Account-based marketing (ABM) may be the latest buzz word trending in digital marketing, but it’s actually a concept that’s been around for some time—and one we say is worth buying into. Why? Because ABM is essentially the branded term for what we as marketers should have been doing all along: focusing our efforts on engaging the prospects we’re ideally suited to serve.
Admittedly, ABM is fairly labor intensive, as it’s a highly targeted approach that involves what some may refer to as stalking, but we prefer to call R&D. It requires a profound understanding of the various levels of decision-makers within the organization you’re targeting—their interests, preferred communication channels and pain points—which can only be acquired through research. That’s where social media comes in.
Social media is a pivotal component of an effective ABM strategy, as it enables you to not only understand the specific needs of your target audience, but to actually fill those gaps with strategic content and personalized engagement. Here are a few ways you can leverage social media to support your ABM efforts and win your dream account
Get More Out of Your Organic Social Media Efforts
One of the best parts about ABM is it doesn’t require a huge social media spend in order to be effective. What it does require, however, is time and effort. Start with the wealth of information you already have at your fingertips:
- On which social sites are your prospects most active?
- What are they talking about?
- What kinds of content are they sharing?
- How can you add value to the conversation?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you can begin to develop and share content that speaks to the needs of your target audience, delivering the information they need while also positioning yourself as a reliable source of industry knowledge. Focus your efforts by following those who are most relevant to your ABM strategy. For example, creating a Twitter list of your prospects and customer personas will help you to identify and address some of the key trends that are impacting your target market.
Reach All the Right Decision Makers
In today’s corporate environment, decisions are made collectively, which means your ABM strategy must be tailored to each stakeholder involved in the procurement process—from C-level to entry-level. When an organization is looking for a service provider, essentially anyone can be an influencer, as it only takes one recommendation to be entered into the pipeline. The more you understand who these people are (and this is where the social media legwork comes in—there can be many), the more effectively you can speak to their specific needs and remain top-of-mind when it matters most.
Share Your Work, but Do It Tactfully
Once you’ve really gotten to know your audience on social media, you can start to consider taking your ABM efforts a step further by showcasing some of your work—but you have to be strategic about it. If you have a case study that is highly relevant to a company you are prospecting (e.g., you’re targeting Marriott and you’ve done work for Hilton), go ahead and share it, but be thoughtful in your placement and commentary. Show them you understand the unique challenges they face and how specifically you have helped others in the same position overcome these challenges. Remember, the goal is to position yourself as a reliable source of information and knowledge—not spam.