Why you should engage with social
Social media can be a great tool to help you reach public sector buyers. Here’s why you should be engaging with social as part of your own public sector sales and marketing strategy...
In the private sector, and especially for business to consumer companies utilising social media is a huge part of their marketing strategies. But when it comes to selling to the public sector, suppliers don’t often see the importance of having a presence on social.
A survey by consultancy BDO in 2015 found that 74% of UK councils believed there was a moderately or extremely high appetite within their organizations to maintain a strong social media presence. As a supplier hoping to reach these buyers you should be considering taking advantage of Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media platforms to get your name out there and your reputation known, because if you don’t, your competitor might!
If you still need further convincing, here’s a few things that could happen if you ignore the big social media shaped elephant in the room…
You might miss out on an audience
Nearly all public sector organisations have a presence on social media for whatever reason, this means that the public sector sees value in investing time in social. As a supplier if you aren’t on them or you don’t see the point, you might be ignoring a whole audience.
Whilst, most government departments are on social media for awareness and promotion purposes rather than engagement it is important that you take the time to look at these accounts. Gauge from them what is being shared and this will help you determine what projects are being worked on. But, don’t expect to simply follow every government department and just sit back and watch the leads roll in. Find the individual accounts of the people working for your target organization. These will be the people who make the decisions or have direct influence. Maybe the CIO has an account? Or the Head of IT? Find them and follow them.
Use the departmental accounts for research but use the individual accounts to start conversations and provide valuable insight. This is what will get your reputation out there and help establish your authority.
You might give you buyers the wrong impression!
It is now common practice that when making a buying decision research is done not via google, but by the relevant social platforms. Consumers look for the companies presence on social, how they talk about their product, and most importantly how they engage with their customers. A good sales person would check out their prospects before meeting them, right? So, you can be sure the public sector is doing it too! If you don’t have a social presence, then you are already on the back foot.
Not being on social at all effect’s potential first impressions. But not being active means, you aren’t building any relationships with buyers or the community and are potentially losing business. You might not have the resources to focus on all the platforms all the time. But you can start by setting up a company page on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. If time is precious in your organisation you can use scheduling platforms to make sure each platform is active.
The key to making the most out of social media is to not just have a presence, but by justifying it and engaging and getting involved in the conversation.
A few more tips to get you started with social:
- Keep an eye on public sector news sources– articles on upcoming public sector projects might provide a good source of leads and throw up some names of good people to follow on twitter.
- Follow GovTech journalists – This is a good way to start engaging with government based on articles that mention them or projects they are working on.
- Check out our list of ‘top public sector influencers’.