Social media is a big roadblock for the majority of B2B companies. Most are unsure of how to implement an effective B2B social media strategy, while others neglect it entirely. Perhaps they have a consistent content strategy for LinkedIn but forgo other platforms.
If you think social media is unnecessary for your company, think again. Social media is perfectly placed to complement traditional marketing strategies, such as outreach emails, local networking events, and business conferences. It’s time to also integrate Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube, into your social strategy.
A robust social strategy can transport your business into the big league. Here are eight ways your company can translate its tweets, posts, hashtags, and status updates into success.
- Show some personality
One of the biggest misconceptions is that “boring” industries don’t belong on social media. Companies like Adobe, Novartis, and Cisco are pros at social media and prove that even if your business isn’t the most exciting, your content can be. Show the human side of your business and try to feature real people who work at the company. Adopt a conversational tone, cut the industry jargon, and try some gentle humor now and then. Try to ask questions and engage in online conversations if you’re tagged or mentioned. Shaking off the faceless corporate vibe and supporting causes that align with your brand’s values can win you fans in unexpected places.
- Be clear about your goals
Decide why you’re using social media in the first place. Do you want to generate more leads? Are you more interested in driving traffic to your website? You need to get clear about your objectives so that you know how to measure them. If your goal is to get more leads, you’ll need to set up analytics for clicks, conversions, and new leads from social. However, people don’t go to social media accounts to buy products, so you can’t rely on social media for sales. It’s a marketing strategy to amplify your brand identity and influence your potential customer’s opinions in the early stages of the buyer’s journey.
- Create a social media strategy
Look at what your competitors are doing and think about how you can differentiate yourself. Create a social media strategy defining your audience, goals, social platforms, the type of content you will publish, and how often you’ll post. Emphasizing your unique selling point (USP) gives your company focus and stops you from trying to be all things to all people. B2B social posts that remain consistent in their message have more sticking power. Then, when your clients have a specific problem you can solve, they’ll think of you first.
- Provide value
Every business has a specific audience. Whether it’s business owners, HR directors, or IT managers, your audience will respond to targeted social content. Don’t just talk about your company because self-serving posts will have readers scrolling on by. How can you make their lives easier? The intricate details of your room-booking app are unlikely to interest people. Instead, show them how it can streamline work processes and save staff time. Don’t be afraid to share authoritative or interesting content created by others – even your competitors. Not only will you seem confident, but it will help you gain more respect as a go-to source of objective, relevant, and timely information.
- Have a great content
A huge part of providing value to your audience is to have great content. There’s no point in creating a social media strategy if you don’t have a high-quality website or informative digital assets. You need content as a foundation for every part of the buyer’s journey. Content can include everything from blogs and e-books to webinars and videos. Once you’ve grabbed your audience’s interest, you need to maintain it. Then they will remember your brand and keep coming back for more. Best of all, if people like your content, they will share it. Social media can vastly extend the reach of your website, so make sure you create something worth sharing.
- Adapt your message for each social platform
It makes sense that LinkedIn is the most popular social media platform for businesses, but if you rely on it, you’re limiting your growth. While LinkedIn is great for connecting you with highly targeted individuals, it isn’t the best place for branding. The other social media platforms are built for informal sharing, connecting, and entertainment. People visit them during breaks, which makes them the perfect medium for developing brand awareness. Instagram is ideal for curated visual content and comments, while Twitter favors quick, witty engagement.
YouTube is great for tutorials, building your authority, and responding to comments. Pinterest is often overlooked by businesses, but it’s good for positioning senior executives as thought leaders and driving traffic to your company’s website. Discover what platforms your potential clients are using and adapt your message. Across all the platforms brevity is the key and shorter posts perform better.
- Research keywords and hashtags
Once you’ve gone to so much effort to provide social content that people want, you should make sure they can find it. Keyword research for social media involves tracking popular topics related to your product and determining the user intent and search frequency.
You can also optimize your posts by adding trending hashtags, which is a particularly effective method on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Search for a relevant word attached to a hashtag and the results will help you understand the kind of content your audience is engaging with. If you’re feeling inspired, create your own hashtag; you never know, it might catch on!
- Encourage your clients to post content
User-generated content (UGC) is the holy grail of social posting. When your followers and connections post to your account, it promotes authenticity and trust. There are several ways you can encourage people to post, such as running competitions, asking your connections their thoughts on a topic, or hosting live chats. You can host events where your guests post photos and updates to social media with the relevant hashtag. If you ever send gifts or freebies out to clients, they can post about it, tagging your business. Positive comments and other types of social proof provide brand credibility that advertising can’t supply.
What can your business do to leverage the power of social media?
The use of B2B social media marketing is only going to grow in the next few years. Find out where your competitors are posting and performing well, then try to emulate that success with your own twist. When you use social media effectively you can increase traffic, improve your brand’s authority, and nurture new leads towards a future sale.