According to the latest research from the Content Marketing Institute, few B2B marketers use Tumblr, Instagram, or StumbleUpon as part of their social media marketing campaigns. Does that mean you should avoid them too? After all, many marketers and organizational leaders follow the 80/20 rule; put the lion’s share of your resources into the areas delivering the greatest return.
That’s solid strategy. For example, when focusing on your accounts, greater attention paid to key accounts is more likely to reward you with a new stream of orders. It’s not always the best strategy though. You can miss potentially attractive opportunities if you’re not careful.
That same caution can apply to social media marketing as well. Although B2B marketers focus on the “Big 3”, Facebook,LinkedIn, and Twitter, the smaller networks can deliver significant opportunities. How can you tell?
Simple; dig! Look at the primary criteria that makes a difference when determining your social media strategy, your audience. Know them well, your success depends on it.
When it comes to social media, where are they? What content really engages them, and how do they share it? What kind of content do they like to interact with? How can you most effectively engage them?
Instant Social Media Marketing Success?
You may do better focusing on LinkedIn and Twitter. On the other hand, there may be a gold mine lurking just under the Instagram surface. As a social media marketer, it’s up to you to discover. Although many B2B marketers eschew Instagram, someone is using it, as the network has over 100 million users; a drop in Facebook’s bucket, but a consequential number, to be sure.
Are your customers or prospects among them? Perhaps. If so, here are some tips to brand build and and drive sales with Instagram. No matter your strategy though, make sure you follow the age old marketing axiom – Keep it about your customer!
1 – Plug Instagram into your editorial calendar. Much as with any other content, regularly releasing branded content on Instagram builds brand awareness and engagement.
2 – Release only high quality content. Straight from the broken record department to be sure, but high quality content gets shared and builds buzz around your brand. Mediocre or poor content may be worse than none at all. Do you want your brand associated with mediocrity?
3 – ###### – You should be well used to this from Twitter, but use appropriate hash tags to help users find your content when searching. Use them when referring to your brand and brand attributes you’re seeking, in addition to keywords you want to be found for.
4 – Engage. Sure, this made the Enterprise kick butt across the galaxy, and it will have the same effect on brand equity for you. Positively engaging customers and prospects bonds them to your brand emotionally and intellectually. Make it timely and regular; strike while the iron (and their emotion) is hot.
5 – Give them a peek behind the curtain. Nothing invests people like feeling part of something , knowing how things work, an who’s behind everything. Use Instagram to take them “behind the curtain” and see how your organization works from an insider’s perspective. They’ll love you for it.
Trip and Fall Through Social Media….
StumbleUpon is another potential relationship and traffic builder. I’ve used to almost since its inception, and it can be a real driver. Quality counts here, too. A little known secret to success with StumbleUpon is user groups. No, this isn’t an official function, and it needs to be used with care, lest the StumbleUpon powers that be frown upon you from above.
What’s a StumbleUpon group, as it sounds, it is a group of individuals that promote each others’ content on the network. Be judicious and use it sparingly, on only your most important posts and pages. Another word of caution. Don’t stumble self-promotional crap. You don’t want your brand associated with it, and it’s no way to build a rabid following (always the goal).
On little known aspect of StumbleUpon is that there are ads available. Unlike other social networks, the ads aren’t overt, they are “pay for Stumble”. With StumbleUpon, users are taken to a new page that the network’s algorithm thinks they’d like when they hit the “stumble” button. The more likes a page gets from users, the more likely it is to be called when the stumble button is hit.
The ads allow advertisers to insert their pages so they are displayed when a user hits stumble. The combination of ads and organic stumbles can be powerful indeed. As users can give a thumbs up to any page they land on, using pay for placement is a great way to jump start a SU social campaign. Always remember though, quality rules the day here.
What About You?
Analyze your audience. Do they frequent some of the smaller networks? If so, you should be there too. If not, stick to the big boys, because effective social media marketing takes commitment and consistency. Many smaller organizations simply don’t have the resources to spread their social media marketing across more than a few platforms and ensure its effectiveness.
Social media marketing is a veritable minefield. Stay on the right track, and steer clear of common social media gaffes so many marketers fall prey to. See my post on Social Media Marketing Mistakes to Avoid in 2013 for the lowdown.
Have you used any of the smaller social media platforms effectively in your marketing?
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