Social Media – Not Just for B2C
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? Do you brush your teeth? Get dressed? Have breakfast? What about checking your social media?
For many of us, social media has become an integral part of our daily routine. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Snapchat – the list goes on. The amount of platforms we use at this point is almost innumerable, and many of us check them religiously. Many companies have taken advantage of that and have used it effectively in their marketing techniques.
As effective as social media is for B2C companies, it can work just as well for B2B companies. Often those developing marketing strategies for B2B companies haven’t utilized social media because the topics or content can be, well, a bit boring, but times are changing. The B2B Content Marketing 2019: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends — North America report found that 61% of B2B marketers increased their use of social media for content marketing purposes compared with one year ago. Here are some helpful tips so you can join them and enhance your own marketing strategies.
Goals: Before you can measure how successful social media is for you, you need to define what success means to you. Are you looking for engagement? Increased brand awareness? A boost to your follower count, maybe? Creating a strategy in advance is integral to achieving visible success as it allows you to keep track of your goals. Creating a plan with your team allows everyone to be aligned around a common goal and, moving forward, it’s easier to determine what content to develop.
Targets: Often in the B2B world your target audience is smaller as you can’t appeal to every general consumer the way B2C companies can, so you really have to make sure you are capturing their attention. In order to do that you need to make sure you are using the correct social media platforms. Different groups of people use different platforms. Pew Research Center found that 12% more women than men use Instagram and Facebook and those with a household income (HHI) of $75,000 or above are more likely to use LinkedIn than those with a lower HHI. These can be helpful things to keep in mind when it comes to who you are looking to target.
Bonus tip #1: Check out your competition. Take some time to analyze what they are doing when it comes to social media – what platforms they use, who they interact with, what forms of multimedia they use. Doing so can help you determine what may or may not work for your company. You can also see what they’re not doing and try to capitalize on that.
Personalize: It’s important to remember that although you are working in B2B, your audience is still made up of people. It is crucial that you humanize your company. Use emotions in your posts, whether that’s through storytelling, inspiration or humor, these are all elements you can infuse within your content to engage with people. It is also helpful to use the words “we” and “us” in your posts to add a personal note that will change the way your audience views you. Providing behind the scenes content can also be a great way to showcase your business by exemplifying the culture you’ve created and it can show others who you are and why they should want to work with you.
Bonus tip #2: Showcase your employees. That has a two-fold effect. First off, it adds a personal touch to your social media, and by extension your entire company. The second facet of it is that when you share content that highlights your employees they are more likely to share it themselves, generating enhanced reach you wouldn’t likely be able to attain otherwise. On top of that, SproutSocial also reported that when seeing employees share information about their company online 72% of consumers feel a bond with that brand.
Engagement: One of the most crucial parts of social media is engagement. It’s both what you need to do with others and what you hope others will do with you. Social media is based off of engagements and interactions, whether that’s comments, likes, shares, mentions or direct messages, they are the perfect vehicle to connect with your audience. It is crucial to engage promptly with those that engage with you, it will add validity and integrity to your business when people are confident and connected with you. More than half of consumers will increased their spending with a brand they feel connected to.
You can also extend the engagement from your social media platform to your website, for example, by posting small clips of a longer video or a short paragraph of a long-form article that hyperlinks back to your website. By re-directing people from one social platform to another is one way to boost engagement naturally. Using multimedia tools like infographics, photos and videos is also a good way to break up your feed. It also adds new elements your audience may want to interact with. You can also take advantage of the unique features of each social media platform, such as stories, polls, mentions and gifs to entice people to interact with the content you’re publishing.
Experimentation: Once you feel confident in your content you can experiment with what, when and how you post to see what gets the most engagement. Do questions work? How about hashtags? When is the best time of day to post? These are all valuable things to learn. One of the important things to keep in mind is to think about the content and topics your audience will like – things that will resonate with them.
You can also see what kind of posts get the most engagement by analyzing your metrics – impressions, clicks, conversions – these are all key components to keep in mind when you’re working on enhancing your social media. 84% of respondents in a study conducted by the Content Marketing Institute report using analytics. You can also adjust your presence on various social media platforms based on the demographics you reach with each platform. Different content will resonate in different ways with different audiences, so doing this will show where you should focus your attention and illustrate what forms of media or content creation works best for each platform.
If you aren’t currently using social media as a component in your marketing strategy, now is the time to start. Although there are still the tried and true marketing strategies that you’re sure to continue to implement, like cold calling and attending networking events, it’s time to try something new.