Why B2B marketing on social media and headless chickens do not gel
He hit fame before the days when images of funny animals on social media brought renown to so many animals.
When Mike hit the national consciousness the Second World War was only just over. What better to rally the troops than tales of a headless chicken that lives on?
Mike was a male Wyandotte chicken that lived for 18 months after his head had been cut off. Walking but not squacking.
After the loss of his head, Mike found fame until his death in March 1947.
Mike is not alone.
It is often the case that, if you chop the head off a chicken, it will still run around for a few seconds. The same applies to many other animals, including the turtle, which continues swimming even though its head has come off.
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The reason that Mike and his pals can do this is because a neural network in the spinal cord is pre-programmed to direct the muscles in various frequently used movement patterns such as running or swimming. The brain it seems does not always control body movements.
Which brings us to the topic in hand: social media and B2B sales/marketing.
Many B2B businesses still run at social media in a way that Mike ran around his coop.
This way, that way, over here, over there, this blog, that image, that quote, join this group, comment there.
We approach social media like a headless chicken – all momentum and flapping feathers but very little planning.
And this unstructured approach severely underestimates what is at stake here.
The average B2B buyer consumes four or five pieces of content before making any kind of buying decision. Therefore, making sure you are only sharing the right type of content via social networks is one of the best ways to get their attention.
Your audience on social media will not respond to a series of twitches, about turns and knee jerks. No-one enjoys having content randomly thrust down their throat.
But your audience will respond to a consistent, strategic approach.
In fact, recent research reveals that companies with a structured social selling plan are 40% more likely to hit their revenue goals.
Here’s one way to achieve this – try it on for size to see of it fits.
Map your market Define your target audience by sector, location and job title. Create buyer personas to help you visualise them.
Know yournetworks and niches Be selective in the networks you use (for B2B this is usually LinkedIn) and immediately identify relevant groups to focus on within these.
Collect your content Organise thematically the blogs, webinars, eBooks, White Papers and interesting articles from other publishers that you have.
Share your content consistently Build your reputation as a thought leader by sharing valuable content consistently. Try posting content in groups to create momentum and drive interest.
Keep talking Make sure that you comment on others’ posts and always respond when prospects engage with yours.
Sell with a soft touch Never jump into sales mode but keep your eye open for moments when it will be relevant to initiate a more direct conversation.
Get it right and the rewards are enormous.
If you can keep your head and use social media strategically HubSpot forecasts that you will achieve a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than other outbound marketing brings in.
That’s double the returns of trade shows, telemarketing, direct mail and PPC.
And certainly not chicken feed.
But, of course, you are no longer a headless chicken.