Social media is an excellent place to start when you want to engage with your existing customers and attract new ones. Unfortunately, with a virtual ocean of users – more than 2.77 billion is estimated in 2019 – it’s difficult to convince jaded, information-buried social media accounts that your account is the one they should be paying attention to. Thankfully, there’s a proven technique that deserves a turn at bat – forming and nurturing micro-communities for targeted marketing.
Setting Up Your Micro-Communities
Designing communities into your social media strategy is an effort that’s best tackled over a brainstorming session with plenty of data on hand. Where are your customers finding you? What do they have in common with one another? Look for frequent similarities and spin-off communities from the largest groups. Making “regions” is a popular choice, as is grouping together companies within an industry. Design more than a few levels deep, as well: while you can make a “@OurCompanyMideast” handle on Twitter, you can also proactively alert potential community members by adding them to a Twitter list named “X Industry Mideast Leaders.” The distinction benefits their brand, so it will naturally trigger them to affirm and engage within the community you’re setting up by following your specialized account.
Make sure that your content within these community accounts is authentic; copying and pasting from your main social media account won’t cut it here. Is a dangerous-looking snowstorm moving towards the region next week? Encourage customers to pick up salt for their sidewalks and slip in a gentle reminder to get their orders in before logistics providers are slowed down by weather. Have an exciting new product or service that has a larger benefit for certain industries? Release the news in their micro-community a few hours or days before posting it on the main account. This will help affirm the idea that the community has value, and that you have a genuine interest in cultivating B2B connections through your common thread. If a distinct social media platform is available for your industry – say, Houzz for B2B home construction companies – take every advantage of the opportunity and set up a community to strengthen your brand presence.
Preaching to the Sales-Ready Choir
When a company wants to highlight a product, they will reach out to customers likely to buy – those that have bought similar items, those that are geographically close by, and so on. Micro-communities use that same method to encourage a different type of “buy-in” – one of communication, engagement, and barrier-dissolving. B2B sales are traditionally an uphill battle, with the impetus to not only sway the actual buyer but to convince them that the department holding the purse strings is worth convincing as well. Micro-communities aid that process by providing a fast, transparent outlet for answering questions and having candid, public-facing conversations about what your products can do for their company.
Think of it this way: when you make a sales pitch or have an information-rich conversation over the phone or in the email, all that effort is funneled into closing that one sale. When you have that same conversation over social media in a micro-community, you’re duplicating that effort without breaking a sweat, getting it in front of dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of compatible buyers at once. You’re also making that conversation linkable, so that you can bring it up later if the same question arises, saving you, even more, time and effort in the future. That’s no small benefit, either: when done skillfully, it’s time you’ll need to set up all those new micro-community orders flowing in.
Keep a record of conversations and questions that seem popular within your communities. Your original conversational partner – the one tagged in the linked conversation – will be happy you remembered the interaction and will feel validated you’ve heard their concerns. Your new conversational partner will see you have a history of meeting and surpassing that challenge with an industry peer – it’s a win-win social media situation.
Incorporating micro-communities into your social media strategy is smart, easy, and rewarding for your B2B company. Don’t isolate your marketing efforts to a single account or audience; diversify and enjoy the attention!