There’s no denying it. Social Media is part of our everyday life, as consumers, marketers, and social beings.
As of 2019, there are 3.5 billion users worldwide on social media, so it would be a real waste if you weren’t taking advantage of these online platforms to grow your brand.
Social Media is a great way to digitally connect and interact with your target market 24/7, which gives you the opportunity to create a loyal community for your brand. What started out as an entertainment source eventually evolved to be one of the most powerful marketing channels for businesses.
Although the vast majority of consumer brands have come to recognize the power of social media marketing, many B2B companies have yet to uncover its true value. It’s much less common to see B2B brands get social media right, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. You just need to choose the right platforms and adapt a few best practices.
Social Media Channels That Work for B2B
LinkedIn is composed of professional individuals coming from different industries around the globe. But what kind of professional are we specifically talking about?
- To date, LinkedIn has over 610 million members
- 63 million of those are decision-makers
- 10 million users are C-level executives responsible for company-wide decision making
- With Information Technology as one of the biggest industries at 6 million users
- 46% of referral traffic on company websites come from LinkedIn, proving that it is an effective distribution channel for driving quality leads
There are millions of professionals on LinkedIn, making it valid to utilize this platform, especially if you’re targeting B2B companies. One tricky question is how to pique their interest using this social platform. According to LinkedIn, the key is to create informative content. You could do this in the form of blog posts, videos, case studies, reports, eBooks, or whitepapers. You can use relevant groups and communities on LinkedIn to distribute your content to the right audiences and add industry hashtags (i.e., #fintech, #marketing) to make your content appear on other relevant topics too.
This platform is known as a microblogging site for users, making it a great platform to start discussions, engage with users, and deploy customer support. There are a lot of reasons why Twitter should be at the top of your list, have a look at these stats:
- There are 145 million active users on Twitter talking about various topics. It would be a waste of opportunity if you didn’t establish a presence here in your niche
- 22% of the American population is on Twitter
- 36% of B2B marketers generate leads via Twitter
- 77% of Twitter users feel happy when a brand resolves their concern through the platform.
- An average user follows at least five business on Twitter
- Twitter has seen a 2.5x increase in customer service conversation in the last two years.
Twitter only allows you to use 280 characters per tweet, but hey, if you’re consistently using that 280 characters to offer valuable content, join conversations, and offer solutions in a continuous effort to build brand loyalty, your strategy will be rewarded in the end.
The biggest and most highly adopted social media platform should never be ignored. It’s almost impossible to meet someone who doesn’t have a Facebook account. We can also say that Facebook is a one-stop social platform where you could connect with your friends, colleagues, and of course, a channel where you can perform your B2B and B2C transactions. B2B owners may be reluctant at first, but these numbers will satisfy your questions:
- 26% of users who clicked on ads made a purchase
- 30% of B2B marketers find Facebook as an effective channel
If you plan on using Facebook for B2B, don’t forget to avoid these B2B Facebook advertising mistakes and maximize your chances of success.
YouTube is incredibly effective at serving videos aligned with interest and it is through the help of its sophisticated algorithm. This video haven has 1.5 billion monthly users and can help you reach your market on a platform that’s convenient for them. Video is a powerful medium as they’re easy to digest and engage with. As a result, they offer great opportunities to boost your ROI.
- Nearly 5 billion videos are being watched per day
- 59% of B2B marketers use YouTube for content distribution
- 76% of marketers used video content to help increase their sales
- And 73% of them said that video marketing improved their ROI
- 99% of marketers will continue to use video in their strategy
Don’t stick to brand-centric video content if you plan on using YouTube for your business. The most important thing is that you’re delivering value. You can utilize a variety of videos such as how-to videos, explainer videos, testimonials videos, or even round-up videos to educate, inform, and entertain your audience.
Best Practices to Boost Your B2B Brand on Social Media
Build your brand as people and not just a “company.”
Don’t be a brand that seems cold and distant to its audience. Relax a little bit and put some personality in your posts. You can do this by finding the right tone for your brand and the type of content that resonates well with your target market. We know that the goal is to generate profit but go find that angle where you can be informative too. You may miss out on a few opportunities for sales promotions, but you’ll continue creating top of the mind awareness when it comes to the service that you’re offering. Take some notes from Hubspot:
B2B marketers: what are your top content marketing plays this year?In late 2019, MarketingProfs and Content Marketing…Posted by HubSpot on Monday, 9 March 2020
Take social media as more than just a status update.
