Creating a B2B Social Media Strategy That Gets Results

     

Published: May 25, 2020

It might seem like social media isn’t the right place for businesses to market to other businesses, or that B2B companies are not going to do well in social spaces. Many companies are worried that their industries are too dry or dull to get social, but nothing could be further from the truth. Remember, people work for businesses, and these people are on social media! The trick is to capture their attention with a B2B social media strategy that’s focused on their needs.

What’s Different About B2B
In the business-to-consumer market, there is an abundance of ways to get the attention of potential buyers. For businesses trying to reach other companies, the objectives are a little different, even if the individual people might be the same. In other words, you’re often trying to reach people while they aren’t working and nudging them to consider work-related information. For that reason, a B2B social media strategy must be tailored to a different perspective.

There are also a few additional obstacles to consider for a B2B audience. For example, it’s more common to need approval from several different people before a purchase decision can be made, which will have an impact on the content you create and share. B2B companies also tend to have more compliance issues to be aware of when creating public content and also need to provide a higher level of information, not just fun and friendly communications.

Creating a B2B Social Media Strategy
Much like any other strategy in marketing, it’s always a good idea to start by defining what your goals are. For example, are you trying to expand your reach into new markets? Bring in new leads directly from social media? Direct more traffic to your website where conversions can happen? Before you can create an effective B2B social media strategy, you have to know where you want to end up.

The next step is to identify your target audience, and for B2B social media strategies, this means addressing a few extra possibilities beyond demographics and interests. For example, are you trying to reach decision-makers directly, or are you trying to influence end-users or other stakeholders who have the ear of decision-makers? Knowing who you’re targeting and what role they have in their organization is critical as the boss probably wants to know about things like costs, implementation challenges, and other big-picture concepts. In contrast, users or other stakeholders want to know about benefits or other differentiators that will make their jobs easier or more successful.

Then, it’s time to take a look at what your competitors are doing in the social sphere. This will not only give you some insight into the B2B social media strategies of other organizations, but it will also help you see what you’re up against and what it will take to overcome their existing presence.

Choosing the Right Platform
Not every social media platform is going to be right for businesses, and B2B social media strategies tend to stick to fewer choices than those aimed directly at consumers. There are a few platforms that stand out as ideal destinations for professional content, and for reaching people while they are in work-mode (or at least receptive to work-related ideas).

At the top of the list is LinkedIn, and that’s probably no surprise as that’s where most people turn for the right mix of business and socializing. It’s perfect for longer content like blogs, articles, and whitepapers as LinkedIn provides a place for companies to post industry content in an environment that’s all about professional growth. And, even though the overall audience may be smaller, they are far more likely to engage with this type of content on LinkedIn than elsewhere.

Twitter is another contender for the top spot, and it can be a better place to reach broader audiences than LinkedIn due to the high volume of users. It’s not perfect, however, as all those extra people mean considerably more competition for attention and it’s easy to get lost in all the noise. Twitter also requires far more activity to be effective, but each interaction tends to be quick and short rather than contemplative. Use it to share links to industry news and statistics as well as links to your other content such as videos, blogs, and articles.

YouTube is an often-underestimated social media platform that can play an excellent supporting role in your overall social strategy as 78 percent of people watch online videos every week. From demos to facility tours and interviews, there’s no shortage of ideas for how to incorporate video into a B2B marketing strategy. Plus, YouTube videos can be shared on other channels and embedded into web pages, emails, slide decks, and other mediums.

We’ll include Facebook in this list as well for the simple fact that virtually everyone is using it, including 82 percent of college graduates and older groups of the population that can be difficult to reach on other platforms. It can be a great place to expand your reach, especially internationally, and perfect for top-of-funnel activities like building brand awareness and spreading good news such as your organization’s social advocacy programs.

Content: What To Focus On
The two main B2B social media marketing strategies should include activities that boost your brand awareness and trust, and establishing thought leadership in your industry. Both of these activities can be tied to a number of marketing goals and tailored to fit where the buyer is in the journey as well as their role in the company.

For example, if you’re considering a campaign to increase brand awareness in new markets by reaching end-users or similar stakeholders, you may want to focus on creating content that demonstrates how well you understand the frustrations or concerns of this group so they become interested in how your solutions will make them more successful in their positions. If you’re hoping to build trust with decision-makers, you may want to focus on demonstrating that you’re a reputable firm with considerable expertise that’s been trusted by those in the industry.

There’s Room for Everyone
Creating a B2B social media strategy that gets results means understanding precisely who you are trying to target and then capturing their attention with the right content in the right places. If you’re ready to bring your business to social media, but you’re not confident that you know how to leverage social media to reach your business goals, we can help. Contact us to get started!

Categories: Social Media Marketing
Tags: B2B social media strategy
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