B2C brands have perfected the use of social media platforms for business growth. Right from using it for branding to driving transactions, pretty much every digital B2C brand uses social media marketing. But the same is not true for B2B businesses. And we wonder why? After it’s the same person who buys clothing online, who also makes business decisions of buying Business products and services. But not many B2B brands realise the potential of B2B social media marketing strategy and hence often don’t create a strong social media presence.
To start on this journey, you first need a strong social media strategy in place. But before we get on to tell you how you can improve your B2B social media marketing strategy, let us first answer a question.
How does the B2B Social Media Marketing Strategy differ from B2C Social Media Marketing Strategy?
Just like the prospects of B2C & B2B brands, the goals of having an active social media presence are also different. Where B2C brands majorly concentrate on increasing sales & driving more traffic to their brands, B2B brands concentrate at building long-term relationships for brand development & lead generation. Referrals are of far greater importance to B2B brands when compared to B2C brands. This is why social media marketing strategies differ.
B2C social media marketing strategies are sales-driven, while the B2B social media marketing strategies are mostly information centric. This is because B2B businesses need to focus on building long-term connections with influential people. On the other hand, B2C brands focus on fast buyer journeys. Moreover, B2C brands target a wider audience & invest in enhancing their sales & growth, while B2B brands target a more specific audience investing in good quality content that can help them create an impact on their audience.
8 Ways to Improve Your Social Media Marketing Strategy.
With the right strategy, your B2B brand can enjoy the lucrative benefits of social media. Here are 8 ways you can do that.
1. Choose The Right Platform
Though most B2B companies find LinkedIn to be the best social media platform, there’s no need to limit yourself to that. There are other platforms you can use too. A report from Sprout Social shows that B2B companies use various platforms to mark their presence on social media.
Here are the 3 best platforms we feel every B2B business must use.
LinkedIn is undoubtedly the best platform for B2B brands. In fact, Hubspot says it’s 227% more effective than any other platform in generating leads. The reason for this being the fact that LinkedIn is a platform you can use to build networks with people. Since your audience is other brands, this can be a great way for you to introduce yourself to people of influence & decision-makers of various companies. As a matter of fact, around 63 million decision makers & millions of senior-level influencers use LinkedIn regularly.
You can post valuable content on your LinkedIn page & nurture relationships. And since you are connected to professionals across your industry, you can also use it to launch new products. While building & nurturing professional relationships on LinkedIn you can attract valuable leads too. In fact, LinkedIn is responsible for up to 80% of all B2B leads from social media.
The second most popular social media platform for B2B brands is Facebook with nearly 54% B2B brands using it. With over 2.45 billion monthly active users, Facebook is a good platform for any & all brands. Facebook’s popularity has only increased over time & just like B2C brands, B2B brands can also benefit from it. You can use it to connect with people of repute in your industry & the industries you wish to do business in.
A study says that business decision-makers spend 74% more time on Facebook than regular users. This makes it the perfect platform to build long-lasting connections with your audience. With a little creativity, you can use Facebook to actively enhance your brand awareness, increase traffic & even increase your conversion rate.
With 300+ million monthly active users, Twitter is not as big a platform like Facebook. But it is still a great place for B2B brands to build valuable relationships. This platform might not enhance your traffic much, but it can help you build invaluable connections. It runs majorly on effective content & can help you get closer to your audience. According to the Content Marketing Institute, around 87% of all B2B marketers consider it an effective content marketing channel. What sets Twitter apart from other platforms is the fact that Twitter shows an immediacy and you can use this characteristic to engage with your audience.
You can share videos, short content & links on Twitter. But you need to be actively responsive to your followers to get closer to them. You can also use it to acquire honest reviews about your brand. Engage in conversations with your audience & understand their feedback for you. This can help you get better. Making a striking presence on Twitter can get you some SEO benefits as well. Since twitter results also show up on google searches, you get a higher chance of ranking better.
2. Share Informative Content
Social media runs on content. With the right content strategy, you can attract the attention of your audience. B2B buyers often research a lot before buying any products. This means that if you directly go up to selling your products to them, chances are that they will be put off by it. The smarter strategy here is to share knowledgeable content with them about your business & niche to hook them. You can share data, insights & latest news relating to your niche. Doing this, you will gain the attention of your audience & it will help them stay connected to you in the long run.
You can also use social media to publicize your other content like blogs & videos. The trick is to post the teaser of your video on social media along with the link. This will generate interest & urge your user to check it out. Similarly, you can post the links of your website blogs too, driving more traffic towards them. You can also create small LinkedIn articles & post on your feed. These articles would not consume a lot of the readers’ time & still help you build trust amongst them.
Though we do not suggest directly selling your products & services on social media, you can use it to generate interest amongst your audience. This can be done with a creative video or infographic that explains your product’s benefits. This followed by a quick link to your website can be a great way to generate more leads.
3. Use Gated Content To Attract Leads
Gated content is what you share in return for the reader’s information like their email address. This includes content like ebooks, webinars & guides. You can use this type of content to drive traffic & leads from social media to your website. According to a report, gated content is rated highly likely to generate leads for you. The results of the study, proved the following types of content to be useful.
