Content Discovery Smackdown: Hootsuite vs. Buffer vs. KloutContent Marketing Minds: Ingredients of the Tastiest Content [Nutrition Label]From the Corn Field to the Digital Era: Content Marketing Starts with TrustContent Marketing: Is 2014 Really Shaping Up to Be the Year of Video?
Your Customers Aren’t Listening! How to Create Consumer Dialogue that Converts4 Tools for Nonprofit Social Listening and Reputation ManagementThe Promising Role of Social Listening in Treating Health IssuesThe Importance of Social Listening for Brands
- Public Relations
Facebook Testing a Way for Users to Buy Products on the Platform7 Website Tips to Attract More Shoppers to Your PagesHow eCommerce, Augmented and Virtual Reality Will Redefine the Retail ExperienceSearch Query Analysis to Increase eCommerce Website Conversions
- Content Marketing
Technology & Data
Social Startups: Bizible Connects All the Dots from Marketing Contributions to RevenueCreating the Perfect Profile for Your Social Media Marketing EffortUsing GPS and Localization for Social AnalyticsAnalytics and Prospect Intel: Discovering Your Ideal Prospect
- Big Data
- Tech & Innovation
3 Security Risks You’re Taking Every Day While Using Social MediaShould the President Have the Power to "Pull the Plug" on the Internet?How Safe is Your WordPress Website From Hackers and Other Malicious Attacks?
- Software & Tools
- Small Business
- Social Organization
Celebrating the Grand Re-Launch of Social Media Today! SBH Podcast Episode 8Why Should You Care If Your Employees Are Thought Leaders?Beyond Engagement: The Art of Managing Social-Media Risk in Employee Advocacy
Why All-in-One Social Media Management Systems Don't Cut It for Social Customer ServiceWhat You Should Know About Customer, Digital, and Contextual ExperienceSurging into Q3: How to Make It Better Than Q2Is How You Serve Your Customers Costing You Business?
Join us September 15th in Atlanta for The Employee Advocacy Summit and learn how to unleash the power of your employees.
Post your event here and we'll share it with our community. If one of our members is featured, we'll promote as well on their profile.
- Marketplace & Webinars
The SMT Marketplace
Your resource for exclusive content and insights from Social Media Today, and opportunities to reach our community of professionals.
The Social Business Book Club brings you books, discussions, and insights from today's to business thought leaders.
Join interactive talks and and panel discussions with leading thinkers and practitioners on social media and networked business, or browse the catalogue of recorded sessions - all completely free.
Reach Social Media Today's community of marketing and communications professionals in an editor-approved context with a native advertising package.
B2B Social Media Marketing: When to Risk Promoting the Competition
Posted on March 27th 2013
It would be wonderful if all we had to do to sell our products was tell our customers how incredibly great they are.
"This is the top-rated widget of its kind," we'd say, showing them results of competitive rankings. "None of the other widgets can match this one for performance."
But, as you know, the decision maker's response is often, "Oh, well, we aren't really using widgets these days." Or, "Our plants are still using gadgets, and we aren't ready to make the jump to widgets yet."
That's when you have to back up. Stop marketing your widget and start promoting the category of widgets in general. Give the customer a complete education in why widgets are the best investment they can make.
Using social media to educate the customer
Social media tools are ideal for doing broad marketing of a product category. That's because people are always looking for valuable information to share or re-tweet.
Sure, by writing about the latest research on cloud servers, or blood pressure monitors, or web hosting software, you risk sending a buyer to a competitor in your field. But if your company's name is the one attached to the blog post or tweet, whose website do you think they are going to visit first? Which company will be remembered as an authority on the field?
Successful product-category promotion
Here are a few tips for minimizing the risks and maximizing the gains of social media marketing for a product category:
- Focus on a favorable feature. When citing research or news about your category, make sure it focuses on the right feature or benefit. If you sell a high-end medical diagnostic device with all the bells and whistles, you'd want to write about how diagnostic devices with a particular new feature are saving lives. On the other hand, if your product is aimed at the lower end of the market, you'd want to focus on news about how medical offices are economizing on equipment.
- Choose your words carefully. For blog posts, use keyword phrases that are associated with your company. Avoid using keyword phrases that lead to a competitor. If you don't already have information on which phrases are which, ask an SEO analyst, or do some searching on Google.
- Use hashtags. On Twitter, look to see what existing hashtags are appropriate for your tweet. This can vastly expand your audience. Or create a hashtag for your product category and associate that with your expertise. Use hashtags regularly — they will lead searchers interested in the topic directly to your tweets.
- Drop names. Cite experts in your field. People searching for their recommendations in a social media channel will find your company, as well.
- Manage the conversations you start! This is an important part of all B2B social media marketing, but even more critical when you are taking the risk of promoting the category (and the competition). Follow your information as it is shared. Contact sharers, "like" and follow them, and make sure that someone in your organization is evaluating them as prospective customers or brand advocates.