Pinterest isn’t the first platform that springs to mind when thinking about B2B social media is it? What’s a load of pictures got to do with generating leads and selling to businesses?
Earlier this week I was purusing the Ultimate Blog Challenge Facebook feed and a Pinterest post caught my eye. Not because it was Pinterest or because it was visual, but because of the topic…
Alison Smith is a purchasing coach, you’ll find her over at purchasingcoach.co.uk. What really fired my imagination was her use of Pinterest to tell a story and educate her prospects in a small section of what she actually does.
Is B2B too boring?
Purchasing isn’t the most interesting of topics. Alison chose to highlight what can go wrong when bad decisions are made in purchasing – educating people why her service is of value.
Here’s a small section of her Pinterest board, “The cost of getting it wrong”
While I have got a few niggles about how Alison implemented her idea (and let’s face it I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t find something to pick holes in!) I want you to step back and look at the bigger picture.
Does B2B Social Media Work?
Think about the sales process. Often we concentrate on the final point of entry – what generated that lead or sale.
Just as often – that final sale step is not created by social media.
B2B social media is more about keeping in touch with contacts, networking, asking and answering questions and for some, pushing our sales message on anyone who will listen and some that don’t too.
Social media operates in that red and amber zone for many of us. It’s not necessarily a great direct selling tool – although I am sure someone can provide me with examples to prove that sentence wrong!
Using social media and other techniques online and offline we can guide people down the sales funnel from awareness, to interested to sale by educating them in why our product or service benefits them.
You’ve heard the saying, “Facts tell, stories sell…”
This is what inspired me with Alison’s board – the combination of education and visual storytelling with snippets of info to show the benefit of using her service. She’d flipped the Pinterest hype from traffic, links, shiny new platform must use it… over to somewhere she can direct people to learn more about how she can help them with real examples of what goes wrong.
How would I improve Alison’s idea?
Quite simply by flipping it back part way and using the network to get her own business name out too.
The first thing that struck me was that it wasn’t immediately obvious the benefit she was getting from the board. She does say who she is and what she does in the board description, then nothing on the individual pins.
People finding her through Pinterest or the pins through search, wouldn’t have a clue who she is or what she does. Of course, pins should lead back to source and that is part of the storytelling too – links to authority sources.
- I would include her business name and URL in pin descriptions – it doesn’t need to link. Links are not why she is doing this, awareness and education is
- I would also include more pins from her own sites – perhaps to case studies or problem solving posts
Alison has definitely given me food for thought with her storytelling. Who said B2B social media needs to be dry and boring anyway?
Over to you – what success have you had with B2B social media networks. Do you use Pinterest? How is it working for you?B2B Social Media: Educating Your Prospects Through Pinterest by Jan Kearney