We all know how to use Facebook and Twitter, but it’s Cendrine Marrouat’s theory that in even in 2016, our level of understanding is limiting social media’s potential in B2B.
“The majority of small business owners and solopreneurs in the B2B and B2C spaces still don’t understand that a solid social media strategy starts with an audience,” said Marrouat. “Ask them about their ideal customers and they may be unable to answer.”
There weren’t many places that business owners could go to learn about social media, so Marrouat wrote The Little Big eBook on Social Media Audiences: Build Yours, Keep it, and Win.
“I just wanted to go back to the basics,” said Marrouat, who also reports for B2B News Network. She originally wrote the book with B2C professionals in mind, but realized that the B2B space also needed a refresher course. The end result, published in 2014, benefits entrepreneurs and small business owners in both B2B and B2C.
Social media can be confusing for the uninitiated, Marrouat said.
“It is a vast realm,” she said. “There are so many platforms out there. A big challenge is to understand where your audience likes hanging out and which KPIs to measure to ensure the best ROI.”
According to Marrouat, several things hold businesses back from achieving social media success. These include a lack of strategy, high expectations, the lack of resources (both time and money), not giving the communities enough time to develop a following, and a fear of getting out of one’s comfort zone.
The good news is that social media success is within the reach of anyone who is willing to make it work – even those without a huge budget.
When choosing which social media platforms to use, Marrouat suggests getting familiar with one platform at a time and adding more to the mix as you become proficient. She also recommends looking at what your competitors use in terms of websites, blogs, and social media accounts. Without focusing on the sizes of those companies, pay attention to how active their communities are and how they engage with content. This information will allow business owners to understand where most of their potential and current customers spend their time online, Marrouat said. Once that information is established, business owners can direct their resources to growing a following in that area.
Generally speaking, LinkedIn is where B2B firms are likely to get the largest number of followers, said Marrouat, but at the end of the day, everything depends on the audience.
“If you have built an engaged community around your products and services, the best platforms will be where your advocates are,” she said.
To win a digital copy of The Little Big eBook on Social Media Audiences, follow us on Twitter @B2BNewsNetwork and like and share the post on Cendrine Marrouat’s book. Contest closes on Saturday, May 14, 2016 at 11:59 PM ET.
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