“We don’t use social media. We’re B2B. Social media isn’t for our industry.”
Have you said this? Have you heard someone else say it?
Sure, maybe it doesn’t seem like your industry has a place on Instagram. But maybe there’s another platform that works better. Or maybe there’s a way for you or your team to use some of the platforms another way.
At the end of the day, social media has changed the way we communicate, the way we spend our idle time, and the way we conduct commerce.
Humans - No matter your industry, the entity on the other side of your business transaction is a human.
Social platforms help you connect with your customers, increase awareness about your brand, and boost your leads and sales. With more than three billion people around the world using social media every month, it’s no passing trend.
So… why do you need to be on social media, no matter your industry? Let’s dive in!
Humans are Social
Social media is supposed to be social. It’s where we get to know people. Including people behind a brand.
Getting to know people (and brands) is the first step in the know-like-trust journey. People do business with people/businesses they get to know, like, and trust.
One way to show personality in your social media is to offer “culture posts” on your company pages. Impulse Creative did this on Instagram and Facebook, introducing the world to the humans behind the brand. You can get to know the humans of Impulse Creative through our posts, showing that we have a varied team.
Build your authority on social media through thought leadership-style posts. These can come from your sales team, your executive team, and even staff of all levels and departments. Securing your place as a thought leader in your audience’s mind increases the opportunity that they will name you when someone in their network asks for recommendations.
Maybe you have a legal department. Does anyone there speak at events on industry related topics? Share the news, and even their presentation!
Perhaps your marketing manager has their own podcast where they interview thought leaders, exploring storytelling from all kinds of angles. You could feature their show on your website and share episodes occasionally in social posts.
Sharing your thought leaders, along with resources in your industry on social media can help build your authority. It doesn’t have to be all original content - curation helps as you become the go-to-resource in your network.
Humans Need a Break
Be their break - entertainment, emotional connection. When you can show that human side and share fun or inspiring content, you endear people to your brand. Even when your brand is serious, you can share a coffee break with people connected to your company.
A great example of using social media to inspire and connect is a local non-profit I volunteer with, Domestic and Sexual Abuse Services. The subject matter is heavy, and doesn’t have a lot of room for “silly” and entertainment. But DASAS shares inspirational posts, helpful content, and shows some personality in its social media.
Another example of using social to give people a break is Michigan's travel department. The brand is Pure Michigan. And if you're on Facebook and in their target market, you'll enjoy the occasional break with their photos and videos. Sure, maybe you're not lucky enough to draw from natural beauty like a travel brand. But you can take inspiration from the fact that they aren't pushing the end product - hotel reservations and vacation plans. They're just showing off what they love!
Humans are Mobile
Social is mobile. How often do you pull out your phone to check Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat? We spend down time looking at social, connecting, zoning out, researching.. All on our phones.
If you’re not taking part in social media, you’re missing a naturally mobile experience where audiences hang out. Part of our goal as businesses is to be where our prospects are. That used to mean advertising and interrupting their TV, radio, or reading experience. Now, inbound marketing and social media helps us be there as part of the conversation rather than an interruption.
Humans Like Video
We love video (YouTube, Netflix, Facebook videos that make you cry - is that just me?). Video is huge on these platforms - it gets more attention so it spreads beyond your first circle. Putting your message into video format and using social media to connect with viewers can only help to increase your footprint in the media world.
You can refresh older content you’ve written by simply creating a video - talking head, interview style, animated - that tells the story in a new way.
In each of the previous points, video can actually play a part. Use video to connect - video is second only to face-to-face in its power to connect us. Use video to highlight thought leadership and help people research their problem. Interview different people in your organization about their expertise and how it helps your buyers. Use video to offer a break. Check out George’s blooper reel below!
As you can see, social media isn’t just a wasteland of “influencers” and game requests and political rantings. It’s really a place where people - those humans on the other side of your transaction - are spending their time.
While you don’t “have to” be on every platform, you would do well to test out your impact on each platform and how your audience interacts. You could use Instagram to show off your culture and your human side. You could use LinkedIn to connect with potential business partners, with prospects, and to highlight your thought leaders. And you could use Facebook to run ads to reach potential prospects with a helpful, human message.
If you’re not sure where to start, or you need help with your social media marketing, let us know what we can answer. Leave a comment below, or connect with us in social!