Managing a social media platform may seem easy since you could create a page on your own, but it takes creative brains to figure out what works best for your brand. Best practices are essential but do note that not all best practices work well in every industry. Here are some points when developing social media content:
- Do competitor benchmarking. What are other brands doing successfully? Could the same or modified versions of the strategy work for you too?
- Are your posts compelling enough to catch the attention of your audience? Do A/B testing and see which angle resonates well with your target market.
- Look for gaps. Compare your existing strategy to new statistics and social features available at your disposal.
Remember, B2B social media is a little more complicated than B2C because in general, volume is lower and transaction size is larger. This kind of compelling content takes time before you find the right type of strategy that works well with your brand.
Establish expertise and thought leadership with original content.
There are several ways to establish expertise and build trust online, but one of the most effective ways is to interact with an actual person such as social media take over. Here’s an example from Social Media Examiner:
Let’s keep the conversation going on Friday as @jeffsieh and @jencoleict discuss this week’s hottest social media marketing news topics. Click here to register and join the conversation: -Jen #smechat— Social Media Examiner (@SMExaminer) March 11, 2020
Another way to produce original content is by publishing blogs through LinkedIn and Facebook Instant Articles. What’s happening here is, these social networks have allowed users to post full articles on the social media platform, rather than just sharing links. That said, definitely include social publishing in your this year and see how it works for you!
Jump into trending topics that are relevant to your business.
Conduct social listening, follow topics, keep an open ear (or eye) on trending news stories. You can check out Twitter Explore and LinkedIn Editors as a potential starting points in finding out the current buzz in your industry. Here’s an example from Discord where they respond personally to a global event:
An update from us regarding COVID-19: pic.twitter.com/gKUXvvsqrs— Discord (@discord) March 11, 2020
When joining in on a conversation, ensure that what you are saying is factually correct and relevant to avoid any potential PR disasters. If you are contributing a solution, angle it in a way that the audience will appreciate by using the power of emotion. For obvious reasons, avoid making the conversation too brand-centric as it might paint your brand in a negative light.
Explore video marketing.
Videos are the more comprehensive medium, especially when explaining complicated/technical information to your audience. There are several types of video content you can use to optimize your marketing efforts; you could create product or service demos, explainer videos, testimonial/review, how-to videos, and a lot more.
Not convinced? Here are a few stats that prove the worth of video marketing:
- 51% of marketing professionals said that video marketing delivers the best ROI
- The average mobile viewing session lasts more than 40 minutes
- 85% of videos on Facebook are watched without sound
- 2022 forecast shows that online videos consume 82% of internet traffic
- 95% of viewers retained more information when watching videos than reading texts
Experiment with new content formats.
There are various ways to attract social media followers, and depending on your business goals and target market, you have to consider experimenting with new formats to keep things fresh. Aside from that, you’ll want to keep testing different content types to find out which ones resonate best with your target audience.
Here are the types of content that work best on social media:
- 58% of marketers say original written content is their most important form of social content.
- Followers value images, videos, and customer reviews from brands most highly on social media. (Search Engine People)
- People retain 65% of the information when content is paired with visual images.
- Infographics can increase web traffic by up to 12%.
- 6 out of 10 people prefer online videos over watching TV.
- 64% of consumers’ purchases are influenced by video marketing.
Once upon a time, it was easy to conclude that visual content was always more effective, or that videos get the most engagement, or that whitepapers are best for B2B. The statistics above only prove that there is no longer a cookie-cutter way of doing social media or content marketing. Every brand is different and should be approached differently.
There are myriads of ways to target different industries, and business goals, and buyer personas. Your best bet is to understand your niche, see what your competitors are doing, do an inventory of your resources, and experiment to figure out what works specifically for your business.
Boost Your B2B Social Efforts Today!
Thanks to technology and great innovators of this century, social media has evolved from being used just for entertainment to being one of the channels where you can build a connection with your target audience. Utilize these tips to help take advantage of what social has to offer. You’ll be paving the road to social media success in no time!
Need help building a social media community that drives positive ROI for your B2B brand? Speak to us today!