Social Media and B2B

One of the people I met a SMX was Lisa Ditlefsen of SEO Chicks (did I mention I totally need an SEO Chicks shirt for when I start video blogging again). During the SMO session she asked a question about how to use social media for B2B clients. Since it’s taken me a week to write this up she’s actually gotten up a post about it Social Media Optimisation – just linkbaiting?. It’s a question I hear fairly often I asked Lisa if it would be OK to respond in a blog post, she agreed, so here’s my take.

Lots of B2B companies don’t know what to do with social media, first of all it’s new, so the pool of people who are immersed in it and totally get it is small. It’s growing everyday but it’s still a pretty narrow niche of expertise. Secondly it’s wildly unpredictable. A lot of potential clients are “scared” because a) they don’t have a sense of humor b) are very conservative by nature c) they don’t think they can relate to the audience or some combination of those factors. While not every B2B client can take advantage of social media, and some are definitely harder than others, IMHO I think everyone can play in the space, and here are some examples.

Let’s say you have a client who makes accounting software, pretty boring stuff, I mean really who wants to read about accounting software. As a consultant my recommendation is to pull back and widen your focus until you find a spot that reaches the linkerati. All right but enough theory lets show a concrete example of what I mean. How about a post like “Tips for Making Small Business Accounting Easier”. What you’d want to do is give tips that apply to any accounting software not just the one your client is selling. Want something a little more focused on the linkerati, how about “Accounting Software Tips & Tricks for Independent Web Consultants”. I know I hate anything to do with book keeping and accounting so I’d link to somebody who had something to share that made my life that little bit easier.

Ok somebody’s thinking, software heh that’s easy what about something not connected to computers but still B2B like say a cleaning service. Why not do something like photo contest with messy cubicles. Maybe you want something a little more serious, how about “How Keeping a Germ Free Workplace Increases Productivity” or play the green card (not that green card) with “Environmentally Friendly Ways to Reduce Office Waste”. Are any of those going to get you new clients, probably not, but if you are creative enough you can get the right anchor text, and at the very least build some domain authority.

I was taught in school that you should give three examples however I’m having a really hard time not touching somebody who’s a past/current/future client or something related to one of my own sites. However if you’re stuck and totally can’t think of something, come say hi and talk to me at the next conference, and maybe I’ll throw some free ideas at you.

PS: In case you totally missed it, introducing yourself and talking to an outlink friendly blogger at a conference about a subject they enjoy, is often pretty effective at scoring some a link or two.

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