It’s probably safe to say at this point that I’m all about social media. Like any other form of media, it definitely has its drawbacks (see: political elections) and it has it plusses. What thrills me to no end about personal usage of social media over the years is my ability to keep up to date, if only at a distance, with people I knew and liked so long ago that I had lost touch with. What thrills me to no end about it professionally is the awesome ways you can perform social media targeting.
I think about a good friend whose family moved to Vermont freshman year of high school. I think about some of my youth hockey teammates from the ’80s.
I think of distant family. Of excellent old college professors and high school teachers, some of who righted my ship and changed my life.
College friends. High school friends. Music business friends. Friends from old jobs. I’d never maintain (re)connection with most of these people without social media. What a gas.
I’m almost 45, so my reasons for loving social media so much are far different than, say, millennials. I get it. I should also add that my appreciation of social does go beyond (re)connecting with old friends. There’s far more to it, of course, but I don’t need to get into it today.
My initial Facebook volley was in June of 2007, two weeks after my twins were born (and that post was very, very true, by the way). I’m at nine years on Facebook.
I don’t need to go on. I’m an early adopter. I turned it into a career and learned the professional side of it. I love the rush of massive shares and likes on a piece of work content. I love the rush of seeing great content from great people and friends on social media. Personal or professional, it doesn’t matter. I’ve learned. I’ve supported. I’ve been supported. I’ve been entertained. I love it. I just love it.
Which brings me to my new job. I’ve already mentioned before the transition from B2C to B2B. At this particular B2B I’m at, we’re a manufacturer selling product to a very, very finite set of distributors, with a very distinct set of non-traditional personas. These are not online mavens. Not social media maniacs like myself – and we’re not going to make them be that way. But they’re out there, milling around social.
So the goal isn’t explosive growth. And without sounding like an ass, I’m pretty good at driving growth in social. I took Pure Hockey from 2,800 Facebook followers to 114,000. More importantly, it was done with super-high engagement from our users. I built, established relationships and cultivated Twitter growth through a dedicated set of important influencers and a steadfast obsession with answering tweets within minutes and sometimes seconds. These are the metrics that matter far more than followers.
The B2B I’m at is, in some ways, a polar opposite. Without getting into too much detail, we pretty much already know who ALL the customers in the USA are, whether they buy from us or not (and a heck of a lot do)! We do not do lead gen because we don’t have to! Let that sink in for a second. That’s pretty nice in some ways. We don’t even allow search engines to crawl our website because we don’t sell to end-users, and why risk our great relationships with distributors? Can you imagine?
This makes social a very interesting endeavor! For the most part, social marketing initiatives involve paid campaigns where I’m uploading our customer list to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google AdWords, etc and targeting just those people. They’re the only ones we need to reach. Talk about targeting. Wild, right?!
It’s a challenge. But a fun, interesting and much different one. How do you keep the same (fairly small) group of people entertained and coming back – or doing whatever it is you want them to do?
The nurturing, the education, the entertaining, the content……it’s all a work in progress and it’s hard work. It’s also teaching me even more about the power and different strategies of social media and marketing. Fun.
I will be writing more about this in future posts – a few practices, tips and tricks to effectively reaching a smaller set of distinct people.