Earlier this year, I had the privilege of attending Marketing United, a two-day conference hosted by Emma. The event boasted presentations from renowned marketing professionals like Jay Baer, Scott Stratten and Ann Handley, a virtual reality room and attendees from across the globe. After two full days of back-to-back sessions on everything from email marketing to SEO to webinars, I left with a deeper understanding of the digital marketing landscape, several new friends and a really soft “I ” t-shirt.
One of my favorite sessions was “Slaying it on Social – 9 Brands with Style, Substance and Strategies to Emulate,” presented by Sprout Social’s Vice President Andrew Caravella. And I’ve tweaked his ideas some to work in a business-to-business (B2B) space. Now your company can use these strategies to slay on social:
1. Own your aesthetic.
Whether Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc. — pick a look and stick with it. Think of your profile as a whole, rather than individual pieces of content, and ensure that all of the photos and videos on your site are cohesive. This can be achieved through using a consistent photographer, photography style, filter or even simple editing techniques. For example, Copyblogger.com does a great job of editing stock photos to achieve a cohesive look.
2. Master the art of education.
Rather than trying to sell your company on social media, embrace the ability to educate others about what you do by creating helpful pieces of content. The more educated your audience is, the more willing they’ll be to try your product or service – it’s as simple as that. It also doesn’t hurt that offering sound educational advice in your industry positions your company as a trusted industry leader. This kind of teaching can be done through original videos, white papers, case studies or blogs – and the content can range from tips for beginners to insight on more advanced topics. GE is known for its awesome social media accounts, which educate both businesses and the public on its products without being “sales-y.”
3. Enlist star power.
Celebrity endorsements are expensive, so obviously, that isn’t an option for everyone. What you can do, though, is increase your CEO’s star power through the use of social media. Feature her in videos, blogs or photos around the office. Another fun idea: Let her take over your company’s Twitter to live tweet an industry conversation (with supervision, of course). Check out the below graph from TalkWalker.com to get an idea of CEO star power. It shows the average mentions that each of the most talked about celebrity CEOs received in a month’s time (Sept. 21 – Oct. 21, 2014).
You can also enlist the help of local celebrities, politicians, brand influencers or advocates to boost your social media power. If you have a connection, use it!
4. Use your team.
Do you have a quirky account manager that can provide industry tips and tricks? Or an IT guy with great advice for clients and an awesome sense of humor? Encourage him to make a company-affiliated social media account to add a human quality to your company’s online presence. If your company is national, this can be a good way to localize social media for different markets. SoulCycle, a cycling studio with locations across the US, encourages their instructors to make accounts, sharing personal photos from classes, class schedules and motivational graphics.
Above all, your company’s social media should be authentic. Know your brand’s identity and mission before ever logging into a social media platform, and ensure that it shines through in each and every post.