Your B2B company decided it’s time to engage in social media to build relationships with your clients, prospects and industry participants. But, you don’t have the in-house expertise and resources to tackle this multi-faceted, time-consuming form of marketing.

Important things to look for when outsourcing to a B2B social media partner:

1. B2B marketing expertise.

Because B2B communications is a unique specialization, the people handling your B2B social media must be able to connect to your market, convey your understanding of the challenges your customers face and promote the solutions you deliver to enhance their operations.

2. An understanding of your industry’s social life.

It’s important to know your market in relation to social media. Where does your audience spend time online and when? Understanding your industry’s activity will let your company create meaningful dialogue in the right space and at the right times.

3. Knowledge of your brand.

Make sure that your social media partner has a complete understanding of your products, services and brand. Ask for examples of how they will keep your brand at the front of your market’s mind.

4. Ability to keep the conversation moving.

Social media is an ongoing interaction. You need someone who can create and engage in conversation in your market. They must be available to respond to messages quickly and keep your social media efforts flowing by posting regularly and sharing useful information.

5. Collaboration and planning skills.

Outsourcing doesn’t mean hands off. It’s important to work together to develop a strategic plan, identify goals, create tactics, select the right tools and platforms and establish a timeline. You’ll want to discuss potential topics, specific messaging and ideal targets with your partner before they start posting.

6. An eye for analytics.

Be sure to have your social media provider evaluate your efforts with useful metrics, so you can determine what works best for your industry. Based on your social media marketing goals, together determine the best way to measure ROI—link clicks, visits to your site, downloads, new product orders, requests for more information, etc.

Check out this blog post to learn more about B2B Social Media Best Practices for Marketing Success.

Have something to add? Please leave a comment or connect with us on Twitter @Schubert_b2b.

Marketing metrics your boss actually cares about

Lisa Goetz991_goetzphoto is a public relations executive at Schubert b2b, where she primarily writes content and manages media relations. She brings 20 years of editorial and communications experience to Schubert b2b and holds a PhD in English literature from Duquesne University. When not in the office, Lisa likes to take excursions with her husband and hang out with her cat and a good book.