— August 12, 2019
Recently, I read an article by Neil Patel where he argues that B2B is unsuccessful on social media because it’s boring. He argued that social media practitioners need to find an “unboring” angle to relate to. He uses the example of vivarium misting systems which are used at zoos, theme parks, and universities. Maybe it’s just me, but that actually doesn’t sound boring to start with. He argues that the social profiles should focus on sustainability research and conservation.
Let’s be honest, here. Vivarium misting systems may not be as sexy as a Tesla, but it’s sure a heck of a lot easier than finding an unboring angle for your average IT consultant. I’m here to tell you not to give up hope on your social media profiles and that an unboring angle does exist.
Let’s walk through how to use Patel’s theory of the unboring angle for social media marketing for IT consultants.
Step 1: Start with Your Company Values
Every unboring angle should be company-specific. It should relate to your company culture, values, and outreach programs. If your competitor has a really great unboring angle—don’t you dare steal it. Chances are it won’t apply to who you are as a company.
When you’re getting ready to build your unboring angle, start with your company values. What does your mission statement focus on? For example, if your mission statement is employee-centric and focuses on creating the ideal work-family, maybe your unboring angle is the employee culture at your office. People come on social media to connect with others and build relationships. By giving your audience a behind-the-scenes view of your company, you’re creating connections between potential customers and who they could be working with.
Other companies may value community outreach and give back to the local soup kitchen or various nonprofits. Craft your social media platforms around that. Host a #FeatureFriday for local charities and ask for donations to their causes. Work with community nonprofits to involve your employees in soup kitchen volunteer days. Take photos and put them on your page.
At this point, you may be asking, “What the heck does this have to do with marketing for IT? Is asking for donations for your local charity actually going to get me customers?”
It all comes down to the mix of posts. Like baking a good cake, you need the right combination of ingredients to create a truly unboring social media presence. The ratio that I tend to use has only 10 percent of posts as a direct CTA to products and services. 40 percent should focus on your blogs and thought leadership content, another 20 percent should come from breaking news, and the last 30 percent should focus on your unboring angle. With the right mix of content, you can broaden your audience with generally engaging posts and still target your specific niche to develop lead generation and branding.
Step 2: Look at Your Location
Are you a locally-focused B2B business? Then your social media marketing for IT consultants should reflect that. Get involved with your local community’s social media presence. Showcase local events, highlight community news, and, best of all, actually be active in your community. Host work events at local breweries or encourage employees to create a team for charity events happening in your town.
Using your location as an unboring angle is beneficial in several ways. It highlights your location so potential customers understand where your service area is. You’re also able to tap into a pre-existing digital community that should welcome you with open arms. You can also integrate your offline branding and marketing for IT consultants with your online one. By combining your physical presence with your online one, you can compound your results.
Step 3: Analyze Your Target Market
Are you in a location lacking community and aren’t feeling inspired by your company’s values? First off, fix that second one. Your company should prioritize values and a mission statement with meaning. But if you still can’t find an angle in step one or step two, analyze your target market. This comes a little closer to what Neil Patel was talking about originally. In the vivarium misting system example, the unboring angle came from a tangential subject that both the target market and a broader audience would be interested in.
For an IT consultant, the fruit is ripe for the picking with this one. If one of your services is to focus on compliance and regulations, take a global angle and discuss how changing regulations in the industry impact the everyday small business. You can broaden this to talk about data privacy regulations and anything and everything to do with current government legislation.
On the other hand, if your focus is on data centers and private line internet, discussing recent cybersecurity breaches is a great unboring angle to choose. These security breaches impact anyone and everyone. Moreover, it’s something that every business owner worries about. Use your social media profiles to discuss breaking news, preventative tips, and the latest security hacks.
Step 4: Authenticity is Always Unboring
If you’ve completed steps one through three and still can’t find your unique unboring angle, focus on just being authentic. Show pictures of your employees at work (with their consent), take your audience on a potential tour through the office, showcase the daily ups and downs of being a part of your company.
It’s even better to get your clients involved. Take photos with them at their office and talk about what you’re doing for them (double-check if this is allowed, depending on the industry). Let your employees bring in the office dog and take a few pictures of Fido around the office. Don’t be afraid of the imperfections of daily life. So there’s an empty coffee cup and a few scattered papers on someone’s desk in your video. Don’t stress out about it. If your office looks too perfect, it comes across as fake. One of the keys to social media marketing for IT consultants is to be truly authentic – not inauthentically perfect.