When I started Digiffic.com it was simple: people in my network knew what my skills were and what I was able to accomplish in the past for my employers, so they decided to recommend my services to other people. I didn’t have to fight for new business.
Then people started joining the team and we had to find a scalable source of leads, because my network wasn’t enough to find projects for a couple of people anymore. We experimented with various paid channels, and websites like Clutch.co, but time has passed and we had to face it - it was time for us to work on our social media. I tried to delay this moment for as long as I could, but I finally had to start working on it. And you know what? It’s a nightmare, for me as a marketer, to design a working strategy for a company like ours - a B2B service provider.
It’s a waste of time, money and resources
Ok, so imagine this - most businesses in the world perform some marketing campaigns. It doesn’t matter whether it’s hanging posters on bus stops or PPC campaigns. If they don’t, they either are happy with their sales, have no money to invest in marketing or aren’t ready to scale up yet.
But if they at some point feel, that it’s time to step up the marketing game, they start searching for an agency (alternatively they search to hire someone in-house) and it’s simple as that. They may ask their friends for recommendations, Google it or just contact an agency they already know. For the first two options, social media have little to none impact in the decision-making process. Some potential clients may check the agency’s social media presence to find out whether they’re any good, but that’s it.
But someone may say “hold up, what’s better to build brand awareness and help with that third example than having a cool social media profiles?”. Yes, that’s right. If we hope to acquire clients by making them know us before they need us, social media are perfect and for many industries, it’s really fun to run Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn profiles. You share some cool insights, post images of your products, add some funny comment or occasionally publish a meme or two. I designed a social media strategy for multiple brands and I never had any issues with it, but there are some industries, I immediately go blank when I start working on. My industry included.
So what can we write about?
Because let’s think about it for a second - we know our clients pretty well. We know that these aren’t people who come to us to learn our know-how and because they don’t have skills to take care of marketing on their own. These are people who have better things to do than working on campaigns. These people have businesses to run. We mostly work with the tech industry and a lot of these people want marketing to be effective so they come to people with proper experience, but if they wanted to - they could learn how to deliver a successful marketing campaign.
We could post cool tips and tricks on our social media, but our client are interested in what we accomplish, not how we accomplish it.
So we could post extensive case studies, where we describe great results we delivered for our clients. That would be great… in a world where NDAs don’t exist. We often can’t think about projects we work on outside the office, because of non-disclosure agreements, let alone describe the scope of work step by step and publish it online. So there goes value for our potential clients.
We could show some office kitchen, let the world know how we work, what we do, post pictures of fun activities we do here, but let’s be honest - it is important to show potential employees that it’s fun to work with us, but our clients couldn’t care less about our work outings. And I don’t know how about you, but I prefer to avoid the spotlight and I wouldn’t have the heart to make my team take pictures of themselves so we can post them on our Facebook page.
Ok, so maybe let’s post insights and news about digital marketing? That could be fun… if thousands of other agencies didn’t do exactly that for the past decade.
I could also try to be funny and post memes about marketing, but how long can you possibly be funny? I personally know only one kind of good joke about digital marketing*, so we have a material for the first post. After that you become some cringy boomer fanpage that people follow ironically.
If not that, what's good for our social media?
Or maybe I’m overthinking it and I should just post similar things as my competitors do? That could be a solution, but it’s a contradiction of values I believe in when it comes to marketing. If you do something, if you utilize a source, think about a business value. If I post on Facebook just to post on Facebook, because everybody is doing it, and expect no return on investment at all, what’s the point?
At the end we decided it was a good idea to focus on employer branding on Facebook and try to deliver as valuable business related content on LinkedIn as possible. But, if you’re reading this at least several months since this blogpost has been published, we have probably already changed the strategy.
Curse of knowledge. This is why software development companies work on their new websites for months, this is why design companies aren’t happy with their visuals and this is why we can’t think of a good way to present ourselves on social media… but we’ll do a great job coming up with a strategy for you.
*"Why can't PPC managers drive to work? Because they generate so much traffic". I told you it was only kind of funny.