Earlier this month, in Social Media for businesses: Waste of time or wasted opportunity? Part 1, we talked about the importance of social media strategy for B2B companies. Yes, even B2B companies can benefit from social media.
Now you know your company needs a social media strategy. So what do you do? Start a twitter account, join Linked In? Not so fast. Your social media strategies can’t be kept in their own vacuum – any social media effort needs to compliment your business strategy. As with any marketing, all is for naught unless you have a well thought-out strategy to back it up.
Social Media should be treated as another arm in your marketing mix. It should be a tool to help your company reach its business goals. As we say here, your business and brand strategy should reflect each other – and social media is a part of that!
Take, for example, our client American Airlines Cargo. American Airlines is seen as a premium commercial airline brand, but the air cargo industry was much more commoditized. AA Cargo wanted to leverage the parent company brand and differentiate its services from being seen as a commodity while positioning itself as a thought leader in the industry.
After identifying the brand promise for the target audience, we went out to communicate the brand, and as part of the overall brand strategy, we included a social media component. At the heart of the plan lies a search engine optimized microsite on the trends and business opportunities in the industry. Check it out here at www.aircargoinsights.com. This was a full communication program intended to boost AA Cargo’s image as a thought leader and launch the company into the limelight as the preferred cargo brand.
The social media effort also includes an active twitter feed with daily updates on news from throughout the industry. The twitter feed engages followers and industry leaders with relevant re-tweets and personal “thank you”s for mentions from other tweeters. And yes, we’re still talking about a B2B company!
AA Cargo understood that to be seen as cutting edge and industry-leading, they needed to embrace social media. That means in addition to having a social media presence, a concerted effort could help further its goals.
Lots of companies – B2B companies in particular – tend to shy away from social media. But the bottom line is that social media is not going away, and as younger generations continue to blur the lines between personal and professional communications on Facebook and elsewhere, you need to make sure your company is not only covered, but is using this tool to its benefit.
Do you have a successful social media strategy?
How do you assure that your social media strategy is supporting your business strategy?
Learn more about the author of this blog post, Kristy Gulsvig, by visiting her page at RiechesBaird.