How to Build a B2B Social Strategy (That Isn’t Boring)
Social platforms have gained immense popularity among B2C marketers as well as B2B brands. There are many simple explanations as to why. They provide you with a stage to reach out to your audience and showcase all your achievements and services. Additionally, social platforms bring you closer to your customers as you can also check their interests in their profiles. Unlike B2C, effective B2B marketing requires a different approach. B2B marketers have to develop a unique game plan to reach business owners and decision-makers. However, step on these stones carefully because social media can quickly build you or break you.
Here is a helpful guide for you to create your own social media strategy for B2B business-
1. Recognize Your Focal Points (Goals)
Every successful campaign needs to be thoughtfully planned, and the first step begins with understanding why you want to be present on social media.
Recognize your goals and focus on achieving them.
The following are the main focus of every B2B social media strategy-
A. Brand Awareness
People need to know who you are and what you can provide them. Social media platforms offer you an excellent space where you can comfortably showcase to your prospects why your brand is better than your competitors. Through separate posts, your viewers can see your products and services. Moreover, the comments on your posts act as reviews for other customers and an analysis of your brand’s performance.
How to Measure Brand Awareness on Social Media?
Method #1- Direct Traffic: If your prospects visit your website by directly searching your website or brand name in the search engines, they become your direct traffic. Direct searches indicate that your viewer is interested enough in your brand that they remembered you.
Method #2- Tags and Mentions: When someone tags you in their post, it means they are involved in some way with your brand. Tags, mentions, and hashtags are efficient and simple ways to know how many people you are reaching out to and how many like your services.
Method #3- Searches: When someone searches for your business as a keyword over search engines and social platforms, it increases your search volume. The clicks and searches can be analyzed using the Google Search Console. It will also show you the best-performing ad campaigns.
Method #4- Your Reach: The number of people exposed to your brand through social media campaigns counts as your reach. Every platform offers multiple ways to track your reach, including Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. You can also check impressions on Twitter, which is another way to track your reach.
B. Brand Introduction
Letting your consumers learn about your brand is beneficial to building trust. Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest introduce your brand through posts with photos and short videos about you. Other platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn educate your viewers more through textual involvement.
Tips for Introducing Your Brand –
Tip #1: Many businesses use content and SEO to educate their prospects about their brand. The content should solve an issue that the customers are probably facing and searching an answer for.
Tip #2: You can also opt for publishing e-books that are about your business. It can let other prospective companies explore your journey.
Tip #3: Researches and reports are also a great medium to let people know about your involvement using case studies. People like to buy products from companies that are enthusiastic about their performances.
Tip #4: Every product has a specific method of being used. And in most cases, customers fail to understand how something should be used. Make how-to videos for the ease of your customers. The views will also translate to how much visibility your brand has.
C. User Engagement
It is a crucial part of social media strategy for B2B business, even if it does not exactly show your growth. Content that gets your viewers actively involved in your brand reflects how you influence people. Users will only engage in your products if they like them. High user engagement also proves the social platforms’ credibility and better content of your brand. In turn, social media showcases your business to a much larger audience, boosting your visibility.
Every platform gives the option to check your user engagement rates with filters like a particular post, week, month, and more.
Measuring User Engagement –
Method #1- Comments: When viewers comment on your posts, it means they are intrigued by your brand. Comments also suggest that people want to get involved in a discussion related to your products. Higher conversation rates can signify greater interest of customers.
Method #2- Reactions and Polls: Since netizens have a very microscopic attention span and do not want to waste their valuable time on boring content, reactions are a good way to know if the viewers are interested in what you offer. Reactions, polls, and likes options are available on every platform today to assess your performance.
Method #3- Shares: Sharing content over a social platform directly translates to relating your content to the viewer. People only share relatable and valuable posts. Every social media platform has shared posts data you can check to get your assessment.
