How to Create a Better B2B Social Media Marketing Strategy
Social media has become an integral part of our lives. In fact, according to Pew Research, seven-in-ten American adults now use at least one form of social media. While social platforms offer businesses a great way to reach their target audience, they also present unique challenges. How can small businesses leverage social media channels to build customer relationships?
How Can Small B2B Businesses Leverage the Power of Social Media Campaigns?
Social media is a powerful tool for connecting with potential clients and building brand awareness. However, it's important to remember that social media isn't just for big companies or brands. Thanks to social media marketing, small businesses have greater access than ever to potential customers.
What is B2B social media marketing?
Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest are all great places to connect with potential clients. They are used by businesses to share information, promote products, and build relationships with current and prospective customers.
In addition, social media allows you to interact directly with your customers. You can ask questions, respond to comments, and even answer questions about your business in real-time. The more engaged your followers are, the more likely they will purchase from you.
How B2B Companies Use Social Media?
Social media marketing goals and business use differ based on their intended purpose and audience. B2C social media marketing aims to attract customers through engagement, while B2B social media marketers focus on building relationships with other business professionals. B2B companies use social media for customer service, sales, lead generation, and reputation management. They also use social media to generate leads through paid ads.
Social media marketing is highly effective for B2B companies. According to Mycustomer.com, "Social media now comes out as the most powerfully effective channel across a wide range of objectives. 79% of the 115 senior level B2B marketers claim that social media effectively meets their objectives, from building thought leadership to deepening customer relationships."
The Elements of an Excellent B2B Social Media Marketing Strategy
For a small business to succeed in its social media efforts and attract new customers or engage with current ones, you'll need to invest time and effort in crafting a thoughtful strategy. This will mean a clear idea of your ideal customer and why they would choose your company.
To build a better social media strategy, it's time to consider your business goals, marketing goals, and, most importantly, your customer.
1. Identify your business goals. Go beyond "make more sales" and make your goals SMART. S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Based. Build out your plans incorporating those traits, so you have something concrete to work from.
2. Identify your social media goals and align them to your business goals using the same SMART methodology.
3. Dig deep and get to know your customer. Start with current customers - identify their traits, interests, needs, and pain points. With this information, create buyer personas to help you in the creation process. These audience traits are critical information that can help drive your social media marketing strategy. Throwing out content you think they want, compared to content you know they need, is a game-changer.
4. Analyze your previous social media marketing's organic performance. Over time, what worked well and what didn't - noting formats, times, days, etc. Now, look at your social media advertising performance. Are there any lessons you can learn or changes that might serve customer needs better?
5. Considering everything you've learned so far, create your social media plan, building content to address the high points of customer needs and previous performance - aligned with your business and marketing goals.
Concerning past content and other existing marketing assets, is there anything you can repurpose or reframe in ways that might better meet customer needs? For example, creating an infographic from a blog post. Incorporate that into your plan.
Consider any content gaps that might need to be added to your previous plan, especially incorporating informational and educational content, not just promotional content. According to Backlinko "B2B blogs that create education content receive 52% more organic traffic than those that mainly publish content about their company."
What types of content can work well for B2B social media marketing content strategies?
long-form text posts and white papers
Social media posts that highlight customer stories, your company culture, and testimonials that serve as social proof
Video content that shows off your shop floor, product delivery, or even your process
User-generated content social campaigns that build a sense of community, connecting you with your audience (and help boost engagement rates)
Participating in or starting Facebook groups centered around your industry, location, etc., is a great way to connect with your B2B audience and potential buyers.
6. Make sure your social strategy is more than one-way. The social media golden rule is "be social on social." That means don't just cross your fingers and hope your audience will engage with your social content, make a plan to also engage with them. A few minutes a day spent engaging with your ideal customer, audience, and related industry accounts can go a long way toward digital marketing success.
7. Encourage them to engage with your content and help spread the word. While finding customer advocates is a sweet spot for digital marketing, often your biggest advocates are your employees. Not only that, but employee advocacy in your online presence is highly effective. According to LinkedIn, "When employees share content they typically see a click-through rate that is 2x higher than when their company shares the same content."
8. Measure and Adjust - Analyze your social marketing performance and determine what works well and why. Next, do the opposite and consider what isn't working and why that is. Adjust your strategy and repeat.
Social Media Marketing is a potent tool for B2B Small Business owners to connect with current and potential B2B buyers. By thoughtfully designing your strategy to focus on your target audience, you'll create content that resonates with your ideal audience and help you build awareness, consideration, and excellent customer relationships.