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As a government contract proposal writer by day and a social media-obsessed marketer by night, I say iOS and GOV go together like a horse and carriage. However, for many people in this environment—where traditionally all interactions are regulated, and touch points call for every “i” dotted and “t” crossed—posting about personal events or feelings for the world to see and comment on is unnerving, to say the least. But there’s more to social media than those warm and fuzzies—there’s the business side.
Still reluctant to dive into the bot pit of Twitter, the profile abyss of LinkedIn, or any of the other thousands of platforms? Fear no more! To help you join in and get the most out of this type of networking, I drilled down from a long list of advantages to share three proven benefits of social media with B2G marketing.
Social media posting is today’s version of knocking on doors. When used properly, there are methods that lead you right to your target market, and it to you.
1. Staying Competitive in the Marketplace
If you believe it’s true that people do business with those they know, like, and trust, then you must believe that people have to know you before they can like and trust you, right? If that’s the case, before they can get to know you, they have to learn you exist. Bottom line: Your competitors are online and your customers are online. So, why wouldn’t you want to be there as well?
Imagine the millions of billboards along America’s streets and highways. Has your company ever taken out an ad on one of them? No? Why not? Most likely, the cost. Think of your social media page as your billboard along the internet highway. You’re telling the world all about you and your services—at zero cost. Now, get in that game and start competing!
2. Finding and Engaging Your Target Market
Social media posting is today’s version of knocking on doors. When used properly, there are methods that lead you right to your target market, and it to you. Once your target market finds you, analytics show you have barely five seconds to make a good first impression before your prospect goes clicking away elsewhere. Will your target customers or partners find your online presence up to snuff?
The goal here is not to rack up as many followers as you can, as the self-made millionaire online influencers do.
3. Collaborating More Effectively
Using social media makes collaborative ventures more readily accessible. Building strategic alliances, such as with joint ventures, teaming partnerships, and mentor-protégé agreements, is key when going after high-dollar contracts. What better way to learn about prospective partners than to follow them on social media and get a glimpse of their culture, core values, and community involvement? From there, you can determine if they are the like-minded individuals that will help carry your team to a contract victory.
Where do you even start to know which platforms to use? The goal here is not to rack up as many followers as you can, as the self-made millionaire online influencers do. Instead, as a business marketing to the government, your main social media focus should be:
- Building your brand
- Increasing your brand’s visibility
- Building relationships by communicating better
- Filling your business pipeline
For starters, try three platforms: LinkedIn, an excellent inbound marketing tool for hiring qualified employees; Facebook, for its ability to create a community of potential customers and partners; and Twitter, as a billboard for company announcements and horn-tooting.
Happy B2G marketing!