Marketing has become a race to publish. Because of this, prospects often kick-off their own buying cycle by consuming online content. Ultimately, we want B2B social publishing to educate these consumers and shorten sales cycles.

Put effort into social publishing.

For many people, social media posts serve as their introduction to your company. Design a plan with end-goals and a targeted audience so it’s clear when you have accomplished the desired business outcome. Of course, adjustments will need to be made to your plan as social publishing platforms continue to evolve.

Remember, anyone with a working knowledge of Google has full access to all of your online content. Tweets, blog posts and LinkedIn updates shouldn’t be an afterthought, so take the time to outline and edit each post – an inexpensive platform does not excuse poor writing.

Publish social content without expecting anything in return. Even if they don’t engage the first time (or the tenth), customers appreciate and remember companies that:

  1. Actively participate. Don’t upload your content only to disappear until the next post is ready. Read updates, submit comments, “like” pages and learn from others. Its clear which companies are paying attention to their customer’s needs and which ones only emerge from the shadows when it’s their turn to talk.
  2. Interact with their customers through social media posts. If a customer responds to a post with a question, answer it with another post. This builds relationships and informs/educates customers without being overtly salesy.
  3. Openly communicate and encourage conversation about customer’s/prospect’s fields of business. LinkedIn groups are a perfect platform to put the business of buying and selling to the side and highlight areas of interest, i.e., tips for young professionals, international marketing, or women in business.
  4. Ask for reposts. There’s no shame in asking followers to repost your content. Spelling out what you want them to do increases your engagement. Many times, happy customers will want to help you grow by sharing your company’s successes.
  5. Post social updates on weekends. Twitter statistics show that engagement goes up on Saturdays and Sundays while brand publishing goes down. When your customers are busy reading online, you should be busy posting online.
  6. Fill posts with links. Social publishing is only the beginning of customer engagement. If they’re only consuming Facebook content, then they are not fully engaging. Pump up those posts with hyperlinks back to your website – but make sure to test the links first!
  7. Give a peek inside company culture. Whether you post about the CEO’s birthday, a local sports team or bring your dog to work day, customers emotionally invest in the human-side of companies. This shows that you’re not a faceless, money-hungry corporation.