There are so many different excuses that businesses and organizations use to NOT launch social media marketing campaigns.

– We sell septic tanks? Who would want to follow that?
– Our customers don’t use social media.
– Our company is in a highly regulated industry.
– We don’t have time for social media.
– We don’t want to know what people are saying about us online.
– We tried it once and had no ROI.

The list could go on and on. For B2B, the answers to these questions just aren’t that simple. However, at this point the risk of not participating is far more dangerous than taking a step back and approaching social media with a strategic plan of attack.

Here are three basic components you should have in your plan:

1 – Position your company/brand as the expert: Start a business blog and keep it updated on a regular basis. Not only will this aid in search engine optimization, it also gives you a strong source of content for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Communicating your expertise sets you apart from your competitors and demonstrates leadership within your industry.

2 – Connect with your audience: Chances are the people you need to reach are out there and motivated to engage with you on different social media platforms. By connecting, you’re projecting transparency and giving your audience the ability to communicate with you on a more personal level. This helps build loyalty and respect.

3 – Manage your brand: Online reputation management. Look it up. You have to claim your identity online and take control of the content associated with your company or organization. Social media gives you the opportunity to monitor and engage negative feedback, as well as express appreciation for the positive feedback…thus, building your brand.

Share compelling content, engage your audience and monitor/respond to the chatter. These are the basics that can lead to a positive and powerful online presence for your company or organization. Combine this with an effective SEO plan (since Social and SEO now go hand in hand) and you can take a closer look at whether or not you should spend all that money on every trade show on the calendar.