6 B2B social media questions I could use your help answering

Image from hiscec.com.









I’ve been a part of two B2B social media bootcamps over the past couple of weeks. I feel like we have a solid approach to these sessions at FH even though our botcamps don’t involve any cammo gear or yelling at clients who don’t tweet fast enough :) . But I’m always looking for ways to improve our client education processes and I’ve got some questions on my mind. So I’m hoping you might have some perspective to share.

These social media sessions are designed to do what they sound like…show B2B clients how social media might help them achieve their communications goals and objectives. My approach to these trainings recently has been that B2B companies have relied on relationships for years and that social media can help them exercise those same behaviors online. We go into specifics, tactics, case studies and measurement. But the overarching angle is social media can likely be one piece of the puzzle that helps a brand achieve its business/communications objectives and that starts with relationships.

So enough POV banter. Here are the questions that are on my mind coming out of our two recent B2B bootcamps. Drop some knowledge on me if  you have the time:

  1. What’s the best way to help B2Bers see the similarities between offline and online relationship building?
    • I still believe the offline relationship-building behavior many B2B pros employ can be transitioned to the online space to make new connections, generate sales leads and share thought leadership.
    • What I’m questioning is how easy this transition is. In theory, it sounds easy. But I think learning the technology may be a bigger hindrance than I originally thought. Not that people can’t do it, but just that it takes more time than I was accounting for. What do you think?
  2. How do you propose tracking results and showing ROI?
    • Not a big fan of trying to show ROI at first. I usually consider that a long-term goal. Usually I work to show how social media can help ladder back up to biz and communications objectives first.
    • My question here is the best way to show these results. A scorecard? An Excel sheet. A PowerPoint? And how to best get buy in on results. My colleague Lauren Fernandez has suggested small measurable objectives at first with consistent re-evaluation and I like that premise. But what do you prefer?
  3. What’s the best balance for presentation vs working session?
    • In the past, I’ve focused solely on presentation during the actual bootcamp session. We often give clients “homework” beforehand (e.g. setting up a LinkedIn profile, reading research) and follow-up tasks to perform.
    • Do you ever break out the laptops and go through a series of tasks like setting up profile and sharing industry-specific content in these types of sessions? I like the concept of a working session, but think sometimes it is harder to pull off when time is limited.
  4. What are the best B2B case studies to share in these bootcamp sessions?
    • Some of my favorites are:
      • Kinaxis (driving website traffic and leads via LinkedIn)
      • Hinda Incentives (Targeting through Twitter versus going for mass followers)
      • Blendtec (Content marketing — “Will it Blend?” videos people want to share)
    • What B2B social media case studies are you sharing and why?
  5. Do you have go-to B2B social media research that you share often?
    • I definitely do. My favorite stuff is from eMarketer. Talks about:
      • B2B increasing marketing spend on social media
      • Why B2B uses social (thought leadership, leads, customer feedback are tops)
      • What social platforms B2Bs employ (LinkedIn and Twitter are tops)
    • Also like the Social Media B2B blog and #b2bchat on Twitter. Always looking to add to the research bank. What would you recommend?
  6. How do you keep the momentum going?
    • Currently, at FHKC, we are starting to follow up within a week and share a playbook that includes the bootcamp deck we presented as well as training materials, company social media policy and response protocol, and engagement guidelines.
    • But what else could we be doing? More frequent touchpoints? Offer to help manage the social media accounts at first? There’s nothing worse than building a bunch of momentum and excitement and then work and other stuff happens and that interest subsides. How do we keep it rocking?

So that’s what’s on my mind. I’d love any insights you have based on your B2B experience. Some of these questions apply outside of B2B, but I feel like B2B still has more to prove and needs more of a nudge when it comes to social media because of the stereotypes that social is a B2C tactic.

I’ll leave you with a great quote I had sent my way recently from @SethGray when I crowdsourced my Twitter friends about how to approach B2B brands and social media:

“B2B customers are people, not faceless corporate machines. Treat them as such.”


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