Method #4- Views and Time: Getting views on your videos suggests that the viewer got attracted to your content and wants to know more about you. Although, if no one is spending time watching your complete video, it means you did grab their attention but could not keep it. For best practice, make interesting videos with short content.
Method #5- Clicks: If you attach a link to your posts, the click-through rate helps determine if the users enjoyed your ad and want to check out more services that you provide.
D. Trust Building
As a consumer of your products, your customers will want to see how much they can rely on you. Social platforms are a fantastic way to show your work is better than your competitors through comments on your posts and other social proofs.
Tips for Building Trust-
Tip #1: Reshare the posts that your customers tag you in. These posts are testimonials of your products and services from your clients.
Tip #2: Positive reviews on your products are also social proof of your quality and reliability.
Tip #3: Acknowledgements like trophies, awards, and milestones are an excellent way to show your trustworthiness to your prospects.
Lead generations are an essential aspect of any B2B social media strategy. Your social presence aims to add value through promotion and convert the viewers into your regular customers.
Methods to Measure Lead Generation and Conversion Rates –
Method #1- Calculate your Cost per Lead (CPL): The campaigns should bring you leads. But if the cost of those methods is more than the clicks they are getting, then the campaigns are not benefiting you. Calculate your CPL, brainstorm what will better match your requirements without wasting money, and focus on that strategy.
Method #2- Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL): The leads you generate should convert into your customers. The primary reason for not getting conversions would be that the leads are not your prospective customers.
Method #3- Estimating Return on Investments (ROI): A great way to get the approximate value of your ROIs is by calculating the profits that one lead gets you and multiplying it by the expected lifetime of that lead with you. You can then assign the obtained value to new customers to get your total ROI estimate.
Method #4- Closing Rate per Channel: The closing rates are critical for determining which platform brings you more leads and hence profit. You should then focus your investment on those channels with higher closing rates.
2. Choose Platforms for Your B2B Social Media Strategy
When used appropriately, social media platforms provide an ocean of benefits to B2B marketers. According to Statista, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn are the top marketing platforms for B2B businesses, with Facebook at first place with 89% usage and LinkedIn at second place with 81% usage.
However, before investing big, it is advised to experiment with every platform because every social media has its own pros and cons for supporting brands. If you are wondering how to use social media for B2B business, here are the most effective platforms to achieve your defined goals-
With almost 850 million members, out of which over 58 million are registered companies, LinkedIn is a brilliant professional networking platform and has gained immense popularity among B2B marketers. In 2021, 81% of B2B businesses used LinkedIn to grow by providing job opportunities, posting on trending topics, and collaborating with profitable networks.
Twitter is popular for trends. It has over 396.5 million users actively tweeting their thoughts on the latest news. A great platform to introduce and promote your brand, Twitter has 82% active B2B business accounts.
Most famous and the king of social platforms, Facebook reaches 59% of social media users, more than any other platform. Although, with the transformations in the overall view of Facebook through the years, it has become more ad-forward. But with well-planned strategies, it is also an excellent way to communicate and reach out to other prospective B2B businesses.
Launched in 2005, YouTube supports 80 different languages and has more than 2.5 billion active users worldwide, coming second to Facebook. Moreover, some people watch videos without using Google accounts as well. YouTube provides different methods for reaching out to your audiences, like videos, commercials, and stories. Through its stage, you can make how-to tutorial videos, review videos, and much more.
Instagram is the new social media craze having more than 1.4 billion monthly active accounts as of January 2022. It ranks third in the social media race with its ease of use for both consumers as well as companies with photo filters, stories, and reels for short videos. It is an incredible place for B2B businesses to thrive in a friendly manner.
