Are you too under the impression that social media strategies are only for B2C companies? Then this is the guide for you on how to create a B2B social media strategy and ace your social selling, customer, and other business aspects.
B2B social media strategy
Often companies consider B2B social media strategy development as an unwanted work. But see how some top brands are killing it on social media, seemingly B2C companies.
However, this raises the question if IT companies have what it takes to repeat the feats delivered by B2C brands. Here we’re talking about B2B companies, and there are plenty of examples out there.
Consider Adobe, the software giant accounts its LinkedIn marketing as responsible of closing 42% sales in 2018.
The company states that the deals closed through LinkedIn marketing were 161% bigger as compared to those score through other mediums, or boardroom meetings. In other words, B2B marketing has helps the company sign bigger contracts.
Need to learn how the same B2B social media strategy development tactics can help your social selling, customer service, and overall marketing strategy? Here’s how it goes.
A myth regarding B2B social media marketing
One of the most degrading statements you must’ve ever heard from someone on why social media isn’t their thing, “my business is in a boring industry”.
Just shut that thing down! Remember, social media isn’t only reserved for fancy garments, fragrances, modeling, or for businesses that are more visual in their selling point.
With more than a billion people on social media, I bet there will be a chunk of people, even the smallest one, that’ll be interested in your products.
And your job in to find them.
Here are a couple of examples of “boring” business that have crushed it on social media.
An American tax preparation company that have managed to turn the seemingly boring industry into something of a rockstar.
The brand understands that people are aggressively inclined on things of interest.
The H&R Block is keen on catering customers who are either fed up of the tax filing process, or people who wish the file taxes could just disappear.
The brand is known for creating funny commercials representing a hip tax company.
In short, practical information blending with entertaining content is the product that comprises their social media strategy.
Selling commercial and residential blenders can itself be a tedious task, let alone trying to make blenders look sexy, or otherwise, worth interacting with.
Blendtec is known to take a routine kitchen appliance and transform it into an internet celebrity.
Through its “Will it Blend?” video series, the company communicated the strengths of its products and managed to acquire a large followers’ base and customers.
Are we through the myth?
There are other various examples of companies that have successfully turned their products into convincing sales and customer favorites, all through creative social media campaigns.
Why use social media for your B2B marketing
Understandably, you need a thorough argument on why a sound B2B social media strategy is necessary for your business.
Your direct competitors are already there
If I talk about myself, being a digital marketing blogger, how can I think that there aren’t any of my competitors out there? Neil Patel, The Moz, Search Engine Land, etc., you name it.
If they’re investing quite significantly on social, apparently, you’re missing out on key customer segments they could be capitalizing on right now.
That particular customer segments could be the most vocal, collaborative groups.
Customer demand “customer service” through social media
It doesn’t matter if you’re a B2C or B2B business, customers demand a quality service against all odds.
Your customers will take on their preferred social platforms to ask questions, provide ratings and feedback, spread word of mouth, and more.
Hence, employing the best social media tools to answer them in a personalized manner is wise.
You’re missing out on leads and conversions
Overlooking social media for B2B lead generation opportunities would be a foolish thing to do.
Social media is the place where business nurture potential prospects to become full-fledged customers. The platforms give you various touchpoint to travel the customer by recognizing the search intent to purchase and social selling.
According to IDC, 84% of executives and 75% of B2B buyers use social media to facilitate their buying decisions.
Not to mention that buyers respond positively to social engagement and are mostly willing to strike up a conversation.
Social insights are valuable
The purpose of any pro B2B social media plan extends beyond mere regular posting and marketing.
Listen and observe what your customers are talking about in your industry forums, what products/features are gathering the most negative/positive attention, and the reviews and ratings your competitors are getting.
The data extracted is vital for strategic decision making and ideas for future ventures.
Top practices for your B2B social media strategy
Improve your approach by acquiring and implementing the following B2B social media strategy practices.
Speak to your audience
Apparently, we need to speak in a language that is familiar in our particular industry. The case with B2B social media marketing is no different.
At the same time, it doesn’t mean you should unnecessarily stuff technical jargons in your copy and confuse your readers.
