Have you given serious consideration to social media marketing for your B2B business?
Or maybe you’ve written it off as not relevant to your business?
Many B2B companies have been reluctant to hop on the social media marketing bandwagon. But the time for dawdling has ended. An increasing amount of B2B companies are starting to take social media marketing seriously, and are harnessing it to build brand awareness, generate leads, and increase sales. In fact, an AdAge survey recently reported that 80% of B2B marketers have plans in place to increase their digital spending next year – that’s a whopping increase of 67% from the previous year!
Here are five tips to guide you on your way to embracing social media marketing in your B2B business.
Develop a Social Media Marketing Plan
Before storming like a bull through a gate into the chaotic world of social media marketing, it’s important to pause and assess your current position, to define your goals, to develop a strategy and KPIs, and to establish some clear guidelines and responsibilities.
Questions to be addressed include:
- What social platforms will yield best results for our B2B marketing efforts? (see below)
- How many platforms should we focus on?
- Will you create your own original content to share or focus on content curation? (see below)
- Who will be responsible for creating, curating, and publishing content to social media?
- What tools will we use? (e.g. HubSpot, Hootsuite, Buffer, etc.)
- How will we measure success? (e.g. website visits, interactions, followers)
Choose Your Platform/s
Certain social media platforms may not be suitable or relevant to your B2B business, therefore it’s important to analyse and determine the ideal platforms that you’ll use in your B2B social media marketing.
Traditionally, LinkedIn is the key B2B social media marketing platform. LinkedIn is a great tool for develop relationships with key decision makers, as well as for finding new talent and establishing yourself and your company as an industry leader.
It’s important to note that there are two ways to use LinkedIn:
- Using your personal account to network, publish content, and participate in groups
- Using your company page to engage with company followers as well as sharing content and company news
Company pages also allow you to run sponsored posts to attract new followers and promote external content.
For B2B businesses it makes sense to focus on a combination of both personal and company LinkedIn profiles.
Check out our article on optimising your company LinkedIn page.
Depending on your industry, other social platforms for B2B marketing include Twitter, Google Plus, Slideshare, and even Pinterest and Instagram.
Whether you’re creating content yourself to share or focusing more on curating the content of others in your industry, the information you post to social media platforms is still a form of “content”.
The creation of original, quality content will ideally be an important part of your overall strategy. This includes the creation of blog and video posts, website content, and podcasts. However some companies simply don’t have the resources or know-how to create original content in-house. In this case it’s equally valid to share content from thought leaders in your industry.
If you do decide to create your content in-house, then check out our article on How to Get Started with Content Marketing.
Whether you’re creating or curating, it’s worth setting up a content management system such as some project management or social media management software. This will allow you and your team to collaborate on the development of new ideas, as well as the generation of new, quality content. It should also allow you to map out a content sharing schedule, so that you can schedule posts on the relevant social media platforms in advance, and track results more effectively.
Choose the Right People
It’s important to put the right people in charge of your social media marketing. These people need to:
- Understand the social media marketing plan, and are clear on the strategy and key messages that need be communicated
- Possess the knowledge, time and skills to do the job
- Be professional, trustworthy and reliable – after all, they are in charge of your online reputation!
- Be adaptable to change. Social media is constantly changing, and whoever is in charge of your social media accounts needs to be able to keep across the changing trends, and make the appropriate recommendations and adjustments.
Focus on Engagement
Just because you’re a B2B business, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t engage with other business and people via social media.
Whether these are people who work with your company, prospects, customers, or even competitors, use social media marketing as another way to connect with them, and to cross-promote. This will help you to reach new audiences and amplify your key messages.
With a solid plan in place, the right tools, quality content, a good team, and a focus on engagement, your B2B business can really dominate your industry, especially if your competitors are slow to embrace social media.
Ready to get started? Let us know how you go!