Anti-Social Media?
Image by Intersection Consulting via Flickr

As stated in this b2b social media marketing tactics for 2011 post, it’s clear that social media is a communications vehicle your business needs to use.

That particular article shows your B2B tactics and social research for what other companies have done — that works. Check it out (link above).

While having a guide like that is very helpful, it’s also important to know what NOT to do. Some of the below may seem simple, almost obvious – but you’d be surprised to learn what I’ve seen.

And, at the end of the post – you’ll get a free SMM Whitepaper download (PDF) that you can review and implement as your own.

What are particular pitfalls in social media that you should avoid for B2B?

Here are some points to consider. Then, make sure you download the complete, free 46p PDF SMM Tactics and Metrics guide below.

1) Don’t begin SMM without a plan.

Infographic on how Social Media are being used...
Image via Wikipedia

That’s probably almost too obvious, right? Not so fast, only 1 out of 10 will actually have a plan in place (in my experience). B2B organizations will often think about, and use tools before understanding how to participate, what their goals are, and where it makes sense to join the conversation. In some cases, it may only be purely a branding exercise. Have you done your research, and brought your teams together for a more comprehensive discussion? This really starts with a simple question: “what are our objectives”?. Then, break this down into distinct areas that make sense for your business.

2) Don’t push, learn how to pull.

Things have changed. It was common to simply push your messages into people’s everyday lives. This of course is still prevalent, but in social media for business, you must change the way you think about your channels of messaging. You must become a leader of your space, listening, sharing, communicating. For example, would you create a link to your competitor, or a blog post about them, and then share that out to your space? That takes guts, but you’ll be seen as an authority over time, and not afraid of sharing your knowledge. (Note: there are good ways, bad ways to do this).

3) Don’t walk away from social media because of (lack of) metrics.

If you are in the lead generation business, and buying ads (adwords, for example) and you’re familiar with the more traditional ways of tracking clicks to conversions, social media will be new territory. Tracking how many times a blog post was mentioned, may/will not seem like a “real” metric then. ROI in Social media is possible, but is measured and tracked differently. Don’t make excuses for not moving forward. Learn new ways of tracking SMM and ask new questions.

4) Don’t think of SMM as “media advertising”.

It’s not about eyeballs in social media. It’s about hearts and minds. It’s different – and new, which makes it uncomfortable. How can sending, and sharing Twitter streams help my business – today? Answer: Social media is media that is social. You’ll have to follow and learn a different model.

5) Don’t use just the “top 3 SMM sites”.

Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn (YouTube also) – are top 3 social networks. While a smart suggestion is to register an account for your business name there, it may not be where your customers are. You need to do your social media and marketing research, and also figure out how best they consume content (it could be video, for example). However, you can never go wrong with a blog, and you should plan one out this quarter.

FREE DOWNLOAD: Read the B2B Social Media Metrics and Tactics Guide now. (Marketo Publishing, 4mg)

What do you think?


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Entrepreneur Magazine says Jon Rognerud is one of the most sought-after Digital Marketing Experts. His clients extend from high-end brands and middle-tier businesses in both B2B and B2C. His SEO website optimization book, "The Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Website" from Entrepreneur Press is in bookstores now.