Social media strategies are crucial in today’s digital world, especially for business-to-business companies. Most B2B decision-makers research independently, with over half discovering vital information on various social media platforms. When they speak to a salesperson, they want a product demo or a free trial.
Despite this, many marketers in the B2B sector don’t focus enough on their social media strategy. Some have it written down, but it’s not a priority. Ignoring social media means missing out on connecting with your target audience and potential customers.
It’s a challenge to stand out, particularly when other sectors like travel and fashion dominate online. However, creating a strong brand identity on social media that engages your audience is possible. In this guide, we’ll explore what B2B social media marketing is, why it’s important in 2024, and how to build successful B2B social media strategies, along with key takeaways.
What is B2B Social Media Marketing?
B2B social media marketing means using online platforms to promote goods or services to businesses. This is different from selling directly to customers (B2C). In B2B marketing, the focus is on reaching company owners and key decision-makers through social media channels.
This approach is about building long-term relationships that could lead to big deals. Every social media platform can play a role in B2B marketing. The content and strategy should be tailored differently than those used for reaching regular consumers.
Why B2B Social Media Matters In 2024?
LinkedIn has found that 75% of those who make business decisions look at social media before they buy anything. This means your brand is more connected to your customers than ever. But remember, there’s always a person making the purchase decision.
Customers now do most of their research (about 90%) before even talking to you. They consume around 13 pieces of content before making a decision. So, your products need to be visible and engaging on social media.
This can be through your website, videos, posts, or even articles shared by your company leaders. Simply posting content isn’t enough. Your social media marketing strategy must align with your business’s aims.
If you’re not making strong connections with your customers, your competitors will. To stay ahead in 2024, it’s essential to understand the latest trends in B2B marketing and how to build a better B2B social media marketing strategy.
By keeping your social media accounts active and engaging, you maintain a strong social media presence, which is crucial for success in today’s market.
How To Build B2B Social Media Strategies That Actually Work?
Understanding the importance of B2B social media is just the start. Now, let’s talk about how you can use it effectively. What do you need for a successful B2B social media strategy? Managing social media for B2B doesn’t have to be complicated.
Here are some B2B marketing tips for a digital economy to enhance your social media strategy:
1. Align Goals With Business Objectives
Every B2B social media strategy should start by answering these questions:
- What are the company’s main goals?
- How can B2B social media marketing help in achieving these goals?
There’s a difference in how B2B and B2C marketers use social platforms. B2C campaigns often aim to make sales, while B2B social media is more about creating initial interest. Social media goals for B2B should focus on long-term business objectives.
For B2B companies, the top four goals usually are:
- Create brand awareness
- Build trust and credibility
- Educate audiences
- Generating sales or revenue
Successful marketers also use content marketing to keep subscribers, audiences, or leads interested.
Remember to include internal goals in your plan, too. Research in the Journal of Business Logistics shows that social media can increase knowledge about products and competitors for account managers.
Here’s a practical example of a SMART goal for a company looking to grow on social media:
- Goal: Increase brand awareness on social media.
- Specific: We aim to raise our brand voice by posting more on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook. We’ll post four times daily on Twitter instead of once daily on Instagram and seven times weekly on LinkedIn and Facebook, up from four. Our content creators will make three posts a week instead of two, and our designer will create two weekly assets instead of one.
- Measurable: We’re targeting a 4% rise in engagement across all platforms.
- Attainable: We saw a 2% increase in engagement last month with more frequent posts and better-quality content.
- Relevant: Higher engagement means more brand awareness and leads, giving our sales team more opportunities.
- Time-Bound: By the end of this month.
- SMART Goal: By month’s end, we aim for a 4% increase in our average engagement rate by posting more frequently and focusing on engaging content.
2. Understand Your Target B2B Audience
To make your B2B social media marketing plan work, you must know who you’re selling to. Start by researching the businesses you want to reach. Look at their industry, location, size, and more. This helps you create detailed customer profiles for your B2B social media strategy.
