Social media is becoming increasingly important in business sales. It has become a go-to source of information for both individuals and businesses. A strong social media presence, combined with a well-thought-out, targeted, and relevant content marketing strategy, can help a company establish and maintain its reputation as a thought-leader in its field, and it can be an extremely effective B2B marketing tool.
There are significant reasons why using social media as a marketing tool is critical: your competitors are on social media, your target audience is on social media, and your customers require support, content distribution, and brand image protection. According to LinkedIn, 78% of businesses that use social selling outperform those who don’t. As a result, it is critical for B2B companies looking to improve the way their offerings are presented, increase outreach, and grow revenue streams to employ the best social media practices.
B2B Social Media Best Practices
Social media is a natural channel to focus on for Business-to-Consumer (B2C) companies. At the same time, it’s one that many Business-to-Business (B2B) companies overlook. This is unfortunate because there are numerous benefits of social media in regard to B2B companies. Even if you’re selling to other businesses, keep in mind that your audience members are still people. They can be just as open to social media marketing strategies as the average consumer, if not more so. By adapting your approach to focus on connecting with your target companies’ key decision makers, you can build relationships and drive conversions.
Understand Your Audience
An aspect of B2B social media marketing that is frequently overlooked is audience research. You need to know who you’re talking to before you can create conversion-focused content. Again, keep in mind that your audience is made up of people, not companies. In other words, you want to target specific decision makers within businesses rather than industries or types of companies. These are the people who will decide whether or not to buy your goods and/or services.
Here are the general steps you’ll want to take to put this best practice into action:
- Determine (in as much detail as possible) who the decision makers in your industry are.
- Conduct research on these decision makers and create a detailed buyer persona (demographics, interests, and needs).
- Create and distribute social media content that addresses those interests and needs.
Use the Right Platforms
Of course, there are numerous social media platforms, each with its own style, audience, and set of benefits and drawbacks. You are unlikely to be able to market your company on every available platform due to time constraints. Instead, concentrate your efforts on a few key sites.
There are three main ways to do this:
- Find out what social sites your ideal buyers spend their time on, and direct your efforts accordingly.
- Target platforms that are traditionally effective for B2B marketers.
- Focus on lesser-used sites, in order to attract under-served audiences.
Craft a Unique Brand Voice
When B2C businesses use social media, they naturally gravitate toward sharing entertaining and engaging content. B2B companies, on the other hand, frequently make the mistake of being boring. Since you’re aiming for professionals rather than the average consumer, you may believe that personality and style are unimportant. Nothing could be further from the truth. Sharing boring, dry content on social media is ineffective, whether you’re a 20-something college student or a high-powered executive.
Your specific approach will be determined by your niche and audience, but some general guidelines to follow are as follows:
- Write in first person – this makes your brand feel a lot more ‘human’.
- Don’t be afraid to use humor, and have a little fun with your content.
- Remain consistent throughout all of your social media channels – you want buyers to have the same experience no matter where you encounter them.
Create Employee-Based Content
Employee-generated content (EGC) is content created by your employees that is related to your brand or industry. It includes blogs, social media posts, internal workflows, training materials, and other content.
Examples of employee-generated content include:
- A copywriter’s template for streamlining the writing process.
- A new hire’s Instagram story about his first day, including cafeteria food options and new employee swag.
- A Facebook post expressing an employee’s delight at receiving a new standing desk at work.
- A blog post about the winner of a virtual-office Halloween decorating contest.
Focus on Creating Informational Content
If you’ve read any of our previous posts on effective social media marketing, you’ll understand how crucial content is to your campaigns. While direct advertising can be effective, the focus of social media is on communication and engagement. As a result, rather than trying to sell to your audience right away, it’s often better to attract their attention by sharing fun and interesting content.
The data supports this: B2B buyers prefer content that educates and informs them rather than content that tries to sell them something. They specifically seek white papers, webinars, and case studies, as well as (to a lesser extent) e-books, infographics, and blog posts.
Optimize Your Social Media Channels
As a B2B marketer, it can be difficult to identify and connect with your target audience. Fortunately, you can meet them in a location where they are already happily engaged. Your potential buyers are on social media; all you have to do is reach out to them. To accomplish this, implement the five best practices for B2B social media marketing that we have introduced you to above.
With its masterful ability to reach millions of new customers, social media has elevated the business world to new heights. You cannot afford to fall behind in the use of social media platforms. You can easily improve your social media presence by joining one or more social media websites. All of these websites have one thing in common: you can interact with them and with the visitors they attract. When your company takes steps to optimize its social media presence, it is marketing itself in a way that will attract new customers, resulting in increased revenue.