What comes to your mind when you think of b2b companies social media marketing strategy?
- The forward-thinking nonprofit who mixes emotion with powerful outcomes by sharing thought-provoking information in the form of infographics.
- The innovative fashion retailer that entices customers with beautiful trendy photos and asks them to show themselves wearing the clothes with a hashtag OR
- The quirky technology company that makes consumers feel as if they are a part of the team on social media by sharing videos and photos of behind the scenes life at the company.
These examples, and likely many more enter your brain when you think of companies that can reach target audiences and attract leads. However, if you are a B2B marketer, I have good news…you can do it too! Don’t think it is possible? Check out the stats:
- 83% of B2B marketers use social media; making it the most common B2B marketing tactic. (Source)
- 54 percent of B2B marketers said they’ve generated leads from social media. (Source)
- 79% of marketers said they saw increased traffic with as little as 6 hours a week invested in social media marketing. (Source)
So, not only are B2B marketers using social media, they are finding success with the tactic. How can you as a marketer optimize your B2B social media marketing efforts? Read on for tips and tools to better reach your audience and move your B2B customers through the sales funnel.
Have a Content Marketing Strategy
While this may seem like a no-brainer, only 37 respondents to a recent Content Marketing Institute survey had a documented content marketing strategy. While it may be possible to find some momentary success while “winging it,” a documented content marketing strategy that includes social media not only helps B2B marketers develop a plan that anyone in the organization can follow, but it also helps marketers begin to set benchmarks and analyze their process.
It is not good to “fly blind,’ and developing a content marketing strategy that includes an in-depth approach to B2B social media marketing will force marketers to research social media B2B best practices and create steps that adhere to these trends. A content marketing strategy automatically puts savvy B2B marketers ahead of the competition.
What Content is Popular in Your Field?
Before you start hitting the “post” button on any social media scheduling app, you first need to understand what is hitting and missing in your field. What content is engaging your clients? What verbiage are they responding to? What are they sharing?
This approach requires some serious social media research. A great tool to use for this is BuzzSumo. BuzzSumo allows you to research top-performing content by influencers or competitors in your field. Instead of having to spend hours scouring Twitter or Facebook, BuzzSumo gives you a detailed look into the material that is performing well.
Put effort into LinkedIn
Add LinkedIn to your B2B social media marketing efforts. Eighty percent of social media conversions for B2B marketers come from LinkedIn. This means a sizeable B2B audience is active on the LinkedIn platform. Therefore, it would help if you made an effort to participate in group discussion posts related to your industry, and even submit a blog post to the LinkedIn publishing platform.
This is a great place to solidify yourself as a thought leader and take B2B clients through the “awareness” stage of the sales funnel. Introduce yourself and what you do in the industry, and let them become familiar with your business on LinkedIn.
Automate Your Postings on Other Platforms
While you probably want to put most of your time into LinkedIn to reach your target audience, don’t forget about Facebook and Twitter. 39 percent of B2B marketers have generated leads through Facebook, while 30 percent have done so through Twitter.
While you may not have the time nor resources to put all your energy into all of these platforms, use the help of technology. Hootsuite and Buffer are great technologies for scheduling social media posts on various platforms. Here you can share short videos that introduce your company as well as blog posts that provide insight into the industry you serve.
Automating social media posts are an excellent way to create ease around the B2B social media marketing planning process and drive traffic to your website to take clients further into the sales funnel.
Find Ambassadors and Encourage them to Share Their Experience
Do you have clients that have had excellent experiences with your product? Use social media to amplify what they have to say. Individuals rely on the ratings and reviews of others. Therefore, it is vital that you find clients who are willing to go to bat for you. Invite them to share videos describing their experience with your product, or even guest blog about the effectiveness of your product or service.
This is excellent content you can share on all your social media platforms. This tactic can help some B2B buyers that are in the awareness stage decide to move forward into the interest or even decision stage. Customer reviews are powerful, and you should do all you can to share them with your B2B social media marketing plan.
Directly Engage with Users
Don’t just social media to broadcast what you do, make an effort to make meaningful connections by directly engaging with users. If someone retweets a tweet, thank them and monitor what he or she has to say that you can also share or like. If someone comments on a posting you created and shared on LinkedIn, respond to them and ask for further input.
These meaningful interactions make a huge difference and can turn a B2B bystander into a buyer. While it may be challenging to listen and respond to every social interaction, it is necessary but not impossible. Mention, IFTTT, and Keyhole are great tools for either monitoring or being notified of a social mention.
This action allows you to show that you care enough to communicate with them, answer any questions they have, and direct them to your main website. The goal here is to differentiate yourself from the competition and encourage them to view more information about your company.
As many of you already know, social media marketing is not easy. There are times where you will feel as if you are speaking out into a massive void where you are not sure if anyone is listening. However, social media is not a marketing platform that should be ignored. It is relevant, and many customers care if brands they work with are on social media.
While it may seem daunting, having a comprehensive content marketing plan with in-depth steps for dealing with B2B social media marketing can ease the transition. First, you need to know what your goals are, and how many leads you are looking to generate through social media. This step can help you set up a strategy that aligns with using social media to guide clients through your sales funnel.
The goal is to use social media as a gateway to other components of your content marketing strategy. Help them move from Twitter to your blog, or from LinkedIn to an email newsletter sign-up. Social media is an excellent springboard for creating awareness and interest. With the right strategy, it can complement any lead generation plan for B2B marketing.