A brand's identity comes to life through its voice. B2B brands often struggle to find their brand voice and resort to conventional language, but this does not have to be the case. When executed correctly, voice helps B2B brands connect with customers, prospects and employees.
Even better, this brand voice already exists; it's simply a matter of uncovering it.
To uncover a voice that mirrors the company's brand, B2B companies should:
- Define the brand mission and vision clearly. Brand voice should reflect a company's purpose, culture and values.
- Have some fun. B2B posts do not have to be boring. Prioritizing personality is important in creating a voice that is unique and recognizable.
- Limit jargon. This sets companies apart by avoiding the language of their industry competitors.
- Get to the point. Delete unnecessary words and phrases to ensure the brand voice shines.
- Customize content across social channels. LinkedIn lends itself to more formal content, while Twitter, for example, can be more informal.
TireHub L.L.C. — the 50/50 wholesale joint venture owned by Goodyear and Bridgestone Americas Inc. — uncovered its brand voice by first carefully crafting its mission, vision, promise and commitment.
The TireHub commitment to being adventurous, relentless, speedy and approachable is communicated through its brand voice across social platforms. This attention to voice and purpose has allowed connection with customers and increased brand awareness.
Sharing original content
According to ContentPlus, 90% of social media users prefer learning about a company through custom and original content than through paid advertisements. Just like B2C marketing, content is king when reaching the B2B target audience, customers.
B2B content does not always have to focus on selling and a call-to-action. Audiences take note of interesting and relevant content, and companies are rewarded with boosts in social engagement and website traffic.
Sharing content used in the sales process is a great way to engage customers on social. Most B2B companies already have original content through white papers, case studies, blogs and press releases that can be repurposed.
Posting mixed content
Incorporating videos and images into this original content is one way tire wholesalers can increase engagement. According to Twitter Inc., tweets incorporating photos received an average 35% boost in retweets and videos a 28% boost compared with traditional posts.
Videos, especially when executed properly, receive higher engagement and build rapport with key audiences. According to Twitter, Twitter video is two times more memorable than other social media platforms, and around 100 million hours of video are watched on Facebook every day. In fact, TireHub's animated graphics perform two times better than written posts.
Providing customer service
As business decisions revolutionize, social media is leading customer service. Because more customers are relying on digital communication, even in the B2B space, they are turning to companies' social media pages for questions and complaints. When companies respond quickly, existing customers and potential customers take note.
Engaging with customer needs and complaints shows customers that a company cares. To achieve this, wholesalers should:
- Respond quickly;
- Be empathetic;
- Avoid canned responses;
- Respond publicly;
- Then go off-line to fix the issue; and
- Monitor conversations through hashtags and mentions.
In addition to customer service, companies should engage with B2B customers by replying to their comments and posts. To nurture social media relationships, TireHub monitors posts across all platforms and responds as quickly as possible. This simple, yet effective, action demonstrates the respect TireHub has for its followers.
Social media is an effective tool for connecting not only with wholesale customers and prospects but also employees and future employees. Highlighting employees can positively impact talent acquisition and retention while showcasing the brand story.
Recognizing employees on social media can incentivize others in hopes of one day being showcased.
Additionally, future employees, along with seeing employee activity, are able to experience the company's culture.
Creating a social media competitive analyses to track competitors' engagement, impressions and follower counts can be a company's great asset. Examine what's working for others in the industry, and most importantly, what's not.
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are crucial factors that gauge social media's effectiveness. Identifying the right KPIs helps businesses monitor success and modify tactics as necessary.
For wholesalers, social activity can help drive potential customers through the sales funnel. KPIs should be aligned with a company's business goals and can include engagement, followers, website traffic and conversions.
Conversions are dependent upon campaign goals which can include leads, emails sign-ups or white paper downloads.
Nikki Roberson was named TireHub's director of communications and culture in 2020. She has been with TireHub since May 2018. Ms. Roberson is responsible for driving and maintaining TireHub's culture, as well as managing internal and external communications, including social media and public relations. Prior to joining TireHub, she served as internal communications manager for Manhattan Associates. She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina and an MBA from Georgia State University.