Let’s face it, social media has changed how we marketers are doing our jobs. In addition to all the work that’s already on our plate, we now have to do LinkedIn updates, Twitter tweets, Facebook posts and, oh yeah, Google pluses. That’s not even counting blogging (or chasing down guest bloggers!). And it’s all with the hope of getting the word out about our company… and maybe generating some quality leads too.

Meanwhile, buyers are now awash in a sea of social updates, tweets, blog posts and other content. The result? Even as we spend more (and more) time doing social media, we’re grabbing less (and less) of our prospects’ attention. Alas, what’s a B2B marketer to do? We have lead goals after all.

Here are six ways to rise above the noise to grab your buyers’ attention using social media (without requiring more effort!):

1. Focus on the Less Than 1%

First of all, don't approach social media like a popularity contest. The objective is NOT to reach everyone with your marketing content, especially since more than 99% of the people on social media aren’t prospects (you’re a B2B marketer, remember?). Instead focus on the less than one percent that truly represents your target audience.

Said another way, exactly who are you selling to and what are their wants, needs, desires and pain points? This is where buyer personas come in. (Using them? You should be.) Focus all your efforts on finding and engaging these folks on social media --they’re the ones you want to be popular with!

2. Tell a One of a Kind Story

Your business has competitors, but turns out your customers chose you. Why is that? Think about what makes your business, product, service, people or story unique and compelling. Is your service faster, easier to use, more responsive, built with the latest technology? Maybe your CEO is famous (Dancing with the Stars?), from a faraway land or has a really compelling view on how the future should look.

Whatever the reason, get a handle on why your company is one of a kind and make that central to how you approach content marketing and social media.

3. Be at the Right Place at the Right Time

Which social platforms, blogs, Q&A sites, user groups and forums is your target audience active on? Sure, this will most likely include LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, but it will also include other communities, too. One place it probably won’t include? Your current social media brand pages. Why? Because chances are good that most of your current fans and followers aren’t prospects (Surprised? Take a look).

The goal is to find where your prospects are active on social media, and then engage them there… while also coaxing these buyers to join your company’s social audience. For example, do a guest post on an industry blog and include your company’s social handles in your author bio. Guess what? You’ll get in front of buyers, and start building the right social audience for your company!

4. Tap Into What Everyone is Talking About

As you read this post, hundreds (if not thousands) of your prospects are using social media to discover interesting content, share information, have conversations, and find people and companies to connect with.
Imagine if you could tap into this social activity to gain insight into what your next white paper should be on, which video to produce, what webinar to present or infographic to create.

You can.

For example, start following your top 50 prospects and 20 best customers on Twitter. Discover what content they’re sharing and commenting on. Not so hard, right?

5. Keep it Current and Real-time

Social media reflects what’s happening now. And “now” is a great indicator of what’s relevant, timely and interesting for your audience. Doesn't matter if it’s the latest news, a current industry conference, or a question that someone just tweeted out, your target audience is more likely to engage if your content is fresh, current or real-time.

For example, why not change the title of your upcoming webinar to play off the Oscars (“Why We Should Have Won an Oscar for our Space-Aged Thingee”) or other current event. Or how about doing a podcast (instead of that planned infographic), if you discover that they’re in vogue again with prospects.

6. Make the Sum of the Parts Greater Than the Whole

No offense to Dr. Frankenstein but he got it all wrong. It’s not about using different parts to make a greater whole (neck bolts included). It’s actually the opposite. Meaning: when you develop content think about how to break it into smaller pieces to share using social media. Or simply put, look to create as many opportunities as possible for your target audience to engage with your content.

For example, have a webinar coming up? Write a webinar blog post, do a press release, promote the webinar on social media, create a podcast, tweet out before, during and after the webinar, and share the webinar presentation (there’s more, but you get the idea!) Use this “sum of the parts” approach for all your white papers, e-books, case studies, product videos, trade shows, etc.

The truth is, any one of these six ideas can get your marketing content in front of more buyers, with more impact. Do them all and you’ll catapult your business to the front of the pack!

Have other ideas for getting in front of buyers using social media? Feel free to share!

Title image courtesy of ramcreations (Shutterstock)

Editor's Note: To read more of Carter's advice, check out Scaling Social: The Future of B2B Social Marketing