Remember, the idea is to communicate and reach your audience, and not show off. Hence, clarity is called.
In other cases, you may be required to explain what a particular post means. For example, there might be some people in your audience who even doesn’t know what is B2B.
Take it as an opportunity to connect rather than leaving things on their own.
Refine your brand voice
Somewhat an extension of the 1st point, but its importance justifies it with a separate explanation.
Remember, you’re not a robot, so don’t talk like one!
Try to be conversational, something to prove that there’s a human behind the chat box and not a programmed AI. Despite, the belief surrounding any B2B social media strategy, you don’t have to be rigid or too pro.
Consider the above example, the message is clear, yet sounds humane.
Welcome employee advocacy
Much like you want your customers to carry the word-of-mouth responsibility for your brand, the same goes for your employees as well.
Who knows you better than people who are keeping your business up and running? Employees will only magnify your efforts by complimenting your social media messages with some added personality promoting your company culture, all from different social media accounts.
And postings from different social media accounts will only expand your reach more than a single business account.
The key is to develop a sense of employee advocacy through your coworkers.
SpurSol, a software house in Karachi, opened its new office recently, and the news was shared by most of the workforce which amplified their social media reach like crazy.
Create individual channels
The number of your social media channels and accounts grow with your audience. This will give your ample freedom in sharing the right content with the right audience segment.
For instance, if you’ve started experiencing increasing support calls, make a social channel dedicated for the purpose, separating it from the primary account.
Separate channels can also be used for different verticals, audiences, and products. Yes, the number and types of social channels depends on your industry, size of business, and the type of audience you’re dealing with.
For example, Salesforce has at least 10 Twitter accounts. On LinkedIn, companies like Google, Pinterest, Adobe, etc. leverage showcase pages to attend to different communities and are able to link these pages under the Affiliated Pages chunk.
Customize your offerings
If B2B means business to business, where is the room for customization? According to a data provided by LinkedIn, around 62% of B2B buyers interact with sales personnel who present relevant insights and opportunities in their pitches.
The keyword here is “relevant”, and spot-on customization can do wonders in your B2B social media strategy.
The presence of social media ads permits marketers to make their targeting laser focused. Try to utilize the opportunities in crafting messages according to focus groups in certain regions, occupations, behavioral patterns, and so on.
Moreover, you can also personalize your organic messaging. For an idea, go through LinkedIn InMail messages and examine how senders have crafted their message and buyer personas.
For a beginner, understand the fact personalization is more than simply taking the name of the recipient in the content. And with different social media channels, you should be able to address each audience segment appropriately.
Although not a very well-known example, but one that particularly inspired me to quote.
Dropbox is very clear on the personality test program it has created, specifically for marketing professionals. Even though there are countless personality tests available on the internet, but their Marketing Dynamix will only explore the unique personalities, attitude, and work styles of people from a particular profession.
Now that’s an example of personalized messages, and not generic messaging.
Offer valuable content
Seemingly, we go through tons of B2B and B2C social media posts each day, hence, the effort to stand out and attract your audience is tremendous.
This is where you need to understand what value of your content actually is. And it involves finding the customer’s pain points, understanding their core needs as well as business needs.
Utilize your best content creation and social media talent pool to create blog posts, eBooks, webinars, and social posts worthy of sharing as unique content pieces.
Yes, the ROI may not be obvious and concrete at first, but building trust, reputation, and authority will definitely bore fruits with time for your brand.
With the right strategy meant for the right audience, you can generate leads, prospects, and follow-up opportunities.
Retarget through B2B social media ads
Organic B2B marketing has a limited threshold, a hard pill to swallow.
social media ads are particularly useful when you want a follow up. B2B social media activities take time, patience, and input from different parties, unlike B2C.
On an average, any B2B prospect will visit a website around 5 to 10 times throughout the consideration stage.
Platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. permits advertisers to create custom audiences to target visitors who already know something about your business. In other words, you can personalize your ad content to people who have visited with your page or some of your webpages.
Do you have a B2B strategy in place?
Just ingrain the fact in your mind! No B2B brand can afford to stay away from social media.
It doesn’t matter if you’re looking to promote your brand or simply build awareness through content, the above practices should help you in your quest.