B2B social media marketing will always be an effective way to draw attention from your potential clients. After all, people come to scroll through the feed throughout the day. And this is a great opportunity for a company to make itself known with interesting content. But technology is evolving, and it’s important to keep up with the latest trends. And in 2021, many new approaches help attract even more clients. Let’s find out more about them.
What is B2B social media marketing?
According to Techopedia, social media marketing refers to “methods that target social media and applications to spread brand awareness or promote specific products.” Social media marketing campaigns typically focus on:
- Creating a social media presence.
- Creating content to share.
- Generating customer feedback.
- Ensuring engagement.
- Supporting the entire customer interaction process from start to finish.
Moreover, according to the research company Eloqua, for 82% of B2B brands, social networking is the main way to increase company recognition.
Companies often have a question about B2B social media marketing: “Why do we need it?” The words “trendy” or “everyone does it” are not answers for serious business. And even the opportunity to say that a B2B company in a narrow niche has more than 11 thousand subscribers in social networks is not the main goal.
The competition in B2B is not always the difference in price because the corridors of RRPs from manufacturers may limit the dealers.
Often all companies have roughly the same delivery terms and conditions, forms of payment, and warranties. In circumstances where the main criteria are difficult to choose, the secondary ones are significant.
For some, the preponderance will be expressed simply: “I’ve never seen this company before, but this one appears periodically on my Facebook feed and posts not only memes or quotes of famous people.”
Others will start comparing potential partners by their presence on social networks, the number of followers, frequency, topics, and design of publications, likes, and comments — this shows that the company works and has an established community of customers.
And the company’s official pages on social networks are essentially the only way to get a glimpse “behind the scenes” of the company. But somewhere you’ll see promotions, discounts, a diploma from an exhibition, and discounts again. And somewhere — human stories about employees (a bit of the profession and personal life), photo reports about maintaining corporate traditions (say, board games on Wednesdays), and detailed case studies from satisfied clients.
Top 5 B2B social media platforms
A social network for professionals, LinkedIn is one of the most convenient platforms for B2B social media marketing campaigns. Here you can quickly find potential clients in the B2B segment because this resource was developed specifically for business communication. The audience of LinkedIn has more than 300 million users. Daily audience: 2.7 million.
A study by Oktopost reported that 80% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn. It’s hard to argue that any other social network is more important than LinkedIn to B2B marketers. LinkedIn provides incredible opportunities for everything from building brand thought leadership to targeting specific leads with organic content and their evolving advertising and sales solutions. In 2021, the community is still the leader in B2B social media marketing.
Event marketing is one of the most effective sales tools in the “business to business” segment.
Microblogging service Twitter is the easiest way to inform the important news quickly for busy business people. It’s a network that allows users to communicate through short messages and link to important web pages.
It’s a handy tool for B2B marketers. In particular, potential consumers can be discovered here and grouped into private lists. By tracking users’ messages, you’ll learn about their interests and preferences. This is the first step to effective interaction with a future partner.
Twitter’s search algorithm and use of hashtags allow event organizers to quickly spread the word about conferences, workshops, seminars, and other events.
Video content is one of the most in-demand and popular types of content for any audience and venue. And if you still regard YouTube as a huge collection of kitty videos, we will disappoint you:
According to Forbes, 52% of executives at large companies watch training videos on YouTube at least once a week.
The format of your YouTube posts can be extremely varied: from tours of your office to expert advice and fun interviews with employees.
If you want to give your brand a human face, it’s better to show that very face with a video rather than boring text that risks getting lost in the background of a thousand similar posts. Of course, they are 100% suitable for the company website, a summary, or business news, but not for a social network.
Business pages and theme groups are the main tools for B2B on Facebook. In addition, business page owners have access to convenient email marketing tools that allow them to send newsletters to subscribers or group members. A well-thought-out brand presence strategy on Facebook is one of the elements of modern PR.
Moreover, Facebook is one of the fastest-growing networks. Recently, its daily audience exceeded 1 billion people! The network has also enabled personal company-to-customer communication and the ability to buy and send messages directly through advertisements.
Also, don’t forget that Facebook, along with LinkedIn, will always be the No. 1 platform if you do business with foreign companies.
You need to think of Instagram as an opportunity to tell your story as part of a larger online marketing strategy. You need to develop a conversation between the brand/business and your subscribers/customers. The closer they are to the business, the more likely they are to become super fans. Instagram is the easiest way to achieve this: comment on other users’ posts, repost, participate in Real-Time Marketing. Give your Instagram page a chance to surprise and fill your subscribers’ feed with beautiful photos and interesting facts. Using this approach, you’re sure to get the response you need among those billion people who visit Instagram every day.
Top 5 tools for B2B social media marketing
To succeed in promotion through social networks, you need to understand modern tools for B2B social media marketing and know which will be more effective and profitable for the particular brand and the chosen social network for promotion.
White-label tool for managing social networks that allows you to: create content using an integrated library of templates, schedule the best time to publish using detailed analytics, monitor your performance on social networks, as well as create comprehensive and understandable reports for clients. You can read more in our other article about tools for managing social networks.
Plan: free trial
Social networks supported: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn
A business platform that gives you the ability to manage all your social media accounts from one app. In addition, it allows you to plan and analyze publications, track engagement metrics for each account.
Plan: free plan and free 14-day trial
Social networks supported: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest
This is a B2B social media platform for scheduling, posting, monitoring, and analytics for multiple social media channels. Plus, you can track your brand mentions and keywords and even delegate work.
Plan: free trial
Social networks supported: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google My Business
This social media management app has features such as content scheduling and auto-posting, engagement, task delegation, and in-depth analytics. It also has a special social inbox feature to collect information about all user interactions with your brand across different accounts in one place.
