How to create a B2B social media strategy that works
23rd July 2019
Historically, social media has been seen as the domain of B2C companies, mainly big name brands with trendy, exciting new products to sell to an avid consumer audience. In more recent years there has been a shift, with B2B companies beginning to embrace social media as part of their marketing strategy. However, a lot of B2B companies either still struggle to grasp social media or flat out ignore it, thinking it’s not for them.
If you’ve been shying away from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram because you think they only work for selling to a consumer audience, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. Here’s how to create a B2B social media strategy that will grow your brand, create leads and drive sales.
You might be tempted to just jump right in and start posting. After all, it’s just a few social posts, right? Wrong. Stop, take a step back and plan things out.
First and foremost, decide what you want to achieve. What will success look like? Do you want to drive traffic to your website? Increase reach? Get more leads? The answers will influence the type of content you create, the platforms you use and which metrics you need to measure success.
Create a written strategy
The next step is to pull together a written strategy. This allows you to set goals, outline a clear plan of how you’re going to reach them and adjust your strategy when you need to.
It should address important questions such as:
- Who is your target audience?
- What are your goals?
- What measurement metrics will you use?
- What social platforms will you use?
- What type of content will you be publishing?
- How often will you post? When? What time?
Getting the message right
The key to creating engaging content is to think about what your audience will like, rather than just being self promoting. Make social media about your audience, not just your business.
There are lots of different types of content that B2B companies can leverage. Here are a few examples:
- Thought leadership – company blogs, whitepapers or links to third party articles in industry publications
- Case studies – real life examples of how your products/ services have benefitted customers
- Infographics – easy to digest, visual representation of interesting stats/ trends
- Videos – product demos, tours, how to guides, industry events
- Event marketing – pre promotion and live tweeting from industry events
Create a personality
Unfortunately, a lot of B2B companies’ social media is dull and lacks personality. The fear of being too edgy or controversial stops them from getting creative with their content; or at the other end of the scale; they go over the top in an attempt to be entertaining.
It’s important to develop a social media tone of voice which helps your audience connect to your company’s core values.
- Use a conversational tone.You can use words like “we” and “our” when referring to your company.
- Engage with others. Social media is not a one way street. Don’t be afraid to talk to your audience, it’s all about conversing.
- Humour can be good. Use social media as a way to humanise your company. It’s OK to have a bit of fun, just don’t go over the top.
Choose your platforms
LinkedIn has developed a reputation for being the top B2B social media platform, which makes sense. However, the right content opens up a realm of possibilities across other platforms too and many B2B companies are beginning to see the importance of using Facebook, Twitter and even Instagram to create brand awareness.
Investigating social media platforms and their features more thoroughly can give B2B companies an edge when it comes to deciding what message to send out, who to send it to, and in what format. Ultimately, it’s about choosing the best tool for reaching the people you want to reach.
Take a look at the top companies in your industry and see which social media platforms they are using. That will give you an idea of where to start.
Use your employees
Traditionally, B2B brands stick to sharing content from the company social media profiles. However, that limits your reach to just your own audience.
Employee advocacy is all about giving your employees the ability to promote your brand to their own social networks. For instance, if your company creates videos, blog posts or infographics, make it easy for employees to share them on their own personal profiles.
Not only does it increase your potential reach, but it also results in more engagement. In fact, people are 16 times more likely to read a post from a friend about a brand than from the brand itself.
Review your strategy
It’s a good idea to review your social media strategies at least once a month. Take a look at which profiles are performing well and which are not so you can adjust the strategy accordingly.
Social media should form a well thought out and considered part of your overall marketing and PR strategy. It’s not something you can just have different team members pick up when they have some free time – or worst still, something for the work experience person to play with.
If you need help with your B2B social media, give us a call. We have a vast amount of social media experience and can help you formulate a B2B social media marketing strategy that delivers results.