B2B Fallacies of Social Media

I was talking to a close friend about his social media problems. He could not understand why his Followers and Likes were not growing fast on his LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram sites. Then he would complain about his company being on the third page of a Google search. Now Tom’s company is a B2B business in the HVAC vertical selling to contractors. He complained about the money he was spending without getting enough leads to cover his costs.

The Fallacy

Tom had a fallacy of just jumping on social media would instantly grow his business and pay for itself right away. And why wouldn’t he have this fallacy, we hear about how companies get rich fast with just doing internet marketing.

I asked Tom what type of content he was publishing and what were his goals for his social media. He looked at me like I had three heads with that question. This is a common problem with small B2B business owners, jumping into social media without a real plan and not understanding the investment needed to grow their social media presence.

Understanding the customer journey in B2B is an essential step in developing and managing expectations of how social media will work. The important part to remember is B2B business is repetitive, with exception of staple items most consumer sales are either onetime or have a long buying cycle. So social media is a prime breeding ground for B2B business cultivation.

With business being repetitive it is important to have “Top of Mind Awareness” or TOMA with your current or potential customers. Social media lends itself to creating TOMA and will lead to sales growth. It is important to keep the content relevant to your customer base and offer important information. Marketers need to understand having daily content might not be to their advantage but developing a calendar when there will be planned posts. Posting content daily or sending out emails everyday has the high potential of turning off both prospective and current customers because most people don’t like to be bombarded with information.

365 Day Calendar Approach

With my customers I encourage developing a 365-day calendar where topics are planned out. With planning, companies will grow their Followers, Likes, and most importantly Shares. These topics should align with major company initiatives. These initiatives might be around a new piece of equipment coming online in the factory or expansion of a product line or new services.

The 365-day calendar is painted with broad strokes knowing things can change in the future, but the calendar should become very focus for the next 90-day horizon. This 90-day calendar should have very specific items and content planned. This is where the content is finalized with checking for errors in spelling, grammar, and graphics. Having errors in posted content is where companies loose creditability with their customers.

I have found doing some ad-hoc posts have given me the largest spike in followers, likes and shares. Ad-hoc posts should be more “slice of life” for the business. I have had posts showing how beautiful a snow fall is at the corporate headquarters, and others reflecting on a community loss. Generally, these posts are not product or service specific to the company but are designed to evoke emotion and show a more “human side” of the company. Sharing a post from another company in the same industry could also be beneficial in gaining followers.

The other part of the question to Tom was asking about his goals. Just like sales goals, having social media goals is important. It is important doing some reconnaissance on your competition. Understanding how many Followers, Likes and Shares they have in their social media will give you a guidepost on what to expect with your social media. I track my competitors to understand how they were doing in relationship to my posts. There is software that can do this, but it will cost money. In fact, everything costs money in social media, and it takes time to build a following. It is growing the number of followers that will build your sales. The more followers you have and the more of your content your followers share the higher in Google search pages your company will rank. This is the first step in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), but I will talk more about how SEO works in another “Market Wizardry Blog”.

The last thing I asked Tom was what where the Keywords he was using to drive the search engines to is website. Again, I saw that look of confusion from him. Tom had no idea what Keywords were being used or how to use them. Keywords are the words or phrases used to match ads with the terms people type into their web searches. If you are in the HVAC business like Tom your keywords might be HVAC, heating, cooling, air conditioning, ventilation systems, air conditioning repair, heating repair, furnace systems, furnace repair, home comfort system, you get the idea. Every industry has their keywords, and it is important to know them. These keywords could be more than 100, luckily if you do a web search you should be able to find most of them. On your own, you might come up with 12 to 15 keywords.

It Takes More Than Keywords

Keywords alone will not drive buyers to your website. Remember the “Phrase” part of the definition of keywords? It is these key phrases that the Google algorithms lock onto and are presented to the searcher. Google figured if a searcher puts in a phrase, like AC repair, they must have an intent to purchase. So, Google will show websites with the phrase AC repair to the searcher. Google will rank them in order of relevance to the searcher. These key words also need to be used in Tom’s social media posts along with his website.

In internet marketing it is all about content, content and content. But as a coach once told me about practicing basketball, “Practice does not make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect.” Content needs to be relevant to your customers searching the web and relevant to what your company does. One thing I have not talked about are the other factors that can help or hurt your website, like bounce rate, time on page, organic search and other analytics Google reviews every minute to see if your site is relevant. I will talk more about these analytics in another “Market Wizardry Blog” since analytics can be another deep discussion. Good luck for now!

What we do

About us

Marc Heffner is the founding partner of DSO Marketing Xcelerator TM and is a Fractional CMO in the DSO vertical.  Through developing strong marketing teams and introducing new technology platforms needed to achieve ambitious goals, Marc creates growth opportunities for private equity firms working in the healthcare space and self-funded growing practices willing to invest in their future. 

  • 25+ Years of Experience
  • Over $1 Billion in Revenue
  • Fortune 500 Experience