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BEST PRACTICE: Social media begins with your employees

In B2B we do business with people. It is the power to connect with the decision makers that secures existing customers, creates a loyal following and generates referrals. Customers might be fewer and more discrete than in the consumer world, but relationships are often stronger. These relationships need investment of both time and resource.
Social media intensifies customer and potential customer relationships. But building social media connections is more than enabling staff to access Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.
Here are the first steps to consider when looking to your employees to engage with your customers:

1. Take one step at a time
Start by considering your customers: how they are using social media; where they discuss their concerns; and what the issues are. You will find that conversations do happen on the more prominent platforms like Facebook. However, many more can be found in communities that exist in forums and professional networks.

If you find a network of potential customers, you may consider engaging your sales force to start developing stronger relationships. If it is service issues that bubble through the conversation, then you might set a priority for customer service to be deployed.