3. Build a B2B Social Media Strategy
Once you have chosen the social platforms that suit your brand and are focused on your target goals, you can create a robust social media strategy for your B2B business. Here are some points you should practice and include in your plans for a successful social presence-
A. Tell Your Story
Consumers love to know what goes behind the building of a brand. Social platforms provide the right stage to show your prospects your evolution, the reason behind it all, and the vision you have for the future. Stories also play a critical role in building trust and influencing customers to know you and use your brand instead of others. An inspiring story can include-
- The inception idea behind your brand
- Struggles faced
- Growth and experiences
- Products and services
- Plans and vision for the future
Work Around Your Target Customers: As a company that sells services to other B2C businesses, your customers are the managers, entrepreneurs, and executives of those places. Social platforms work as efficient channels for B2B businesses because the consumers can go back in timelines and see the progress you have made. It is also reliable as the comments, likes, and followings act as social proof. Moreover, make sure to include feedback and reviews from your customers in your social media strategy for earned testimonials.
B. Analyze Your Audience
Customer analysis helps you uncover new and innovative methods to engage their interests more. Customers who have purchased your services belong to the audience group that wants them. You can create customer personas based on their profiles, which will give you an exact idea of their requirements, and you can work on them to your advantage.
Use demographics such as age, gender, location, position, industry type, and business size to the list of information to your buyer persona to better understand your consumer market.
For instance, Twitter analytics will help you gain insights into the likes and dislikes of your targeted customers.
Analyzing Audiences Will Help You –
- Learn what works for them
- Create similar posts that interest them
- Advertise in appealing and suitable ways
C. Stay With the Trends
B2B social media trends are vital to follow to make your social presence visible. You do not need to hire a completely new team to keep your posts up to date with your target’s choices. Many tools for social listening help you monitor your mentions, customer feedback, and conversations. Moreover, they also plan long-term strategies using the data they collect.
Tools to Use for Social Media Listening –
Tool #1 – Sprout Social: It offers a complete set of features you would need for social listening. Some features of Sprout Social are audience listening, consumer research, competitor comparison, trend research, and much more.
Tool #2 – Socialbakers: The tool by Socialbakers uses artificial intelligence to help you conduct social listening. It also allows you to monitor competitive and industry benchmarking and identify the content your competitors invest in.
Tool #3 – Digimind: This platform provides you with real-time social listening and brand monitoring options, focusing on sentiment analysis over consumer care and community management. Digimind is also based on artificial intelligence.
D. Create Engaging Content
Social media is all about creating intriguing content and attractively presenting it. Even though B2B services are usually presumed boring, they can still provide exciting content to their targets. Moreover, your prospects also need you. Hence, you are not boring but essential to those consumers.
Here Are Some Points to Remember When Creating Your Content –
- Create long titles and headlines because they have 76.70% more chances of shares.
- Aim for questions as they get more than average shares and views.
- A professionally written content does not have to stick to the rules of formal language.
- Be social media-friendly with indulging posts.
- Keep commenting open. People feel more comfortable when they can communicate their thoughts about something.
E. Focus On Creating Short Posts
The average social media user does not want to spend much time on one post. Moreover, you have a character limit that needs to be obeyed for every platform. This means you will have to promote your service in the quickest possible way. Instead of creating long blog posts, try to go for the following few points-
- Use captions and formats of your posts that are most appealing,
- Choose infographics over long textual posts,
- Post short videos if your content is long to read,
- Long texts are standard on LinkedIn. For any post that has a technical format and too many characters, use LinkedIn.
- You can add Twitter threads instead of external links.
- Make list posts instead of paragraphs, as they are shared 218% and 203% more than how-to videos and infographics, respectively.
F. Use Attractive Multimedia
As mentioned before, people do not have time to waste on long-form textual posts. To instantly grab their attention, you can use multimedia as your option. Multimedia has more potential of engaging the viewers and getting you more views. Use following instead of text-based posts-
- Use infographics
- Add exciting elements to your campaigns
- Post short and easily readable content
- Use short clips and videos
- Share stories to build and sustain interest
G. Create Dedicated Support Accounts
Simple things grab more attention. Keep your profiles streamlined by dividing them into different categories. This separation also helps the consumer. For example, they do not need to search for a customer support section in your marketing profiles. The various accounts you can create may be-
- Manufacturing insiders for educational purposes and internal insights
- Marketing for promotions and sales
- Support services
- Customer relation and testimonials
- Research and development for persevered curiosity
H. Check On Your Competitors
For your business to succeed, you should always know what your competition is doing. Monitoring gives you beneficial insights into what will work and what does not. You can either do it manually or use monitoring and social listening tools to keep an eye on your contenders.
