In order to do social listening effectively, and to support a B2B marketing program, it must be addressing a specific problem or seeking specific information. There’s far too much noise on social media to “just listen” and hope for some insights. B2B marketers need to know exactly what they’re listening for.
This can be achieved with a hyper-focused listening strategy. Hyper-focused social listening breaks through all of the excess noise on social media. You only monitor what is most valuable to your brand and relevant to currently defined goals. There are many marketing challenges that social listening can help address. Here are two examples of common B2B pain points and how a hyper-focused social listening strategy can help:
Pain point #1: We need more leads
Solution: Focus on listening to prospects and potential prospects. Define prospects and potential prospects by job title, company, seniority, and location. Find these individuals by browsing through the followers of relevant media outlets, competitors, influencers, etc.
Use Twitter to create a list of these people. Then monitor for relevant questions, issues and needs that your company can help with. These mentions may not be frequent, but each interaction will have value.
By using social listening tools offered by companies like HubSpot, Synthesio, and Pulsar, you can further refine your search by keyword. That way, only posts about a specific relevant topic will appear. (Ex: To look for web development leads, we can listen to our list of Marketing VPs for tweets containing the phrase “website.”)
You can also monitor what type of content these people are posting, sharing and commenting on. By sharing similar content, you should be able to catch their attention and influence them. Once you have their attention, the most effective way to convert them into a lead is through an inbound marketing approach using content with landing pages and calls to action (CTAs).
Pain Point #2: Our brand needs to increase awareness among a certain audience
Solution: One of the ongoing challenges in B2B marketing is expanding a customer base and reaching out to new audiences. This need can be sparked when you launch a new product, open a new facility or discover a new audience for your products or services. Often, this is a specific industry group like “oil and gas training consultants” or “coatings chemists in Brazil.”
The best strategy here is to monitor that specific group of people for their social engagement habits. Learn what type of content that audience responds to, what hashtags they use, and what online sources they utilize to gather info. Then, you can begin to share similar content to gain their attention.
To get in front of these audiences, it’s important to use the same hashtags they do and post on the pages they frequently visit (like LinkedIn groups and Facebook pages). It’s also important to share content that is both educational and entertaining. Videos, infographics, and other types of visual media are great to grab prospects’ attention while still conveying your brand’s message.
The content you share shouldn’t focus on specific products and services that your company offers. Instead, you should aim to highlight a common problem your audience faces and how your company offers a solution. Remind this audience that they can follow you on various social networks if they want to stay updated. This may take time, but you will begin to build an organic following of legitimate prospects.
All marketing tactics should be thought of as part of a larger whole, rather than separate pieces. By strategically integrating all tactics, the programs become more effective and cost efficient. An Integrated marketing communication plan helps you meet real business objectives – generate leads, grow revenues, gain market share, and become the leading brand.