Social media is no longer the new kid on the block when it comes to marketing; it is a proven tactic for creating brand awareness, increasing website traffic, generating leads and driving sales.
Every marketing strategy should take social media into consideration for these reasons, including companies in the oil and gas industry. In this blog, we’ve highlighted the best practices you can implement into your social media marketing in the oil and gas industry to get the best return from your efforts.
Target your audience
For the oil and gas industry, LinkedIn should be your priority. By far, it has the most engagement compared to other social media platforms with 93% of B2B marketers rating it at the top platform for generating new business leads. As of January 2016, LinkedIn is home to over 40,000 articles, 5,3333 slideshow presentations and 3,100 groups dedicated to the oil and gas industry – proof of how much the industry has embraced LinkedIn.
Your business needs to take advantage of the plethora of industry contacts and publish regular and relevant posts on your company page, and on group pages too, to ensure your message reaches your target audience.
While Facebook may not be the best social media platform to attract new business, Twitter is a great way to get traffic to your website. By researching the best hashtag trends to use and engaging in conversations on Twitter with industry experts – you will see follower numbers increase and more people visiting your website as a result.
All social media platforms give businesses the opportunity to customise their accounts and profile pages. As a best practice guide for social media marketing, you need to make sure that your logo, banner image, company description and contact details are all the same. Just like any of your other marketing collateral – this shows consistency and cohesion within your brand.
Writing a best practice post
Your post should, whether on LinkedIn on Twitter should be attention-grabbing, concise, and include a link back to your website. To do these three things…
- Use images or videos – people are 44% more likely to engage with social posts that include them (HubSpot)
- Use short, action-oriented messages – 9,100 tweets are sent every second and yours needs to be easy to read and give clear instructions on what you want the reader to do (Grammarly)
- Include a link to your website – Social media now accounts for 31% of traffic driven to websites. If you do not include a link, you’re reducing your chances of landing a new customer (Shareaholic)
It’s also important to think about the time of day you schedule LinkedIn and Twitter posts. If you’re target audience is based in the Middle East, the US or Asia to give three examples, you need to adjust your times accordingly to coincide with their working day. Here in the UK, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday between 7am-8am and 5pm-6pm are the best times to post according to online marketing software, Quicksprout.
Post regular and relevant content
One post on Twitter and LinkedIn per week isn’t enough. You need to be publishing or scheduling multiple posts per day on both social media accounts – making sure that you tailor the post to the social media you are using and that you keep this frequency of posting up throughout the whole year too.
As for the content you share, avoid repetitively promoting your products and services. Find industry-relevant news stories to share with your followers, and articles or blogs that you may have written about the industry too. This mix of content keeps your followers interested in what you’ve got to say.
Think about paid advertising
Once you’ve implemented the best practice guide above for your social channels, it is worth looking at paid advertising to boost your presence. LinkedIn, for example, allows you to target new customers by dropping your social posts into the news feed of people you’d like to target by region or even job title.
For both growing your followers, getting more visitors to your website, and engaging new business leads, this could be a very powerful tool indeed.
The rest of your online marketing strategy
Social media should form just one part of your online marketing strategy. Together with a well-optimised website, active blog, and regular e-communications with existing customers, you can create a strategy that generates business leads far better than the ‘traditional’ marketing methods, such as trade shows.