Banking. Energy. Insurance. Technology. Brand messages from these industries can easily come across as complicated. Add the 280 character limit and they get into the difficult-to-understand territory.
Speaking as someone who works at a Software as a Service (SaaS) provider, I know it’s not the easiest thing to create buzz around your product on social media. The task of bringing in engagement through social media can often be daunting given the policies and procedures of most regulated companies.
Having said that, not including social media as a marketing strategy for your business is simply not an option. Or at the very least, it’s not an option you want to take on the road ahead. Here’s why:
Nearly 2/3rds of all people get their news updates from social media platforms. So, if you want to stay present and relevant in the minds of your audience, you need a communication strategy that gets your audience to sit up and take notice.
As obvious as the differences between the B2B and B2C company marketing strategies are, one thing remains constant in both types.
Your employees are your business’s greatest asset.
Being your most valuable resources, employees are potentially also your largest active source of brand advocates. In fact, 50% of your employees are already talking about the brand on social media. Think about that for a moment.
They work for the company and probably know more about it than most people. One of the clearest indicators that make them the obvious choice as brand ambassadors? They don’t have an ulterior motive and aren’t going to come looking for a payout. That’s the closest you’re going to get to genuine brand advocates.
Employee Advocacy: Everyone’s got something to gain
Employee Advocacy is the promotion of a company brand by its employees through their personal social media networks or word-of-mouth.
Several studies have shown that:
- The more content employees share about their organizations, the more connected they feel to their company’s values, mission, and vision.
- It builds the feeling of empowerment, engagement, and belonging.
- Consumers, even in the B2B realm, are more inclined towards brands with a strong and compelling social media presence.
- Strategic business conversations and partnerships can take root on social media platforms.
Why employee advocacy?
While a structured and well-planned employee advocacy program takes time and effort, it compensates well with increased social reach and awareness, improved web traffic, and better quality leads. These benefits go beyond just the marketing and sales departments, with even HR seeing results with a more engaged workforce.
Given that by 2025, a solid 75% of the entire workforce is going to be that of socially savvy millennials, you have an army of untapped advocates just waiting for you to empower them.
Here are 3 ways your employees can help you create the much-needed buzz your B2B brand needs on social media:
1. Get Reviewed
Your employees know your brand, product, or service better than anyone else. In fact, leads generated through employee advocates convert 7x more frequently than other leads. Moreover, once they’ve converted, those referred by advocates have a 37% higher retention rate than others.
In the same way, someone looking to join an organization will ask around with those who work there about the work culture, those prospecting your company will pay attention when your employees talk about your brand. Why? Because they’re the ones who know it best.
Getting your employees to write out reviews of a product, or sharing their opinions on a service can be the game-changer you’re looking for.
2. Spread the word Socially
A lot of B2B brands (incorrectly) believe that they don’t really need to focus on spreading the word on social media, simply because their audience isn’t there.
They couldn’t be more wrong.
A study proved that 60% of professionals use social media – LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter – for business, so regardless of whether you’re catering to businesses or consumers, you definitely have an audience to reach.
When employees share content as social media advocates, they’re reaching their own networks, including existing and ex-colleagues, bosses, and POC’s.
Considering that a relationship already exists, you create an impact that registers far more than any blind email blast can.
3. Empower Employees with a Voice
In a B2C company, especially one that runs on e-commerce, there’s little to no interaction between employees and consumers. But a B2B company runs on 6 month long deals and several conversations with the sales teams. This is why employee advocacy thrives in B2B companies.
By giving your employees a voice on social forums like Quora and Reddit, you’re encouraging positive opinions about your brand, straight from the experts. Given that a recent survey confirmed that 82% of consumers check out a product’s reviews before deciding on a purchase, 60% check out reviews every week, and a whopping 92% let these reviews affect their purchase decisions, it’s safe to say that a positive view of your brand in digital forums will only do your brand good.
B2B content doesn’t have to be boring and jargony. As long as you focus on the right kind of content and make sure it’s distributed by the right influencers and social media advocates, you’ll soon have some positively good chatter about your brand on social media.