There are plenty of well known B2C brands that are killing it on social media. Wendy’s has gained thousands of followers and fans with their funny, often brutally snarky posts. Red Bull reaches millions with its high energy original content. But what about B2B businesses that don’t sponsor extreme sports or make burgers known and loved around the world? What if you happen to manufacture food-safe ink or are a logistics provider?
No matter what your business offers, there are people who are interested in what you do and what you have to say. You may not be talking to an audience that’s as a large consumer brand, but you’ll have valuable eyes seeing your posts.
B2B Social Marketing: How To Get StartedSuccessful B2B social marketing, like all social marketing, is about making your efforts about your audience, not just your business. What do they need to hear from you? How can you help them be more successful? To deliver the kind of share-worthy content that builds your audience, you need a plan.
Set Your GoalsAre you looking to generate more leads? Do you want to drive more traffic to your blog? Increase reach? Knowing what’s going to determine the success of your social media efforts will help you decide which metrics to measure.
If you’re trying to increase your reach, for example, you might track:
- Organic reach
- Paid reach
If your goal is to increase leads, you’ll want to track:
- New leads that come from social media
Once you define your objectives, you’ll be able to craft a social media strategy that’s designed to meet those goals. Make sure that each goal is measurable so that gauging success is more scientific and easier to track. You can track your social media metrics using a variety of different tools, including:
- Google Analytics. This highly versatile tool will show you which social platforms are driving the most traffic and goal completions.
- HubSpot Social. With HubSpot Social, you can monitor social mentions and engagement, and compare different platforms, campaigns, and publishing times.
- CoSchedule. In addition to tracking post engagement, CoSchedule gives you in-depth reports about performance and recommends the best time of day to post.
Write Down Your Strategy
This is a big one. Putting your social media strategy in writing will clarify your goals and help you reach them. Your strategy should identify:
- Your target audience
- The social platforms you’ll use
- The type of content you’ll publish
- The social metrics you’ll use to measure results
- How your competitors are using social media
Having a strategy documented will keep everyone on the same page and allow you to make adjustments as needed.
Best Practices for B2B Social Marketing
Making a post on social media is easy. Posting something that gets results for your business takes more work. Many B2B businesses see their social efforts fall flat because their posts are dull and get lost in the clutter. Here are some best practices that can help:
- Define your personality. If your posts are boring and all business, you’re setting yourself up for failure. It’s important to have a recognizable personality and human touch.
- Be conversational. Your posts shouldn’t read like a spec sheet. They should sound like they’re coming from a person, even though that person is your company. Use words like “we” and “our” when you’re talking about your company.
- Use humor when appropriate. Even if you’re talking about a widget, keep it light. Social media was created by humans for humans so they can interact with each other. You don’t have to go over the top, but it’s okay to let your hair down a bit.
- Don’t limit yourself to only LinkedIn. While LinkedIn is the most used, most effective platform for B2B, it’s not the only place your audience can be found. Most people on social media are there to be entertained for a few minutes, so make sure you have a presence on other social platforms. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and others are great places to gain awareness for your brand.
- Choose the right people for the job. This isn’t something to be done by anyone who’s got some free time. In a perfect world, it’s best to hire an experienced social media manager. If that’s not possible, look for professionals who do social full-time or enlist the help of an agency like Current360 that has a dedicated social media department.
- Know what your competitors are doing. Before you start creating content or posts, take a good look at what your competition is doing. What platforms are they on? How many followers do they have? How often do they post? What content is generating the most engagement? Use this information to create a competitive analysis and share it with your team. This will help inform your strategy and give you insights about what they’re doing right (and wrong) and help you craft a strategy that helps you stand out.
- Use video. People like watching videos. A lot. Here’s why more B2B marketers are using more video in their social:
- People prefer watching video more than reading when they’re online
- Video tells a story that words can’t
- Video educates and informs. Would you rather read about how a product works or actually see it?
- Video boosts search engine results
- 59% of B2B decision-makers prefer video over text content
More Questions About B2B Social Marketing?
If you need help developing a strategy, creating content, or scheduling your social content, we’d love to talk. At Current360, we have a team of social media experts who know how to get results.