When I think of B2B companies with a good social media presence, many examples come to mind: IBM, Google, HubSpot, and many others. These companies do a great job of sharing content that engages and grows their audience—so much so that they don't seem overly concerned with constantly posting their products or services. For a B2B company to succeed on social networks, its content must find a middle ground between being interesting and not disrupting the audience's experience on the platform. Ultimately, these businesses need to figure out what their audience wants to see to truly benefit from social media. B2B companies have changed the landscape of what it means to brand on social media. Then consider the following strategies in the B2B space that can lead to the success of your social accounts to engage and engage your audience.
13 B2B Social Media Strategies for Every Industry
1. Set SMART Goals.
Like any other marketing channel, a social media strategy must be based on the goal to be successful. Accurate, measurable KPIs for your company's social media – whether based on brand awareness or acquisition – are key to measuring success. To set KPIs, you need to decide what success means to your brand. Trying to use social media as an acquisition channel? Do you want to increase your reach or get more traffic to your business blog? It decides which metrics to track. For example, if your business is looking for leads, metrics like clicks and results are important. In terms of brand awareness, it is more important to consider engagement, reach, and impressions.
Here is a powerful example of a SMART goal for a business just starting to appear on social media:
Goal: Increase brand awareness on social media.
Specific: I would like to increase our company's brand awareness by posting regularly and frequently on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook. I'm increasing our Twitter posts from one to four times a day, posting daily on Instagram, and increasing the frequency of our weekly LinkedIn and Facebook posts from four to seven times a week. Our content producers are increasing their workload from two posts per week to three, and our designers are increasing their workload from one content per week to two.
Measurable: Our goal is to increase the engagement rate by % overall.
Reachable: Our engagement rate increased by an average of 2% last month as we increased our weekly publishing frequency and spent more time on a thoughtful and engaging copy.
Related: By increasing engagement, we increase brand awareness and generate more leads, resulting in more opportunities to close sales.
Timeline: End of this month.
SMART Goal: By the end of this month, increase our average engagement on our social media by % by increasing the frequency of posts and focusing on a thoughtful and engaging copy.
2. Pay attention to your competitors.
Social media opens the door to your competitor's marketing strategy, or at least their social media marketing strategy. For larger companies, tracking competitors is part of the territory. You want to know what campaigns they are running to see if they are successful. And if this company's target audience is similar to yours, you can be inspired by this campaign. But following your competitors on social media doesn't necessarily mean copying their strategies. Being in the same industry leads to exposure to your audience and their interests. If you see that your competition is not responding to trending news, your brand might. Pursuing these opportunities will set you apart from the competition.
3. Share original content.
This may seem obvious to some, but many businesses increase their social media presence by curating content from other sources. The truth is, your audience can tell the difference between original and creative content and content you posted just to say you were active on the platform that day.
Social media should not only be a distribution channel. Social media marketers also need to be content marketers to have a positive impact on their brands. If you struggle to find original content every day, you can cut back. If you don't have enough bandwidth to post on all platforms, spend time on the channels where your audience is most advanced.
Use multimedia. Social media marketers get excited when a social platform launches a new feature—that's because it adds a new means to play and test with your audience. Instagram stories, Twitter polls, and LinkedIn documents are all great examples of using unique multimedia formats for each channel. Creating and publishing multimedia content on your social media will add an interesting factor that will help capture the attention of your audience.
Think of it this way - if you scrolled through Twitter and only saw text messages, you'd get bored pretty quickly. The reason Twitter is so addictive is that every tweet is different. Within 10 seconds of scrolling, you might find a meme, poll, video, photo collage, and GIF. The same should apply to your branding feed. When thinking about social media content, you should think about the story behind the post and the different ways to tell it.
5. Emphasize your employees.
Many B2B companies do a great job of putting their employees in the spotlight, which allows the public to put a face to the company and personalize the brand. This is important for small and large businesses alike because whether you're selling computers to businesses or opening a local restaurant, people are the heart of your business. Additionally, highlighting employees is a good opportunity for employer branding. Employer branding increases employee performance by empowering them. Introducing your employees can also increase your reach and engagement. For example, instead of posting a product photo, you could post a photo of the 20 people who created the product, which will likely be shared with those 20 people's networks.
