I just joined over 200 business-to-business marketers at MarketingSherpa’s B2B Marketing Summit in Waltham, MA. There was a panel discussion about social media in the B2B landscape. Members of the panel discussed the value of establishing objectives for your social media marketing.
For B2B marketers, the typical objectives are often increasing and nurturing leads, having a conversation with loyal followers, increasing traffic to the website etc.
One of the speakers, Vanessa DiMauro from Leader Networks, said that she had worked with a group of law enforcement groups on their social media efforts. And she said they had only one social media objective: to solve more crimes.
Now I don’t often think of the police as being in the forefront of the marketing revolution, but what got me about this objective was how it represented thinking outside the box. It incorporated all of the good attributes of social media: conversing, listening, sharing, interacting, going viral, community building. It had nothing to do with using social media to actively promote the value of these law enforcement organizations, and yet at the end of the day, the entire social media program absolutely reinforced the value of these organizations.
I love the idea of coming up objectives that are not what everyone else is doing. That’s how to break through the clutter.
So how do you come up with them? What I learned from this example is to think in terms of your community rather than think in terms of your company. Your products might offer many wonderful solutions, but talking only about your solutions means you’re still talking at your consumers. Think about their problems, and not just those you can solve. Think bigger picture. For example, if you offer a supplement that helps the joints, don’t just talk about the knees, address the whole body. That widens the conversation to those who don’t need your product now. It also makes you more interesting to those who could benefit from your product.
In fact, when thinking about your social media objectives, think about what crimes you can solve within your customer community.