. Help them visualize how they would achieve their goals with a short presentation or an infographic.
We have found from experience that edutainment may be the thing that keeps you in your prospects’ minds longer than anything else you have on your website. What do you think about the idea of using “edutainment” for B2B social media?
When you’re working on a blog for your small business, sometimes the toughest thing is not the actual writing of the post, but finding a valuable and helpful idea for the post. Twitter can be a great source to find that next content thread. Here are 3 quick tips:
1. Search on hashtags and look at the Top tweets
If you’re in the real estate business, for instance, use #realestate in the search box on top and you’ll see tweets with that hashtag. You have a choice to see “Top” tweets, “All” tweets or tweets “With Links”. According to Twitter, you can use the “Top” tweets to quickly find the updates that others are finding interesting, insightful, and helpful in real-time. These are tweets that lots of people are interacting with and sharing via retweets and replies. If you search through some of these Top tweets on some hashtag variations, you should start to see some interesting trends. And interesting trends can spark a brilliant topic!
2. Check which of your tweets are your followers’ Favorites
Whether you’re tweeting your own content or someone else’s, finding out which of your tweets have been marked as Favorites can be a good indication of the topics and titles that others find engaging. A site like favstar.fm keeps track of favorite tweets; just sign in with Twitter and go to the My Tweets link underneath your profile photo. Favstar.fm also allows you to look up other Twitter users and see which of their tweets have become favorites.
I appreciate seeing which of my messages get the Favorites star. Tweets with questions and top tips with links seem to become easy Favorites that people want to reference later.
3. Take a look at your tweets, retweeted
Twitter doesn’t make it immediately obvious which of your own tweets have been retweeted by others. You have to go to the Retweets section on your home page and select “Your Tweets, Retweeted” link to find out. Seeing which tweets have been shared out by your followers can give you good insight into the type of information people find interesting and useful.
By using some simple Twitter features, you can take the pulse of your followers and follow the thread of a topic that engages them. What are some other Twitter features you have used for inspiration?