Without a doubt, B2B social media takes a lot of work and thoughtfulness, but with the right team and processes in place, it does pay off. Here are a few best practices to keep in mind.

Listen. The best conversationalists are the best listeners. Create keyword streams, build Twitter lists, and follow relevant industry hashtags to monitor the conversation. Tap communities where your customers are present. Look out for dialog that helps you understand your customers’ interests, goals, and pain points.

Follow the ABCs: Always Be Collecting. Become a voracious consumer of industry news and share content that will engage, educate, entertain, excite, and empower your audience. Don’t just tweet links to your own blog or website.

Engage your audience. Earn your way into the conversation by adding relevant value in both your content and conversation. Engagement is all about ownership. Give your customers the sense that they own their experience with you. You will be viewed favorably if you can help connect your customer with resources, people, and information.

Nurture relationships. Retweet those who retweet you, reach out and connect with your followers on a 1-on-1 basis, comment on the blogs and social updates of others. Ask and answer questions in online communities.

Collect metrics to measure success. The effectiveness of social media programs should be assessed using measurements that fall within four primary categories:

  • Distribution, reach, and audience size
  • Interaction and amplification
  • Influence and applause (content appreciation and sentiment)
  • Action and conversion (ROI)

There are many individual KPIs to measure within these categories. Select the ones that support your organization’s objectives and goals.

Monitor, refine, and optimize your approach. Social media is a living, breathing, and constantly evolving marketing medium. Your social marketing plan isn’t something you can “set and forget.”

This is an excerpt from The Modern Guide to B2B Marketing. Download it now to get our recommendations for how to create, manage, and measure every aspect of your content marketing program.

Image Credit: mkhmarketing.wordpress.com/