Whatever type of business you have, social media is crucial to your marketing strategy. If you are working in a B2B type of company, then you might shy away from creative concepts because you think it wouldn’t work well on your social media channels. It is absolutely true that we rarely hear about the IT management company winning a prize for their superb social media marketing strategy, or construction engineering company flourishing on Instagram. B2B companies mostly struggle to grasp the concept of social media marketing. A large number of such businesses don’t even have a strategy that could help them stand out and reach their target audience in a more creative way.
One of the biggest issues most B2B companies face when it comes to social media strategy is content creation. Just because you are not customer-oriented, that doesn’t mean your content will automatically be less attractive or that you need to be less fun, innovative or engaging on social media. If you think your industry is boring, then check out some of our ideas for content creation that could help you out next time you’ll be preparing a monthly content plan.
Establishing a solid B2B social media strategy means that you’ll have a completely different approach to marketing overall. The KPIs you’ll be measuring in your social media marketing strategy need to be set in a way that won’t even compare to those of a B2C social media marketer. You as a B2B marketer need to use social media platforms to distribute, promote and repurpose content, give value to your business and communicate in a way that will reflect your company’s tone of voice. By doing all of that, measuring the results and adapting the latest social media trends, you can create much-needed brand awareness that a lot of B2B businesses lack.
Here is our guide for preparing a winning B2B social media marketing strategy:
#1 Find the right social media platforms for you
You don’t have to be on Twitter if your target audience is not there. You don’t have to be on Instagram if you think you don’t have the content for it or the right message to spread on that channel.
However, before starting with any social media platform, you should do market research. Whether you want to leverage social media to increase website traffic, leads and sales or you simply want to increase your brand awareness, you need to know:
- Your target audience
- Which social media channels your target audience uses
- Why and how they use these social media channels
- Is your competition on these social media platforms
- Do you have what it takes (e.g. content, budget…) to be present on all of those social media channels or should you focus just on one/some?
Once you’ve done market research and have a clear picture of your buyer persona, you can finally take further steps. Based on the data collected, you will know if it’s a good idea to base your B2B social media marketing strategy on big social media networks or perhaps a niche site targeted at people in the same industry and with similar interests. You may not need to be on as many social media platforms as you think.
For most businesses, Facebook is the first step because everyone is on Facebook these days. It’s the base, after setting up a great website. Also, don’t forget LinkedIn which is a network aiming at business professionals who want to build and engage with other businesses, employers and recruiters.
#2 Make sure you have THE RIGHT content
This may seem like a no-brainer to state, but many businesses establish their social media presence with original content. For a thriving B2B social media marketing strategy, make sure your content is helpful and of interest to your target audience. Your website should include a blog, ebooks, webinars, maybe even a podcast and insightful videos. All of those, you can use for sharing and distributing on social media channels. Note that each social media platform needs to present your values and messages in the context of the platform on which you’re communicating. Even if you are sharing the same blog post on LinkedIn and Twitter, that doesn’t mean you’ll prepare the same visual and copy for both.
More importantly, don’t forget people can tell the difference “between content that is original and creative versus something you posted just to say you were active on the platform that day”.
If you need examples of B2B brands that have great content on their social media channels, check out this article.
#3 Engage in conversation
Most B2B’s don’t have large amount of Likes, Comments and Shares on their social media channels. Since all of these serve the purpose of being social proof to newcomers on their platforms, most B2B marketers think they are doing something wrong. Measuring just these statistics won’t give you a real insight into whether your social media marketing strategy is working or not. If you’re focused just on vanity metrics, you’ll never reach your KPIs or goals you’ve set.
Still, even if you’re a granite manufacturer and think your company shouldn’t be on social media because no one would engage in conversation with you, I’m here to tell you otherwise. If you’ll provide your target audience with valuable and interesting content, creative visuals, be of service to them and initiate the conversation, people will engage in conversation with you. Obviously, you’ll probably never have as many comments as a meme Facebook page, but that shouldn’t discourage you.
B2B social media marketing can seem dull or uninteresting. Find a way to initiate a conversation with your target audience. For example, put yourself in the shoes of specific business owners you are trying to reach or use examples where your services have proven to be useful to your customers.
Moreover, if you want people to talk to you, ask them questions. Always leave Call To Action at the end of your copy in LinkedIn or Facebook posts. Make sure the other side feels it’s okay to share their insight or opinion on a certain matter.
#4 Humanize your brand/company
By giving your business A FACE, people will more likely relate to it. Even as a B2B company, you should find a way to humanize your business. Show your playful side: find a way to make your target audience laugh by incorporating a funny post on your social media channels. Another thing you should do is to highlight your employees.
“If consumers are looking at just your logo all the time, they might not see your brand as human. So, put your team members in the spotlight.” (Source)
Besides giving your business a human face, highlighting your employees is a good opportunity for employer branding. It shows that you as a company are a great place to work, that your people love what they do and actually believe in your product or services. By showing real people behind your company instead of a bunch of stock photos, you’ll be able to achieve that “human touch” most business struggle with on social media.
#5 Analyze and adapt
Like I mentioned before, B2B marketers can’t use social media the same way as B2C marketers. Therefore, they can’t measure success the same way either. B2C company might find it extremely successful if its social media campaign brought them 2000+ Likes on Facebook, 10.000+ video views on Youtube and 4000 new Instagram followers in a month.
For a B2B company, a successful social media marketing campaign these numbers might seem high and unreachable, but since their goal is to get 10 new leads each month, then getting 15 instead would be considered victorious.
As a B2B company, you should measure and analyze data based on your goals. My advice to any company is to always set SMART goals (SMART is an acronym for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based goals). Once you’ve set them, then you can start tracking data, measuring and analyzing it over time. Based on the collected results, you can adapt and change your social media marketing strategy to achieve even better results.
One of the main benefits of B2B social media marketing is that it promotes sales. Your established social media strategy can help identify potential prospects, create better awareness of your services or products, develop a better relationship with your target audience, and attract more leads. But for all of this to be effective, you need to constantly work on monitoring social media trends, analyzing your data and adapting when necessary.