There’s a party happening 24/7 in the purses and pockets of your business’s target audience. Every hour is social hour, and your invitation is waiting – you just have to create a social media profile to join.

To date there are 271 million active Twitter users and 313 million LinkedIn profiles. Let’s face it, members of your target audience are on these sites, waiting for you. (For now, let’s take Facebook off the table since we’re talking B2B audiences). Social media marketing is not a simple undertaking- it takes time, focus, and strategy. In fact- you may already run a Linkedin or Twitter account for your company that needs some work to reach optimum performance.

Renewing your social strategy yields significant increases in social following and web traffic from social sites. For example, a b2b multinational client of Write2Market’s has realized a 21.5% increase in total social followers and 97.9% increase in traffic from social sites when comparing the four months that we have been working together to the previous period, all with no ad spend.

Ask yourself: What kind of gains in qualified prospects could your company see? Do your social profiles send a consistent stream of new visitors to our website? How do you compare to your competitors in terms of messaging, posting frequency, and audience targeting? Where should you enlist your employees to help spread your message? If the answers to any of those questions aren’t clear, then you need a social media audit.

A first step in realizing the potential of your social channels is to learn the environment you live in, and become active participants–enter the “social media audit.”

Still not sure? A social media audit will help you to:

 

Get a baseline view of your industry’s role on social

To quote Sun Tzu in The Art of War, “Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster.” Maybe it’s a little dramatic to speak of Twitter as a battlefield, but I think it’s a pretty accurate comparison.

An accurate view of your competitor’s social activity will open your eyes to the conversations taking place within your field. Many companies stick to a list of basic, catch-all hashtags bouncing between them as they compose tweets. A wider view of competitors often reveals a list of conversations taking place in their space without their input. Taking charge of your content development and retargeting hashtags will increase visibility with new audience members.

Curate an active LinkedIn presence

What do baseball, football, and LinkedIn have in common? They’re team endeavors- you can relax though, LinkedIn doesn’t require spandex pants. All jokes aside, if your team isn’t actively supporting your company on LinkedIn, your reach WILL stagnate.

Your employees are busy doing great work for your customers, but your social networks need them too. I recently performed an audit for a company with a LinkedIn following of 280. By effectively mobilizing their 40 employees to share company updates on LinkedIn, they would expand their reach vastly – reaching their employees’ more than 8,970 personal connections. Adding in shares to suggested targeted groups highlighted during the audit would expand their reach to more than 360 thousand possible professionals.

A social media audit will give you the information necessary to approach your team for help. Which groups should they be active in? What’s the best timing for LinkedIn shares? Where are the professionals you need to reach communicating on LinkedIn? After an audit you can ask them each for 5 minutes per day, and make it count.

Embed access to influencers

With 500 million tweets sent daily, you have to rise above a lot of voices to be heard. You can look to the key influencers in your industry for help. They have the ears (or eyes really) of your targets, and they have the power to introduce you with a healthy dose of third party endorsement. Engaging them in the right way is crucial, and it all begins with identification. A recent audit for a Write2Market b2b healthcare client identified 13 influencers with a combined reach of more than 2.2 million targeted people–future sales waiting to happen.

A social audit will help you to identify the opportunities for messaging, LinkedIn growth, key influencers, and more as well as provide guidance for putting that insight to work. It’s your first step in creating a social strategy that feeds your sales funnel.

If you’re ready to take control of your social footprint and reap the benefits, my name is Emily, and I can help: 404-900-7722, @emilymcdougald.