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Leverage Nontraditional Social Media Strategy for B2B Strategy

by Sandra Wilkins

I know what many of you are thinking:

What the heck is nontraditional social media? I thought social media in itself was nontraditional?

Well, yes and no.


Of course, we have our more traditional social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn (of which many marketers fondly refer to as The Big Three). 

But the “The Big Three” are now seen as more traditional because we’ve pretty much figured them out. We know all their little nuances including which audiences frequent which channels, how we should craft our messages, and how we can gain and measure major marketing successes that affect the bottom line.

Now that the combination of technology and time has ushered in a new era of social media channels – informal and appealing, yet more complicated in nature, everyone is trying to gauge whether we as B2B marketers can tame and make use of them.

The answer is yes – but using them comes with serious implications.

Nontraditional social media, which refers to the group of social channels that are highly visual, highly engaging, and mostly appeal to niche audiences (Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and Vine to name a few) presents the next huge hurdle in marketing.

They signify the beginning of an era that has 4 major implications for marketers regarding who’s using these channels, how they’re using them, and what they want to gain from them.

This post is going to dive deep into these implications and give you some concrete examples of how you can leverage nontraditional social media in your B2B marketing strategy.

Implication #1: Now, more than ever, you must have a keen understanding of who you want to reach with your marketing.

The majority of nontraditional social media channels have niche audiences. To get the most out of them, you must be able to align who you want to reach (your buyer personas) with the key demographics of the particular social channel you want to use.

Typically, the people that use these channels are younger. But as more of the younger generation (dare I say, millennials) move into management and decision-making roles, you’ll want to find ways to connect with them that won’t come across so traditional and overdone.

The SlideShare at the end of this post has a snapshot of the key demographics that frequent some of the more common nontraditional social media sites.

Implication #2: You must optimize your online presence for mobile.

As of 2013, 71% of people use their mobile device to access some form of social media. And to further that statistic, most nontraditional social channels are optimized to only be used on a mobile device, i.e. the SnapChat, Instagram, and Vine apps.

Having a mobile-friendly website strategy is imperative if you want to use these channels to ultimately drive conversions, leads, and customer retention. This could include investing in responsive design for your website or making links easier to click on mobile devices.

Implication #3: You have to be smart about nontraditional social media’s placement in your overall marketing strategy.

Ultimately, how these nontraditional channels are used is going to be different from business to business. Some companies will have nontraditional social tactics as a major part of their strategies, while others may use these tactics as supportive techniques.

What makes the most sense for a majority of B2B marketers is to use these tactics as a part of a larger strategy. Maybe you can use nontraditional social channels to serve a very specific purpose like product demos or hosting live webinars.

However you decide to incorporate nontraditional social into your strategy, be sure that it makes sense and sends the right message to the right people. There’s a comprehensive list of how you can use these channels in the SlideShare at the end of this post.

Implication #4: Nontraditional social media is about relationship nurturing. You need to create or update your marketing and sales strategy to reflect this.

Relationship nurturing is a key factor in marketing and sales, especially in the B2B realm. If you don’t have a strategy that aims to generate leads and then build a relationship with them in an interesting and sincere way, you’re missing out on great potential.

Nontraditional social media is all about relationship nurturing. The nature of these channels allows you to engage with your buyer personas in a highly personable way that also adds value.

Taking an example from earlier in this post, doing partial product demos or webinars via nontraditional social will educate your buyer personas in a non-confrontational way – giving them just enough information to want to contact you for their needs. And if you’re successful, you’ll be able to build and nurture relationships with them that will eventually lead to lifelong customers. 

Knowing and acting on these 4 implications will allow you to leverage nontraditional social media in creative and successful ways. Be sure to check out the SlideShare below for more tips on how to leverage nontraditional social to drive relationships, conversions, and customers.

What are your thoughts on using nontraditional social media in B2B marketing efforts? Leave them in the comments below!

At Pinckney, we write about social media a lot because it’s a proven method to drive traffic and conversions.