There’s no denying how well social media facilitates conversations and connections between businesses and consumers. It does it so well that business-to-business (B2B) operations often question if they should have their own social media marketing strategy.
The short answer is, they should. B2B customers partake in social media just like B2C companies. You just have to find where they are and understand how to best approach and connect with them.
These eight steps will help you develop an effective social media marketing strategy for your B2B business.
Set clear social media marketing goals
First and foremost, you need to establish what you want to get out of social media marketing. In other words, what do you want to achieve through social media? Your goals could revolve around:
- Lead generation
- Educating your audience
- Building brand identity and awareness
- Becoming a thought leader in your industry
- Increasing engagement with ideal customers
Once you set clear goals, attach key performance indicators (KPIs) to them. KPIs ensure that you’re progressing toward your goals. Some examples of KPIs include:
- Mentions and Reach for brand awareness
- Comment rate and Clicks Per Post for engagement
- Marketing Qualified Leads and Cost Per Lead for lead generation
- Interactions and shares for thought leadership
You also want to ensure your social media marketing strategy and goals align with your company objectives.
Align company objectives with your strategy
Your social media marketing strategy should always support specific business goals. You wouldn’t be using social media effectively if you did anything else.
What are your company objectives? To increase sales for a new product? To gain new business partnerships? Establish better brand awareness? Improve customer service?
Once you determine business objectives, choosing what actions to take on social media to achieve them is more straightforward.
Understand your customers
You must know who your customers are and how they engage on social media to create the best approach.
B2B customers differ from B2C customers in that you’re likely dealing with a group of people rather than a single consumer. Determine who the decision makers are and find out as much as possible about each one.
Dig into as many details as possible, like demographic information, personality traits, lifestyle habits and behaviors. In addition, learn about what they do on social media. Document their favorite platforms, the content they consume, the brands they follow and so forth. Gathering this data will give you valuable insights and will ultimately improve the customer journey experience when you know exactly who your target audience is.
Choose the right platforms
Much of how well you do on social media relies on your chosen platforms. You should choose platforms based on your unique customer base, capacity to create captivating content and your team’s skillset.
However, LinkedIn should absolutely be on your list. This platform’s been deemed the most suitable for a professional audience, and that’s precisely what your B2B customer base is. Understand who in your audience uses LinkedIn, the content that performs best and other best practices.
You should also know when to post on the platform. Recent research suggests Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays during working hours are best. So, make sure you can post during these times consistently.
Run from boring B2B content
B2B content has a bad rep for being boring. Much of it is ridden with technical jargon, reliant on the written word, too long and void of creativity. Yours can’t be this way if you want your social media marketing strategy to be successful.
Your social media content must be entertaining as much as it is educational. Many of your content ideas should be original and rooted in the uniqueness of your brand and offerings. Look at content from successful marketers to get inspiration.
Then, choose the kind of content you want to create. For example, user-generated content is excellent for building authenticity. People love video content more than any other type right now. Interactive content, like polls, surveys and games, is another good choice.
Choose content that fits your social media platforms and your audience. But make sure it’s got flair and keeps people coming back for more.
Rely on modern tech tools
In today’s digitally-focused world, you won’t be able to do everything manually regarding your social media presence and get the kind of results you’re looking for. You need modern tech tools to help you keep up with the pace of social media.
For example, B2B businesses are leveraging influencer marketing as part of their social media marketing strategies more and more. Influencers can help you build trust faster with your audience and personalize their brand experience.
5G internet can take influencer marketing to the next level. Immersive AR and VR experiences are possible with 5G. You can better create and maintain computer-generated imagery (CGI) influencers. 5G also supports you in getting out high-quality video and other content quickly.
Modern tech tools that should also be on your radar include:
- Social media listening tools
- A content management system (CMS) to automate content creation and publication
- Data analytics tools to measure your strategy’s progress
- An auto-responder for comments and direct messages
- A customer relationship management (CRM) system to track customer relationships
These modern tech tools are great but don’t limit yourself to them. Find the ones that support your social media marketing goals the best.
You’re missing out on a grand marketing opportunity without using social media. Develop the most promising strategy for your business with the tips above and become a social media sensation on your chosen platforms.
Indiana Lee is a writer, reader, and jigsaw puzzle enthusiast from the Pacific Northwest. An expert on business operations, leadership, marketing, and lifestyle, you can connect with her on LinkedIn.
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