Plan: free trial
Social networks supported: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google My Business
This B2B social media management platform has autoposting capabilities for both single posts and up to 1,000 posts straight from Excel and Google Docs files. In addition, the app has a smart calendar feature where each user can add watermarks and their company logo to photos for posts.
Plan: free trial
Social networks supported: Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter
Strategies. Key points
Without a B2B social media marketing strategy, working in social networks is a lottery. A strategy is a step-by-step plan for achieving results.
The answer to the question “Why do I go to social networks?”
“To get a public page,” “I want a lot of subscribers,” “I want to increase sales.” These are not goals that are important for SMM strategy.
Specifics are needed:
- “I want my social media group to generate 20 leads per week with a cost per lead of no more than N amount of money.”
- “I plan to increase sales by 10% in relation to 2020 due to work in social networks.”
Goals should be measurable, specific, and realistic. Break down big goals into tasks: what needs to be done to achieve the goal.
Analytics and KPIs
Decide on the KPI, which parameters you will keep track of, and how you will forecast the next month’s results.
Explain how exactly the KPI reflects the goals and objectives of the promotion and how you will evaluate the success of the work.
Popular KPIs for SMM specialists are the price of leads, price of clicks, price of subscriptions, growth of activity and engagement (in %), growth of subscribers, increase of reactions (likes, reposts, comments, saves). As KPIs, you can use such significant indicators as:
- Increase in organic reach of posts;
- ER (audience engagement ratio);
- frequency of content generation;
- the average response time of an SMM specialist to a message or comment.
Include in the B2B social media marketing strategy all the tools you will use to achieve your goals, starting with a list of sites — specific social networks in which communities/accounts will be created. The tools may be as follows:
- Content creation and publishing.
- Targeted advertising.
- Working with bloggers.
- Placing content in third-party communities.
- SMM strategy includes terms and conditions of work, formats of cooperation — for example, bloggers can publish guest posts, and you can order native advertising.
Target audience analysis
The basic component of SMM strategy. Because promotion, aka B2B social media marketing, is 100% work with the audience. To make a portrait of the target audience, you can use:
- A brief that the client fills out.
- Conversation with representatives of the sales department or staff marketer client.
- The results of customer surveys, if they were conducted.
Basic target audience analysis includes:
- marital status
Plus additional characteristics if you’re working with young mothers, brides, military, some other narrow groups.
In the analysis of your target audience data about their consumer behavior, you can also include how often they come back for a repeat purchase, how regularly they use the company’s products or services, whether they use the product themselves or together with their family. If the company has a CRM, all this data can be obtained from the customer.
Analysis of company pages in social networks
If the company for which the SMM strategy is being developed is already present in the social networks, it is important to analyze its communities. Connecting special services, you can get a full cross-section of statistical information on the page and posts — the number of subscribers, the number of likes/dislikes of the page and each post, the number of displays of posts, coverage, comments, and reposts.
It’s also important to visually assess the design of the public page and the profile header.
The section includes recommendations for rubrics (competitor analysis comes in handy) and SMM content formats.
The content policy describes the types of SMM content — informational, selling, expert, entertaining — and defines their ratio. This is necessary so as not to bore the audience with constant selling posts or overfeed them with frivolous entertainment. Alternating types of SMM content protect against monotony, which can make the audience unsubscribe.
The Role of Marketing Automation in B2B Social Media Marketing
For many of us, the term “B2B social media marketing automation” sounds a little strange, as if it were for companies like Google or Microsoft. But the future has arrived, and with it, marketing automation has already made its way into the lives of many companies, both small, medium-sized, or large.
The benefits of automation:
- Time normally spent on routine tasks is freed up for other work.
- Coverage increases.
- Around-the-clock interaction with your audience.
- Ability to pay attention to a large number of visitors to the account.
- Setting up services in accordance with preset filters allows for an unmistakable and targeted expansion of the target audience.
- Possibility to develop several accounts at once.
- The ability to view and analyze data on the results of a particular promotion method, which will help to change the tactics and strategy for working with the audience in time.
- Creation of detailed and clear reports for clients.
As a result of automation, you save the time of your employees and increase coverage and ROI.
5 Lessons B2B Marketers Can Learn from B2C Marketers
Of course, B2B social media marketing needs its unique approach. But who says that B2B marketers have nothing to learn from B2C?
Plan a Segmented Social Plan
Take the time to examine your social audience and create content that speaks to your audience. A/B testing is a good idea. For a small portion of your marketing budget, you can run multiple Facebook ads for different segments. Make sure your content calendar is a mix of posts that appeal to all your key demographic areas.
Get Ready to Engage
Remember, even if you’re a B2B marketer, the business you’re trying to win has a person in charge of researching products and services. They might ask questions. You need to be there to answer them. B2C companies know the value of interaction and how it can move a customer through the sales funnel.
Visual posts are widely the most well-received, so don’t be afraid to create a contextual, visual post that delivers your message in a consumable way. B2B marketers are too afraid of seeming casual, but they shouldn’t be. If they take a lesson from B2C marketers who create fun, engaging, yet relevant social posts, they’ll be doing the brand a favor.
Promote Your Blog
Leverage each social channel to promote your blog post on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Change your messaging for each based on the channel you’re using. Facebook users want a CTA lead-in that speaks to their needs. Sharing on Twitter means you probably need to tweet the same blog post several times. LinkedIn should get only the most thought-provoking and valuable content, positioned in a way that seems intentional and deliberate.
Run a Promotion
While B2C marketers know that sales and promotions can increase foot traffic and drive engagement, B2B marketers should know that the right coupon code, offer, or discount can make companies choose their service or product over another’s.