“We Can’t Do Social Media — We’re a B2B Company”

You hear lots of excuses reasons why B2B companies can’t participate in social media. One reason I hear frequently . . . “We’re a B2B company.”

This is code for, “We’re a traditional company,” “We sell widgets,” “Our products don’t lend themselves to social media,” “Our company is run by staid old men who don’t ‘get’ it,” “Social media won’t give us the leads we need,” or “There’s no real ROI.”

True, true.

I recently stumbled across Rabbi Jon Spira-Savett, of Temple Beth Abraham in Nashua, New Hampshire, who is using social media to reach out to busy congregants.

A little bit of back story: as with many organized religions, Jewish congregations struggle to reach people who are very busy with work, kids, etc. Education and learning is the lifeblood of Judaism — but getting people to temple on Saturdays, when kids have their athletic events and other activities, is difficult (even more so when parents of pre-teen kids have to schlep them to Hebrew school on Sunday mornings — who wants to blow off two weekend mornings at temple?).

Instead of making people feel guilty about not attending temple, or banging his head trying to develop “innovative” programming designed to get people in the door, Rabbi Jon has developed a series of weekly blog posts and monthly podcasts to reach people where they congregate — online. Think about what this outreach does:

It helps congregants feel connected to the temple, the Rabbi and the community and instead of a full meal, it gives people “bites” that they can consume in between dealing with kids and work.

It helps those people shopping for a new temple to get to know Rabbi Jon and his philosophies before they even set foot in the door.

Even better, however, it helps draw people back into the temple — for holidays, for events, and for Saturday services. Why is that? Because people feel engaged and connected.

Think about how you can use social media to help prospects and customers feel connected with your company.

Instead of saying, “We’re traditional,” use social media to become a little bit untraditional, the way Infor is doing with its “Big ERP” campaign.

Instead of saying, “Our products don’t lend themselves to social media,” look for ways to educate people about your industry and help solve their challenges / problems through information-rich content.

Instead of worrying about ROI, start engaging your prospects. Use social media to meet people where they congregate — online! — and get to know them. Offer them the content they need to make purchasing decisions, answer their questions, and introduce them to others in your network.

Once they feel engaged and connected with you and your company, they have a much higher chance of becoming long-term customers.

Related content:

B2B Social Media Strategies for Small Business: Get Your Feet Wet

Grasshopper Engages People in Order to Build a Global Brand

Social Media: It’s About Engagement, Not Page Views

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