“Nearly 60 percent of the world’s population is already online, and the latest trends suggest that more than half of the world’s total population will use social media by the middle of this year.” – Digital 2020 Global Digital Overview. All over the world consumers and business decision makes are increasingly relying on social media to inform their purchase decisions. Despite the fact that 84% of B2B marketers are using social media as a marketing tactic, many simply aren’t fully leveraging its power to drive business results.
In order to engage and attract an audience, B2B companies need to ensure their social media content is engaging, memorable, and speaks to their target audience.
In today’s article we’ll talk about why social media marketing provides a huge window of opportunity for B2B marketers, and we’ll provide some steps and best practices for getting started.
We’ve got a lot to cover, so let’s get started!
Why use social media marketing for B2B
Social media is a powerful marketing tool that, when used correctly, has the potential to attract leads, boost sales, and improve ROI for your business.
B2B social media marketing differs from B2C in that it requires a more nuanced and strategic approach. However, B2B marketers often struggle with finding their voice on social media, but with the right approach and a great strategy B2B businesses can:
- Increase brand awareness and establish trust with your audience by demonstrating authenticity
- Drive traffic and generate new leads (social media accounts for 31% of referral traffic and 54% of marketers say they have generated new leads from social media)
- Improve SEO and your positioning in organic search results
- Convert more leads into customers (this is the top marketing objective for B2B marketers in 2020)
If you don’t already have a documented B2B social media strategy, you’re missing out on a huge potential audience.
Building an effective social media marketing B2B strategy
When it comes to creating a social media strategy for B2B marketing, there are some best practices and key points of interest to be aware of. Whether you’re just starting out, or looking to improve your lackluster strategy, you’ll need to:
Decide your goals and KPIs
When it comes to building a successful social media marketing B2B strategy, you’ll need to set SMART goals to ensure your strategy is achieving results. SMART goals refer to goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).
Defining specific, measurable key performance indicators (KPIs) for your business’s social media marketing strategy will allow you to measure the success and ROI of your social media strategy.
Are you using social media to attract leads? You’ll want to use metrics like clicks and conversions to track progress. If your goal is to increase brand awareness through social media, then key metrics will be engagement, impressions, and reach.
There are numerous tools available for tracking and measuring KPIs. One such tool is Hubspot’s Social Media Management Software which can manage your business’s entire social media pipeline which tracks metrics to ensure KPIs are being met.
Know your target audience
You must know precisely who your ideal customer is when using social media as part of your B2B marketing strategy. Do some research into your buyer personas to better understand their interests, pain points, and social media consumption habits. Which social media platforms do they use? What kinds of content do they consume and share? When are they most active?
The top social media platforms used by B2B marketers are:
- LinkedIn (86%)
- Facebook (73%)
- Twitter (63%)
- Youtube (36%)
- Instagram (31%)
80% of all B2B leads originate on LinkedIn, so it might be worth prioritizing certain social platforms above others when it comes to targeting your audience on social media. Each social platform will have a slightly different target audience who want to consume different kinds of media. It’s crucial that you take this into consideration when planning your strategy.
By understanding your audience, you can produce content that appeals to different buyer personas in various stages of the buyer’s journey.
Check out the competition
There’s a lot to be learnt from our enemies! Take a look at your competitors to see what their B2B social media marketing strategy looks like. Consider what they’re doing well and how their audience are responding. If their target audience are similar to yours you can gain inspiration from their campaigns. You can also take note of what they haven’t done yet, which will help you to
Share original content
This almost goes without saying, but you want to make sure the content you’re sharing with your audience is original and relevant. It’s also important to optimize your content for each social media platform you’re using. For example, content that you post to LinkedIn might be serious and educational, whereas content shared on Facebook can adopt a more light-hearted, relaxed tone.
Humans are visual beings, so it’s important that you’re sharing multimedia content such as videos, images, infographics, etc. This kind of content makes more of an immediate impression on viewers, especially on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, where users aren’t necessarily always actively searching for information.
Share a mixture of top of the funnel (blog posts, white papers) and bottom of the funnel (demo videos, testimonials) content to capture your audience at various stages of the customer journey. What’s more, sharing and responding to industry news and trending topics in your sector will establish your brand’s authority and build trust.
An editorial calendar can make planning your social media marketing B2B strategy much easier. This enables you to post consistently, and ensures that all the content you’re sharing with your social media audience is timely and valuable.
Find your (brand) voice
Having a recognisable brand voice can make a huge difference to how your audience perceives and interacts with your business.
You might think that having a brand voice is more important in B2C marketing operations, but social media is the perfect place to distinguish your brand in a crowded marketplace. Whether you have a humorous tone, or add some irony into your posts; a unique brand voice will make you more personable and more memorable for your customers.
Engage with your audience
Nobody likes to be talked at all the time, so it’s important to engage your audience in conversation through your social media marketing activities. Social media’s main purpose is to connect people, just because you’re a business doesn’t mean you shouldn’t connect with your audience on a personal level.
You don’t always have to share content that’s aligned with your business goals. You might decide to share content that’s simply informative and accompany it with a caption that poses a question to your audience. This way, they’re more inclined to read it, respond, and share it. And that, my friend, is engagement.
Businesses are increasingly utilizing the potential for social media as a customer service platform. Most people are attached to their phones all day (we’re not looking at you, don’t worry!) so it makes sense that consumers are demanding more accessibility when it comes to customer support. In this way, your social media strategy should support the customer experience, throughout their journey.
Measure the results
There’s no way to tell if your social media strategy is delivering results unless you monitor them along the way. Look to your analytics platforms to get an idea of engagement, follower count, shares, and other information that’ll allow you to determine whether your KPIs (remember those?) are being met. If they’re not, you can leverage this data you’ve gathered and use it to adjust your strategy and inform your future campaigns.
With a documented B2B social media strategy, you can leverage social media’s potential to generate leads, establish brand authority, boost sales, and much more. Social media is a powerful tool that, when used correctly, can drive business results and help B2B businesses to create more effective digital marketing strategies overall.
One of the first crucial steps in creating a successful B2B social media marketing strategy is to get to know your audience. Once you know who you want to engage, you can begin executing a strategic plan to convert leads, drive engagement, and establish your social media presence.
Are you ready to get acquainted with your social media audience?
Download our free Buyer Persona Template today.