Social Media – Supporting your B2B brand

As “social media” shapes the internet over the coming years, businesses and employees alike cannot ignore the amplification that it will provide to traditional word of mouth, marketing and sales.

As a hub, corporate social media accounts in sites like Twitter, FaceBook, YouTube and LinkedIn will do their best to promote the latest thoughts, products and services from a company.  But its hard for B2Bs and large companies to get personal with clients in these mediums, whilst maintaining that professionalism, and stream of thought pieces. Sure, a dedicated person, who knows EVERYTHING about the company could be Chief Social Officer, but how many companies can dedicate a VP / senior person to do this?

What about decentralising the duties

I think if a corporate web presence is about getting thoughts out into the marketplace, then employees needs to be rallying around their brand, using their web presence to support it.

Retweet that corporate post. Sharing links. “Like”ing that article. And what about creating their own content?

Building your online personal brand

I think everyone in business should be looking to create a web presence that supports their claims to being “the best at”. If you claim to be a thought leader, why not share your thoughts. Social Media sites and networking tools make it all too simple these days to have your own web presence.  That’s sharing what you made for the company, your ideas, linking to things you’ve accomplished. Creating an online profile of support.

As a web marketer, I want to give indexed credibility to my consulting. Get recommendations from friends, acknowledgement that I know something about what I do, create a name for myself.
Online, that’s about featuring in search results for my name, people linking to my articles, sharing my thoughts, retweeting or quoting. 

If you’re an associate / employee in a B2B company here’s a start to your web presence.

Basic

LinkedIn Here’s the Facts:

  • LinkedIn has over 85 million members in over 200 countries.
  • A new member joins LinkedIn approximately every second, and about half of our members are outside the U.S.
  • Executives from all Fortune 500 companies are LinkedIn members.

If you’re not there with a profile, highlighting what you’ve accomplished, its like your office number being unlisted.

  • Create a good profile, explore the linking possibilities and ask for recommendations. Connect, and logically think about building a quality network.
  • Answer questions and engage in groups. But use common sense – the new web wont tolerate a hard sell, so offer advice or a link to your thoughts.  
  • Try to grab your name as a vanity URL.

Note: Using that same alias in twitter, blogs and any other social media sites, will amplify your chances of being found.

 

Phillip Jenkins from one of the biggest financial services recruitment company in the UK has a great guide to expanding you LinkedIn presence.

@PhillipJenkins 10 Ways to build a better Profile on #linkedin http://bit.ly/hXawAO

 

Intermediate

Link a blog into your Linked In profile. There are thousands of free blogging platforms: Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr, Posterous and all are surprisingly simple to get started with.  
My preferred are Posterous and WordPress. And I know, I need to explore the design of my sites, but they connect well.

Link a twitter account to your Linked In profile. Share ideas this way as well.

You’ve now created a space to express your opinions. Remember the corporate guidelines about sharing client data or things you’re working on that aren’t public. But if the corporate website just published your thoughts, tell people about it.

And remember:

What Happens in Vegas – Stays Online!

Advanced notes will come soon I hope.

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