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B2B content marketers find six-step audit process highly successful

Maybe like many of the fast growth b2b firms we work with,  you recently heard a directive from the C-suite something like, “We need to be more active in social media. Get educated, manage our presence and generate measurable value from this mythical beast of an audience.”

According to an IDG Connect survey, [tweet_dis]86 percent of B2B IT buyers are currently using social networks in their purchase decision process[/tweet_dis] so it’s certainly worth your time.

Social media in the b2b realm has its own “rules of engagement:” opportunities to seize, best practices and landmines to avoid. [tweet_dis]Social presence should also walk in lock-step with corporate strategy. [/tweet_dis]Marketers must consider all of this as the team endeavors to maximize the value of the investment of time and resources to generate measurable results from social media. Just because an individual is themselves social or on social media doesn’t mean they’ve mastered the orchestration skills of b2b social outreach–as many marketers discover when they try to translate personal social media skills into a more public conversation.

Before launching into a flurry of scattershot Tweets and LinkedIn posts, consider commissioning a social media audit to support your content marketing.

What should a b2b social media audit include?

Successful social media audits do these things well:

  1. Establish the firm’s current social presence as a baseline from which future campaigns can be measured
  2. Give you a sense of the “size of the pond” you’ll be playing in–how many people in your target audience ARE on social? An audit gives you your runway in numbers of people.
  3. Demonstrate competitors’ presence, and voice, in relevant social channels. In some cases this renews a latent, high-value conversation on exactly who your competitors are–and identifies conversational opportunities for your firm. [tweet_dis]How many LinkedIn followers does your “best” competitor have?[/tweet_dis] Reacting to real numbers like these clarifies obtainable goals for your b2b social campaign.
  4. Identify where, and measure how deeply, social media conversations relevant to your cause and top markets are happening (think LinkedIn groups and Twitter hashtags).
  5. Identify prospects, media members, opinion leaders and even new markets and audiences active in the spaces with whom engagement is needed. (In the healthcare space, think providers, patients, payers and advocacy associations, for example).
  6. Deliver a series of immediately actionable, practical items (including content development and scheduling suggestions, templates, leadership team engagement and links back to your website) that create new contacts, foster engagement and ultimately drive traffic that feeds the sales funnel. (more on that in an upcoming post – is your website ready for its Social Mothership role?)

Social media audit: set up your double-digit results

Last week, I helped coach a social media audit for a $100M client in the b2b healthcare space. [tweet_dis]In three short weeks since the delivery of this particular b2b social media audit, our client’s Twitter followers are up 17 percent[/tweet_dis], LinkedIn followers are up 27 percent, pageviews are up 19 percent, sessions are up 13 percent. (Pay close attention to the LinkedIn numbers because as Zachary Reiss-Davis of Forrester Research demonstrates, that’s where business decision makers actually do business in the social realm.)

If your b2b social presence is stagnating, needs some spicing up to support your sales strategy, or if you’re just not sure how to leverage the asset that your social presence has the potential to be, we want to hear from you.  [tweet_dis]Consider jump starting your program with a b2b social media audit[/tweet_dis] like the one we’re describing.

Connect with me and Write2Market and I can show you how it works in action. Twitter: @write2market or give us a shout at 404-900-7722.

-Paul Snyder