Social media continues to remain one of the most profitable and popular traffic sources for companies, including business to business (B2B) organizations.
According to recent research from Content Marketing Institute 83% of B2B marketers use social media networks for traffic/client generation. The same research shows that the average B2B organization is present on six social media channels. Clearly, social marketing is the preferred tactic. But it can be tough to be successful with it.
Effective ways to improve your B2B social marketing results:
Document your strategy
Once you’ve decided what you want to achieve on social and what metrics you’re going to measure to indicate success, you need to get a plan in place. Sure, 80% of B2B marketers surveyed say they have a specific social media marketing strategy but only 32% have documented it. Set goals and answer questions such as who you target audience is, what platforms you will use, and what type of content you will create. This should be a living document that you revisit from time to time and adjust as needed.
Create buyer personas
Your audience is one of your most valuable assets. How well do you know your audience? Creating buyer personas – fictional representations of your ideal future customers – is a vital step in optimizing the process of establishing your audience. Your social marketing strategies need to be aligned with these personas, with your customers’ potential problems, desires, needs, circumstances, and personalities.
Get started with your own buyer personas today by downloading our free guide:
Stop any ineffective activities
Not enough people pull the plug on things that aren’t working. Why not? Wouldn’t you rather focus on marketing efforts that yield results? You and your team only have so much time so be sure you’re working on the right things. Take a few items off your to-do list and make room for others. Of course to do this, you need a documented marketing strategy. (Ahem, see above note.) Once it is, hunker down and only work on items that support the strategy. Prioritizing tasks that align with your company strategy will make the whole process easier on you.
Invest in LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook
These are the top three most effective social media platforms B2B marketers use and social ads will help achieve results. It’s a pay-to-play game as networks such as Twitter and Facebook have low organic reach rates. You can’t expect to be successful and well-known unless your develop and carry out paid social ad campaigns. But be strategic! You don’t need to be on all existing social networks and you don’t need to throw money at all of them. The Content Marketing Institute report identifies LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook as the most used platform by B2B marketers. You can serve your ads to users based on criteria stemming from those buyer personas you’ve made.
Optimize your CTAs
Many businesses don’t leverage call-to-actions on their social platforms. Whether it’s paid or organic, having powerful CTAs leads to more clicks. So start thinking about what you can say to lead your audience to take an action (e.g. read an email, click on a product offer, etc.)
Utilize multimedia content
Social is not the place for text-heavy content. Incorporate visually engaging images, videos, and audio into your content distribution. Diversify your content and get a good mix of visuals in with the text, whitepapers, and blogs.
Analyze your competitors
Check out your competitors’ social channels. Set aside some time to comb through the profiles, paying attention to their strategies. How are they implementing SEO? Do they find success in content marketing tactics? What about influencer marketing?
Use employee advocacy
Give your employees the opportunity to champion your business in their own audiences. Make it easy for employees to share your content, from blogs, infographics, to videos and white papers. Don’t limit your reach with just your own audience. If your employees start sharing your content, too, your potential reach and engagement grows.
Share user generated content
Sure, UGC is easier when you sell consumer goods but B2B companies can take advantage of it too. While your customers might not be keen on posting pics of your product in action, you can still connect with them and encourage them to share visuals of your brand. Do you send out swag or gift boxes? Show your customers some appreciation and they’ll show some back! Encourage people to use a branded hashtag so you can easily find and share user generated content. If you host events, ask people to share photos on social. Run a contest and ask people to share their experience with your company.
~ ~ ~
Use these tips as a starting point to guide your social management and marketing strategies. These will help, no matter the size of your company’s social media budget. And if you’re looking for a bit of inspiration, go check out Cisco’s Instagram, IBM’s Twitter, or GE on Instagram. And don’t hesitate to get in touch with us! We love working with B2B companies to achieve more social success.