The B2B marketing guide to social media
Digital marketing is a fierce game. Anything less than a wholehearted and overarching approach just won’t cut it in the digital age. Every B2B organisation needs a prominent online presence including a content strategy, an immaculate website, regular digital campaigns and competent social media marketing. And every B2B marketing agency needs to be able to deliver these.
As a B2B marketing agency, we understand all the facets of a successful digital marketing strategy. From our learnings along the way, we have gained an understanding of an ever-evolving landscape. For B2B companies looking to improve their social media marketing, we have compiled a short guide to help you to get above the rest.
Why does a B2B business need social media marketing?
As a B2B company, you might be under the impression that social media marketing is not a priority. Some B2B firms see a strong social media presence and avid social activity as a B2C game. Undoubtedly, the strategies and motives are different, however, this kind of marketing is equally as important for B2B as it is for B2C.
A B2B business needs a social media marketing strategy because, in the modern digital landscape, not having one means you are underperforming as a business. If you could elevate your brand, reach out to as many people as possible and positively influence customers, why wouldn’t you?
Below are some key reasons why B2B’s need to invest in social media marketing.
Your social media presence is a good way to effectively reflect who you are as a business. Social media isn’t just about digital marketing, but a profile in which to establish your brand voice, brand identity, mission and values.
Through social platforms, you can own your narrative. Facebook, Instagram and, most importantly for B2B, LinkedIn, are the platforms where you can portray your brand in the way you want to be seen. Ensure you have an established messaging hierarchy and brand guidelines so your brand remains consistent and authentic.
Content marketing strategy
A content marketing strategy is crucial, especially for B2B businesses. A content marketing strategy will build your brand and establish you as thought leaders within your field, amongst other things.
Using social media is a good way to build your content marketing plan. Social media can be used to heighten your content marketing activities as well as share any other content you are working on such as blogs and feature pieces. Utilising social channels as part of your content marketing, B2B’s can nurture leads, warm up audiences and better support their efforts.
Connect with audiences
Social media marketing is not just about appealing to your audience, but connecting with them on a more personable level. Businesses are people too! Through social media, you can let your audience know that you understand their pain points and have a solution to suit them.
Through a carefully crafted social media strategy, you can also connect with potential employees. Your social profile is a place to impress, network and create stronger foundations with people.
Build and maintain trust
Unlike B2C marketing, B2B prospects can’t be easily persuaded into making spontaneous purchases. B2B audiences often have to be more considerate within their decision-making process. Businesses looking to work with, or buy from, other businesses want to be sure that the business is trustworthy, resonates with their values and is credible.
Through the types of content that you post on social media channels, potential and existing clients can get to know you better. With this transparency comes a sense of trust, which is exactly what you want from your target audience.
Increase visibility and awareness
Creating a social media plan where you are active on varying social networking channels is one of the best ways to be visible. Social media increases brand awareness. Through posts, audiences can learn about your brand and also be directed toward your website. Ensuring you stay visible in the eye of audiences, tactfully and authentically, will help you remain relevant.
What are the advantages of social media marketing in B2B businesses?
As a B2B marketing agency, some of the main advantages we’ve observed in top B2B businesses include:
- Lead generation
- Facilitating customer support
- Supports performance marketing efforts
- Developing relationships
- Improving brand image
- Aiding with social listening
According to Zen Media, 33% of B2B decision-makers are using LinkedIn to inform their purchasing decisions. To generate leads, LinkedIn is an incredibly effective social media channel to do this.
You need a social media marketing strategy. By understanding the reasons for this, mentioned in the section above, you can reap these benefits and thrive as a business.
What are B2B marketing-specific social media challenges
While worthwhile, there are challenges that come with this kind of marketing. A social media strategy will add another string to your digital marketing bow. However, it’s a responsibility that brings about its own obstacles.
If you are going to use social media and implement a social media strategy, you need to do it right.
Perfecting brand persona
When committing yourself to social media, your business needs to portray itself accurately. This includes using the right tone of voice for your brand – this is more important than you might think. If you use varying tones of voice on social media, this may come across to other businesses as inconsistent. It can convey a weak sense of ‘self’ and confuse audiences.
Or it could be seen as inauthentic and your audience may feel you’re using marketing ‘tricks’ to engage them.
Knowing your audience
Your social content needs direction. While captivating content is always a good start, it’ll never reach its full potential if it’s not being marketed at the right audience. When using social media as a B2B business, it’s important you know who you want to be speaking to and create your content around that.
Aligning social media with your objectives
Your social media efforts won’t be as effective if they aren’t aligned with definitive marketing goals. A B2B company’s social content is usually part of a wider digital marketing strategy. When honing your social content, keep the bigger picture in mind and ensure your efforts are in line with your goals.
To succeed, a social media account requires constant attention. Most of the activity on your social media schedule will entail writing posts. It’s an art form to continuously generate content that is fresh, interesting and unique to your vision. Continuously finding ideas for social content can be a struggle for B2B companies, but with some creative help, with a full service B2B marketing agency, this doesn’t have to be an obstacle.
Using the right platform for your business
Not all businesses are suited to the same social media platform. B2C businesses might tend towards Instagram and Facebook, whereas B2B might be more accustomed to LinkedIn and Twitter. What social media channel is right for your business can depend on a variety of factors such as the services or products you offer, the audience you’re targeting and the brand you want to portray.
Writing captivating content
Once your social media strategy has been established, next comes great content. A person may write well, but writing content for social media requires a particular approach. It can be easy to forget the purpose of your social content efforts and how transient a social feed is. To market your business, social media content needs to be punchy, attention grabbing and have the power to stop the scroll!
Creating a social media strategy for your B2B business
Once a nice-to-have, a social media strategy is now essential for a thriving B2B company. There’s a lot to consider if you want your social media efforts to succeed. You want to make sure your time isn’t wasted and that your marketing has a clear direction.
If you’re a B2B business looking to implement social media marketing into your digital marketing strategy, here are some pointers to get started:
- Establish a social content calendar (remember it will take time to get results)
- Designate online social engagement and activity to one employee (this might vary depending on the size of your business)
- Do your research to establish the platform(s) best suited to you, your target audience and social media best practice
Hiring a B2B marketing agency is another way in which you can ensure you have a strong social media strategy and a consistent stream of activity.
EV is a full service B2B marketing agency with a wealth of experience in social media marketing. Our expertise also extends far beyond social media, having a strong grasp of the digital marketing sphere as a whole. We will keep one step ahead of the game, keeping your social feed current, inspiring and strategically focused.
Get in touch today for support with your social media marketing, we’re always happy for a chat.