Typically when you think of companies who have found success on social, the ones that first come to mind are business to consumer brands (B2C). But business to business (B2B) companies can find just as much success on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, if they’re willing to seize the opportunity.
Many B2B companies are still relying on traditional marketing tactics like cold calling and hosting a booth at a networking conference. These are effective tactics but shouldn’t be used in lieu of social media. For better results, your B2B company needs to integrate social into its overall strategy. Don’t think that just because your industry isn’t flashy that social media won’t work for you. Social media is not just for the beauty and fashion industries. With over a billion people active on social media around the world, your job is to find those who are interested in your industry and serve up content that resonates with that audience.
Getting started with B2B social strategy
Now that you’re on board with the idea of capitalizing on B2B social media marketing, how do you get started? As always, let’s first look at our goals and decide what metrics we will measure to determine success. Just want to increase reach? Track organic/paid reach, impressions, engagement, and number of followers. Interested in getting more leads? Measure clicks and conversions. (You might want to invest in a social media analytics platform for tracking purposes.)
Once we know what we want out of our social presence and how we’re measuring success let’s lay out a plan for getting there. Documenting your B2B social plan helps you by answering questions like who your target audience is, what platforms you will use, what types of content you’ll create, and how your competitors are using social media. Writing your plan down will keep everyone on track and allows you to adjust when necessary.
B2B social strategy tips and tactics
Want a social strategy that gets results? Follow these tips:
- Don’t be boring! Social media for B2B companies shouldn’t be an afterthought so make sure you create a personality and get creative with content. You don’t need to be over-the-top, sassy, or super entertaining. But you do need to sound like a human being and develop a distinct social media voice. Keep your tone conversational and regularly engage with your users.
- LinkedIn is great and all but it’s not the only platform out there for B2B companies. Yes, according to Content Marketing Institute, 63% of marketers find LinkedIn to be the most effective B2B social platform. But beyond generating leads, your B2B social marketing goal is about branding and other social platforms can really help reach that goal. If you want to connect with a larger audience, you need to tell stories and start conversations – not just post about how awesome your product is. And platforms like Instagram are great for doing just that.
We wrote recently about a few B2B social media marketing strategies. Here are a few more techniques to employ:
- Showcase your partners by posting about collaborations. Highlighting your partnerships is a great way to increase impressions and get leads.
- Comment on relevant breaking news. Set up Google Alerts for industry keywords, then offer insights from your team about big news stories to demonstrate your expertise on a subject.
- Form support accounts. Customers are turning more and more to social media to ask service questions so having a dedicated support account might be useful.
- Join or create groups and communities. Participating in a group helps you reach users who have already shown an interest in your industry or product. It’s a great way to engage your target markets.
- Share original content. Boost awareness about your company through social media. Place links to your website in the beginning of a post, reshare content about trending topics (or hashtags), and play around with posting times.
- Share third-party content. In between your own content, share outside pieces to keep your followers engaged and portraying your company as an resource for information. Just don’t, you know, promote your biggest competitors.
- Analyze your audience. Social media platforms like Twitter have analytics dashboards that provide all sort of insights into your audience. With information on demographics and interests in hand you can come up with new methods for reaching your target market.
- Analyze your efforts. Monitoring your own results such as rates of engagement, will help you improve your overall B2B social strategy. You’ll be able to take a close look at what’s working and why and make adjustments to your ongoing social tactics.
Want more? Check out this great infographic from Sprout Social:
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Convinced of the importance of social for B2B marketing but don’t have the resources to make it happen? Give us a call! Designing and implementing marketing strategies is what we live for.