engagement social mediaThe power of social media offers a huge opportunity for B2B marketers to reach their clients. Studies show that we are still influenced most by our peers at work, making buying and marketing decisions heavily influenced by what one’s peers or coworkers are saying online. This means that social channels where we interact with our peers, can be incredibly powerful in terms of influencing potential customers and buying decisions.

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We know that engagement with a brand on social is highest in the earliest stages of the customer journey, before the point of purchase. However we see that companies routinely fall off engagement with their customers later in the customer journey, where retention and satisfaction often matter most. Here Sam Williams-Thomas, CEO of OgilvyOne expains how B2B marketers can improve their customer engagement in four simple steps.

1. Every social strategy should start from the business strategy, rather than a social channel. ‘What can we do on LinkedIn?’ is essentially a meaningless question compared to questions like: ‘How do we use social to drive advocacy from satisfied customers?’ or ‘Which parts of our customer journey are our customers active in social?’

2. Content needs to be optimised to a purpose such as lead generation, or improved relationships with individual customer segments, rather than social platform metrics like Retweet.

3. Social needs to be integrated with customer engagement programmes rather than having two separate streams of activity. Very few organisations currently use social to cement loyalty even through activities as simple as having a separate Twitter feed or LinkedIn group that only customers can join. It’s increasingly easy to track the impact of social content so that for instance, you can understand when your salesforce’s tweeting of your latest publication is driving leads that subsequently convert.

4. While most companies examined have good levels of customer satisfaction, very few are prompting their customers to advocacy. Not only are customers more credible than what you say – but they often add granular details about the quality of your products that either you may not appreciate or are particularly relevant to their personal networks. While many marketers think of reviews as something primarily relevant to hotels and restaurants, endorsements from clients in social are potentially powerful weapons for B2B marketers.