Social media marketing (both paid and organic) is no longer an avenue that can be ignored. The digital environment of today's society means anyone who hopes to compete has created profiles on the top social platforms. Not being found on any (or all) platforms can put a dent in trust. Therefore, it's up to you to incorporate social media into your inbound marketing strategy.
However, the B2B marketer is going to have incredibly different goals to measure their social media strategy than the traditional B2C social media marketer. While some B2C companies can easily sell their products via social media, most B2B marketers aren't going to be able to pull a prospect all the way down the funnel to a purchasing decision using social media alone. Instead, most B2B marketers use these platforms to distribute, promote and repurpose existing content. This helps to nurture existing leads down the funnel or to get new leads.
With those goals in mind, here are ten tips for building your B2B social media strategy across some of the top platforms:
An emphasis on paid advertising by Facebook has certainly had an impact on the organic reach of your brand's posts, and users’ trust of posts on the whole. This additional competition then increases costs for your paid advertisement, which decreases your ROI and makes it harder to prove your marketing efforts are valuable. So how do you break through low organic reach without footing an extra bill?
1. Video is your friend
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that this will be a common theme across all social media platforms, but video is an amazing piece of inbound marketing content to increase reach and engagement with your followers. Of course, you don't want to share your hour-long webinar on Facebook. But cutting it down to a 30-second snippet and linking to the full session will be enough to catch users' eyes as they're scrolling and entice them to click over to your website for the full experience.
2. Go Live
Another use of video is Facebook's Live feature. Facebook Live allows you to livestream video content to your feed where followers can engage with you directly during the broadcast. You can incorporate Live into your existing Facebook strategy by hosting live events: hold a Q&A session with a team member and answer audience questions about an advanced topic, or use it to extend your reach when attending a conference or fun event.
3. Mix it up with the features
Facebook posts can be more than just text and an image. You can check into a location, add a feeling or activity and create a poll — all of which will help extend your reach and add a fun, human element to your brand.
At the other end of the spectrum is Twitter, where organic reach can sometimes be lower due solely to the volume of content constantly being shared on the platform. However, with increased posting also comes increased interaction. It's a lot easier to get your content shared and spread on Twitter, but it's also a lot easier to get lost in the noise.
4. Be quick on the draw
When someone does find your company and interacts with your posts, be sure to return the engagement as soon as you can. This visitor found you in a sea of other content, so don't let them forget you and move on to your competitor. Granted, the visitor won't always be a good fit for your company, but it still reflects well on you if you engage promptly.
5. Don’t let important content get buried
With a highly robust posting schedule, your precious tweets are constantly getting pushed to the bottom of your Twitter feed. By pinning an important tweet to the top of your feed, you ensure that new visitors to your page will see it and extend the life of an important or successful tweet.
6. The power of the GIF
You should also leverage gifs or video to break up the stream of stationary content. Your followers are scrolling through hundreds of tweets! Make yours stand out with a relatable gif or quick video to capture attention.
LinkedIn is probably the best platform for B2B marketers. We’re not suggesting that you ditch all of your other accounts and solely focus on this one, but it is the platform where B2B seems to find the most success. LinkedIn encourages the sharing of professional content that casual users may find boring or inaccessible on Facebook or Twitter.
LinkedIn is also a good platform to consider if you’re thinking about a paid social strategy. There are lots of targeting options and B2B-friendly features that make this a great option for paid social campaigns to complement your organic ones.
7. Stand Out with a Picture
Because it's a professional networking platform, infographics, charts and graphs perform really well on LinkedIn, partially because they stand out from the classic written content. The educational visual draws users in and lends credibility to the associated written content.
8. Start Conversations
Social media exists so people can interact with each other. So, you should post content that encourages engagement. Ask questions of your audience and tag other users. Don’t just share links in hopes of driving traffic.
Engaging with users through comments, likes and shares won't just help you build a relationship with your audience, it will also expand your content’s reach. When users interact with content on LinkedIn, their connections can see that, putting your content in front of new audiences.
For B2B marketers, Instagram is generally less of a lead generation tool and more of a supplementary platform. At New Breed, we find Instagram to be a great way to showcase our culture rather than to generate leads. For a quickly growing company, talent acquisition is equally as important as lead generation. Therefore, we don't promote our usual inbound content on Instagram, but use it as a space for content geared toward our current, future and prospective employees.
9. Show them what you’re about
Instead of looking for prospects on Instagram, we showcase our culture. Creating some "behind the scenes" type content can go a long way to humanize your company as a whole and build trust and rapport with possible prospects that are doing their homework on you.
Showing off your culture not only helps you recruit new teammates; it also shows your clients or prospects who you really are — and why they want to work with you.
10. Tell your stories
The story feature is a great way to engage with your audience when something impromptu happens that wouldn't otherwise make it into your scheduled posts. Maybe someone finally closed on a considerable deal and celebrated with a funny win dance or your coworkers dressed up for Halloween. These moments might not be worthy of a regular post, but they're perfect to add to your brand's Instagram story for a "behind the scenes" look into your office and culture.
I know, I know, we said 10 tips, but here’s a bonus for you: Don’t underestimate YouTube. While it may not be your go-to, it certainly should have a supporting role in your social media strategy. Video is a medium that has skyrocketed and shows no signs of slowing, so it must be a part of any B2B strategy. At the very least, YouTube is a great place to host a library of your full videos, and it's easy to link to them from your other social media platforms.