Social media tips and tricks

The speakers at our social media event for B2B companies, organised by Quadrant Communications in Belgium, generously shared their experiences. The video shows you a summary of what they talked about.

You can also find their slides on Scribd and SlideShare: Social media and brand ambassadors (Thomas Verschueren, RealDolmen), A pragmatic approach towards social media (Gert Diels, Cegeka), Social media: a must for management (Philippe Rogge, Microsoft), Our guidelines for using social media (Pol Vanbiervliet, Cisco).

We have summarized their most important tips for you:

Getting started

  • Social media is an extra means of communication alongside all the other channels; so integrate social media in your global communication mix and strategy
  • Social media on its own cannot make the difference, but it’s very good at making your company and your brand more authentic or for reaching opinion-leaders
  • Select your channels based on relevance for your target groups. LinkedIn is used much more in Belgium than in other countries, for example
  • Make sure that the management also wants to take part, otherwise there is much less chance of communication via social media being successful
  • Write guidelines, mainly so you don’t have to check everything in detail and because your employees dare to communicate more convincingly
  • Social media is not free: sufficient time and resources are needed to succeed and to continue making progress
  • Provide plan of action, set out with a timescale

Create content

  • Enter into the dialogue with your community, keep it interactive, start discussions every now and then in the relevant groups
  • Always be authentic and credible (if you aren’t, people will cut you off)
  • People are looking for opinions and will listen, but if you actually have something to say, make sure you’re not just a sterile spokesperson for your company
  • Work bottom-up and involve your colleagues: find the added value of social media for your company together
  • Look for your brand ambassadors: colleagues who make your company’s expertise concrete
  • Ensure transparency, openness and don’t control things too strictly to benefit your colleagues and your authenticity
  • Make your employees aware and provide training sessions or workshops to get to know certain channels well (and find out what you can say there)
  • Share relevant content to gradually become perceived as an expert in your field

Develop your network

  • Draw up a list of people who are relevant for you and your company; invite them or follow them
  • Sometimes it’s better to make separate networks per target group, such as an online community for technicians and a separate one for business leaders
  • Write a personal message when you invite someone to connect with you
  • It’s not your first-level network that is the most important, but your second and third-level networks (these are the people who don’t know you very well yet, but who can be convinced by your qualities)
  • Positive use of social media ensures word-of-mouth and gives a positive perception to the outside world
  • Use useful apps so that you can also use social media on the road
  • Become a member of groups that are relevant for your company. Look at the other members of the group. These people are perhaps potential clients or partners

Monitor yourself and others

  • Monitor what is being said about your company, CEO, products and services on social media
  • React just as quickly and openly to the positive comments as you do to the negative opinions and remarks
  • Take a note of who is following your company and look up the relevant opinion-leaders or people with expertise in their field; follow them at least, and react to their opinions
  • Follow your most important competitors and what is being said about them
  • Check which networks your clients are present on

Have you still got some energy left? Read our white papers about media relations and social media (in Dutch only, I’m afraid) and about testimonials and social media.

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