When your business publishes a blog, edits a column page, or posts on social media, it allows you to project your brand voice. Just like a customer recognizes your logo, you should aim for them to recognize your brand voice. Like any other marketing material, your social content should always be consistent with your company's point of view. Does your business need to have fun with challenges or give advice? The most popular examples of a consistent brand voice on social media are fast food companies like Burger King or Wendy's.
Wendy's approach leaves a lasting impression on consumers because it is different from all other brands. But you don't have to throw out the competition to have a voice that stands out. Your brand voice can be friendly, casual, formal, edgy, humorous, serious, or any of the above. If you're having trouble identifying your brand, try looking at past blog posts or landing page copy. Think about the emotion and tone of the copy and try to convey that in your social post. A unique brand voice allows you to stand out in an already crowded market.
7. Offer support.
There is nothing more frustrating than tweeting at a brand with a customer support issue and hearing radio silence. Even if you don't have the bandwidth to create a dedicated Twitter support account, tracking and responding to these issues is a great way to improve your customer relationship and show future customers that you're there when issues arise.
8. Maintain consistency.
One of the hardest parts of posting on social media is maintaining consistency. Updating each channel takes a lot of time, content creation, and planning. If you're just starting, instead of posting every day, try spending time creating smart content that adds to your audience's feeds. Better to put out a thoughtful tweet that sparks conversation and encourages engagement than five quick blog links with just an article title. Another way to maintain consistency is to create a release calendar and schedule releases in advance using a social media tool.
9. Experiment with content and publishing times.
This is the step if you've proven you can maintain a regular publishing schedule and want to dig a little deeper into audiences. There are always best practices for when and what you post on social media, but the truth is that every audience is different, so you should experiment to find out what works best for your brand.
Alternatively, use questions and statistics in your copy to see what interests your audience the most.
Experiment with different link positions to see if it gets more users to click. Add emoticons to see if it increases interaction. Send more often. Send less often. Put paid behind a video post and a still image to see which performs better. Segment another part of your audience to test how they respond to your ad. Experiment with different amounts of hashtags to see if it affects impressions. Spend more time replying to posts to see if it increases your followers. By experimenting with content, you learn your best practices, which are always more individual than industry standards.
10. Join the conversation
Social media was created to help people connect with other people. While brands have come and occupied the space for some time now, that feeling hasn't changed. Your brand can't connect with your audience if you make your product just for them.
It's a distraction and no one wants to interact with a post that distracts them from how they want their social channel to look.
The key to being relevant on social media is to engage in conversations that your target audience is interested in - even if they have little to do with your product. For example, a tweet from HubSpot. This tweet has nothing to do with the HubSpot product, but it has something to do with the HubSpot product. As a company, HubSpot knows that its users and potential customers are interested in tech news and what's happening in the business world. That is why it sparked a debate. B2B companies are not the only ones who can use these strategies on social media, and they have already proven that these strategies can work for different audiences - why not try using some of these strategies with your audience?
11. Go fast and mix.
Instagram makes it easy to send photos or videos directly to your phone through its app. Launch the app, press the add button and select a photo or video to upload, it's that simple. The advantage of this is that you don't have to spend time creating content. You can download a wide range of content anywhere, anytime without much planning or editing. Different content not only attracts and engages different members of your audience but also shows different sides of your business. No one wants to just look at pictures or just quotes on Instagram all day, right?
12. Join your niche.
Don't look out the window to see what's going on inside. Join the party. Like any other social media channel, it's important that you not only post content to your feed but also participate in the larger conversation. Don't just post pictures and videos, respond to your community when they leave a response. Take some time to check out other Instagram profiles, browse, like some content, and maybe leave a friendly comment here and there. If you spend time interacting with others, they are more likely to spend time interacting with you.
13. Use the link in your bio.
Although Instagram doesn't allow you to link to websites in post titles, you can add it to your bio. You can add up to 150 characters to your Instagram bio, including a link. Your bio is the perfect real estate to link to your latest blog posts or offers. You can also use tools like Linktree to create a custom link that includes a page with more links, allowing you to share up to five links and leverage your bio link!
Alternatively, Instagram stories are a great way to add links to your content. However, stories only last 2 hours - a limitation, but also a great tool to provide real-time offers and value.
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