Things to Check While Monitoring Your Competitors –
- Invested campaigns,
- Used hashtags and keywords,
- Schedule and lengths of posts,
- Targeted consumers and networks
I. Conduct Performance Analysis
To evolve your social profile with the company’s growth, you need to analyze the efforts you have put into your branding. Look out for the following when conducting performance analysis-
- Follower growth
- Engagement rate
- Effects of your optimizations
- The efficiency of your social media strategy
- Improve your plans according to B2B social media trends
J. Invest Money for Better Reach
Just like for B2C brands, B2B businesses also need to build campaigns and get in front of more people. Social media allows your brand name to reach out to a much larger crowd when you invest in their ad strategies.
According to Gartner, marketing budgets have climbed to 9.5% of total company revenue in 2022, an increase from 6.4% in 2021.
For a better reach, try creating ads that will relate to the pain points of your targets. For instance, you can create effective ads using the LinkedIn Campaign Manager.
Here Are a Few Practices to Follow to Create Effective LinkedIn Ads –
- Stay Within the Specifications: You can create attractive promos with visuals and texts using the specs provided by LinkedIn. LinkedIn offers multiple options, so you don’t entirely depend on long-form textual posts. Some options are- single image ads, carousel ads, video ads, and message ads.
- Attach Lead Gen Forms: LinkedIn features the option to attach their Lead Gen Forms with your sponsored ads and in-mails. These forms help generate leads by filling in all the details, and the viewers only need to submit them to you.
- Analyze Your Ads: LinkedIn ads are created to gain some form of return on investments. Analyzing your ads will help you understand which ones are worthy of improvement and which ones should be entirely removed to improve your visibility. You can track all these key metrics using the LinkedIn Ads Manager. Further, use LinkedIn Insight Tag to gain more knowledge of your prospects.
K. Use Employee Advocacy
The best people to review you and your brand are those who work closely with the services you sell. An employee with a large following can be used as an asset to enhance your reach. They can be key influencers for your business. Your consumers would prefer getting an internal perception of your work.
Reasons for Using Employee Advocacy –
- Increases the trust of the prospects in your brand
- Humanizes your brand,
- Suggests that you value your employee’s opinions
- It is an earned advertisement
1. Do Social Media Platforms Work for B2B Businesses?
We make most of our decisions based on what society thinks about something. And social media provides you a stage to showcase your brand in front of a large crowd to boost your business. You can easily promote your products and services and effectively reach out to your audience.
2. Which B2C Strategies Can Be Used as B2B Social Media Strategies?
Whether it is B2C or B2B business, eventually, we, as marketers, sell things to a human. You can employ all social media strategies used in the B2C market for B2B businesses with little to no changes.
3. Which Is the Most Effective Platform for B2B Businesses?
LinkedIn runs first in the professional networking platform base. However, other platforms like Facebook and Instagram also have a substantial impact on B2B clients.
4. Should I Hire a B2B Social Media Agency or an In-House Manager?
Although developing a social media strategy for a B2B business is not a complex task, you can still hire professionals if your requirements are more. Make sure the outsourcing service or the in-house manager you employ checks all of your specific needs and is result-driven.
In the tough competitive market, every business needs to play its best card to win. Social platforms are a rich source of media to help you enhance your sales, create networks, and communicate with your prospects directly and more openly without being too much in their face. The above guide will help you realize your goals and work on them using different platforms. You can use the given B2B social media strategies involved with any social media for whichever purpose suits your need the best.