In B2C companies, marketers use various social media channels to reach consumers and influence their purchase decisions. B2B companies are also adopting the same practice in an increasingly digital-driven market.
However, this requires a slightly different approach. Since B2B marketers are targeting business owners and decision-makers, they have to think more strategically. This article will show you how to do B2B social media marketing to meet your target audience’s expectations.
B2B social media marketing uses social media channels to market products or services to business clients and prospects. This means establishing and nurturing relationships via social media and leading them to make the final purchase.
Since today’s consumers are only increasing their active time on social media to get knowledge and entertainment, it means that all social media channels can be leveraged for B2B marketing. However, the type of content you create for a B2B social media plan may look different than a consumer-focused one.
Let’s look at some key numbers that express why B2B marketers are actively relying on social media to engage their audience.
No matter if it’s for short-term gains or long-term growth, you’ll need a solid B2B social media marketing plan. Most importantly, you need to be able to calculate your results.
Here are 5 steps to create a B2B social media marketing strategy for your business.
First, you must address these 2 crucial questions:
B2B and B2C marketers use social media platforms for different purposes. While B2C social media campaigns drive sales, B2B ones are more “top of the funnel.” Successful B2B marketers use content marketing to nurture subscribers, audiences, or leads.
Social media goals for B2B marketers should focus on longer-term business objectives. In fact, the top 3 overall goals for B2B content marketers are:
Next, you need to ask questions about your customers and determine what are their needs. Being aware of your buyer personas from the beginning allows you to plan out personalized social media content better.
What information would your customers find helpful that you can provide? Social listening is an excellent way to learn what’s happening across social networks within your industry. Keep in mind that people are much more interested in themselves and their problems than your company and its products.
Which social media platforms do your customers tend to use? Gain a presence on those social media networks where your ideal customers already gather to enable reach potential.
Do your customers use any of the major social media platforms or perhaps a niche site targeted at people in the same industry or with a similar interest? You may not need to be on as many social media platforms as you may initially think.
Why do your customers use the social media platforms that they do use? Your audience may be spending time on a particular platform for either business and/or pleasure. Familiarize yourself with the type(s) of content they tend to consume and share.
As a general rule, you should be where your customers are. Keep in mind, however, that separate channels are relevant for different verticals, products, and markets.
Most importantly, make sure you’re delivering the information your audience wants in the right place and at the right time. No matter how great your content is, it’s only meaningful within the context of where it appears.
For each social media platform, it’s best to present your message in the context that your chosen platform permits. This is done via the customizations allowed on the platform itself.
Here are the examples from some of the major social media networks:
The trick with Twitter is keeping your “tweets” short, engaging, and easily relatable for maximum shareability. While the current upper limit is 140 characters per tweet, your message should be kept under 115-120 characters.
Pro tip #1: Use hashtags to connect with an audience or tap into relevant trends.
Pro tip #2: Where applicable, add a visual to your tweets. Tweets with pictures have 50% higher clickthrough rates.
Pro tip #3: Don’t start the post with an @ symbol because it will only be seen by mutual followers of the sender and receiver, thus diminishing your reach.
Facebook visitors generally want to have fun and be entertained on the platform. This is not the place for serious content. Put out more personal and/or lighthearted content.
Unlike Twitter, Facebook has no limit on the number of characters you can type in a post. But you should aim to keep your posts under 250 characters.
Use as many visuals as possible. However, make sure they are properly sized for Facebook, as the wrong dimensions will mean parts of the image get cut off in the final presentation.
This is the social media network for business professionals to interact with one another. Almost all B2B content marketers (96%) use LinkedIn.
On LinkedIn, people are actively searching and ready to learn. You want to provide more in-depth content here. Always keep the context in mind and don’t put out any unnecessary content or product placements.
You can post content to your company page and relevant LinkedIn groups. But when posting to groups, it’s best to listen first to the questions and conversations before jumping in.
Social media for B2B brands is aimed at starting conversations and building relationships that lead to sales in the long term. Followers aren’t going to stick around if your content doesn’t interest them.
From time to time, it might be appropriate to share technical information and new product specifications. But do not make this the primary focus of your social media channels or else it gets boring real fast.
You should be aiming to make your followers’ lives easier or more enjoyable. Be smart and strategic with the content you create and deliver. Provide helpful content and resources such as how-to guides, industry news, trends, tips, strategy, and so on.
Another great idea for content is to get your employees involved. Real people make your social media presence and brand voice appear more human and boost your recruiting efforts. So, tell their stories and highlight their achievements.
Be sure to incorporate video content as much as possible – it drives 5 times higher engagement than other content.
Think of each social media site as a marketplace in real life and your profile as a physical storefront. You want to represent your store (i.e., profile) to the fullest and clearest extent possible.
Pro tip #1: Include your company’s logo and ensure that the related graphics and dimensions are correct for each platform.
Pro tip #2: Just like with your main website, use keywords to get your social media profile found via search engines.
Pro tip #3: Don’t forget to include a link back to your main website to make it easier for visitors to find out more about you.
All successful B2B content marketers measure their content performance. This makes sense. How can you know how well your social media content performs if you don’t measure with clear metrics and KPIs?
Setting benchmarks and achievable goals is important. Be realistic about what efforts you’ll have hard numbers for and which will be trickier to quantify. At the very least, you need to find out if your content and social media strategy is on the right track.
Depending on your business goals and campaign objectives, you might choose to focus on impressions, engagement rate, conversions, sales, etc. The following are some good metrics to track in general:
As you continue to post new content and track their results, you will begin to realize a few key things if you want to sustain the longevity of your B2B social media marketing campaigns. Specifically, the level of engagement you receive across your posts is going to be more important than the number of social media followers you are gaining.
So, did you learn anything useful? How will your social media content change? What do you see for the future of content marketing in your company?
We hope this article was helpful for developing your B2B content marketing strategy. Take advantage of social media and unleash a powerful and authentic form of marketing and promotion for your brands and businesses.
Get in touch with our experts at elfo. We’re here for all your social media marketing needs!