Webinars – 35%
Email newsletters – 29%
Thought leadership articles – 28%
Whitepapers – 26%
Customer content (case studies, reviews, etc.) – 25%
Sales emails – 21%
All you have to do is share the link of such content with your audience on social media. This link will take the reader to the landing page, where they can get access to the complete content in exchange for information. A good example of this is Hubspot, which provides similar gated content on their twitter handles regularly.
Ensure that you provide high-quality content to your readers in return for their information. They should feel like them sharing their information was worth it. The content should be well-researched & well-written. Once you acquire these leads, remember to keep in touch with them through newsletter & emails providing them with more information.
4. Bring Your Brand To Life
Even if you are targeting different brands, it is ultimately people you are conversing with on social media. Take advantage of this fact & show your brand’s humane side to your audience. This will help you connect better with them on a personal level, enhancing their trust in you. Also, humanizing your brand will help enhance your brand’s personality better.
How you can do that, is by using your social media accounts to tell your brand. You can share tiny stories about your brand. Also, you can share statistics, research & facts about your industry & what is your outlook on it. You can even share your brand’s case studies. You must also try to engage with your audience as far as possible by replying to their comments & queries. Along with, You need to have a friendly, conversational tone while doing so. If comfortable and if it goes well with your brand tonality, you can use humour as well.
5. Use Targeted Social Media Groups
Social media sites like LinkedIn offer you a chance to connect with your target audience better through groups. You can join these groups & indulge in conversation. This will help enhance your social media presence. Join groups relevant to your niche & industry. This will give you a chance to have conversations with like-minded people & potential customers too. Make sure you have active participation in these groups & provide useful insights, advice & tips wherever & whenever possible. This will help enhance your brand’s awareness positively.
Be an active participant in group chats & discussions. This will help you understand the perspective of brands who might be interested in your brand & services. If you are a small or mid-sized B2B brand, ensure not to join a group too large, since it might cause your voice to be drowned. On the other hand, also don’t select groups that are too small for your liking. Go for a mid-sized group where you have a fair chance of conversing with others & making your point.
6. Connect with Decision-Makers And Build Conversations
As we mentioned earlier, you must use social media to connect with people of importance in your industry. This can go a long way in helping you obtain valuable leads. In fact, 84% of all VP-level buyers look to social media while in the decision-making process. So, connecting with such people can bring you a lot of fortune.
You can use features like LinkedIn Advanced to search for people & groups useful to your business. But following them isn’t enough, you have to spark conversations with them to make them interested in your brand. Share insightful information with them & build trust in your brand. You can also ask for their outlook on it. Your aim shouldn’t be to sell to them, but rather to build a connection.
You should actively like & comment on the content they post. This way you can efficiently mark your presence. Every time they comment or appreciate your posts, remember to reply to them. This shows you as a responsive communicator. Also, don’t just limit yourself to one platform, but rather connect with these people everywhere actively.
7. Paid Marketing On Social Media
Though you can reach a lot of people on social media through your posts, paid advertisements can help you do a better job of it. Paid advertisements on platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook & Twitter are highly targeted & help you gain better results. The use of social media has surged in the last few years. As per the Search Engine Journal, paid advertisements on social media have performed better than expected in the years 2019.
The first step to using paid advertising on social media is to recognize your goal & choose likewise. Your ads will depend upon whether you expect to drive greater awareness from it or generate more leads. You need to have a strong paid social media strategy in place to achieve your goal. Use striking & impressive creatives to attract attention & please your audience. This will help you drive greater click-through rate (CTR) & engagement.
Besides advertisements on Facebook, you can also use Messenger ads for a more personalized approach. LinkedIn’s Lead Gen forms & Facebook’s Lead Forms are the best for social media paid advertisements. Even though the CPC of ads on LinkedIn is higher than that for Facebook ads, it is worth it, since it is also greatly likely to convert quality leads.
8. Share Little Things
To connect with people better you have to let them have a peek behind the curtains. Let them see what happens behind the scenes, how you make everything possible. This will make your audience feel closer & more connected to you. You can start by sharing little things about your brand, like share about the team that makes everything possible for your brand. You can also share about the events & celebrations that your brand does.
Also, You can share small videos about your brand & even teasers about your new product before its release. This will help arouse interest amongst your audience. You should also share positive testimonial videos of the clients that you’ve worked with. This way you can increase trust in your brand. You can also repost user-generated content for your brand. Another good way to increase trust is by sharing your small & big accomplishments on your social media pages.
Best Way To Enhance Your Social Media Presence
Executing these strategies can be a herculean task. After all, maintaining & honing a brand’s social media presence is a hard task that not everyone can do. We suggest that you trust it to a professional social media expert agency, like Walnut Folks.
We hope you find the above-given ways useful for your brand. If any query pops in your brain regarding this subject, do remember to drop them in the comments below. You can also write to us at email@example.com.
The difference in B2B & B2C strategy
Create downloadable files
Use targeted social media groups
Connect with decision-makers
Share Little Things