Consider making buyer personas, too. These are made-up profiles of the kind of people you’re selling to. Think about their interests, problems, and what they like. Use social listening to understand them. This way, you can create online marketing campaigns on social media.
3. Analyze Your Competitors on Social Media
Before you start any marketing campaign, it’s important to watch what your competitors are doing. See where they’re most active and what content their audience likes. This helps you choose the best social media platform for your business.
Study their content and ads for ideas. If you share a similar audience, what works for them might work for you. Also, look for what they’re missing. Maybe they focus too much on themselves and not on industry news. This is your chance to provide that content and become a go-to source for your audience.
Your competitors might also miss out on content types like videos or entertaining and informative social media podcasts, or they might not respond to customer comments. They might even use a platform that doesn’t fit your audience or goals.
You can always learn something from what they’re doing. This knowledge helps you build brand awareness and provides valuable industry insights for your strategy.
4. Choose The Right Platforms
The first step in your social media marketing is picking the right platforms. There are many options, and here are some key ones to consider:
LinkedIn boasts a massive user base of over 760 million people, with 40% actively using it daily. Crucially for B2B marketers, 46 million decision-makers in the business world are among these users.
This platform has become a primary resource for professionals to expand and enhance their personal brands, making it an essential component of any effective B2B marketing strategy.
Twitter is key for keeping your sales funnel full. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 87% of B2B marketers use it for content marketing. It’s excellent for increasing brand awareness and customer interaction. Twitter also helps in monitoring conversations about your brand and competitors.
Using Facebook Business Pages is beneficial for most brands. 86% of B2B marketers are on Facebook. It’s a relevant channel for all sorts of content, allowing brands to share various content types, from text posts and images to videos and live streams, reaching a diverse audience effectively.
As video content becomes increasingly important for marketers, YouTube has risen significantly. Videos can appear in Google search results when well-optimized, making them a crucial element in your SEO strategies.
Instagram is perfect for visual storytelling in 2024. High-quality photos and videos are essential here. It’s also great for engaging with followers through stories, behind-the-scenes content, and showcasing events.
TikTok, though newer, has seen rapid growth. It’s popular for tutorials and educational content, offering a chance to connect with a younger audience keen on learning.
Your choice of platforms depends on your capabilities and where your audience is. For B2B companies, LinkedIn often stands out as a business-focused platform. Research the demographics on each platform and match that with your target audience. This will help you determine where your social media campaigns should focus for maximum impact.
5. Create Engaging And Authentic Content
With so many aiming for the same clients, standing out is key. What makes you different? The answer is quality, genuine content. In today’s crowded social media world, attracting customers is tougher than ever. But don’t worry. Here are some tips to capture your B2B audience’s attention:
- Understand their problems, challenges, and objectives.
- Mix up your content using articles, videos, and webinars.
- Share knowledgeable insights and practical advice.
- Encourage conversations with comments and discussions.
When your content clicks with your audience, it becomes a strong tool to nurture leads and grow your business. Always tailor your content to fit your audience’s needs.
6. Engage And Interact With Your Audience
Data reveals that 71% of customers who have a good experience with a brand on social media are likely to recommend it. This shows the power of interaction on social platforms.
It’s not enough to just post content. You need to connect with your followers and build real relationships. Engaging with your audience can:
- Foster Brand Advocacy: When interacting with your audience, you create loyal supporters who will likely promote your brand.
- Increase Brand Awareness: By actively engaging with your audience, you make your brand more visible and attract new potential customers.
- Build Trust and Credibility: Engaging with your audience demonstrates that you value their feedback and genuinely care, which helps build trust.
- Drive Conversions: Responding to questions and addressing your audience’s concerns can lead to more sales conversions.
7. Show Company Culture
Displaying your company culture by highlighting your employees is an excellent way for B2B companies to enhance their social media strategies. This approach helps your audience connect with your brand.
Whether you’re a large company selling products to other businesses or a small local eatery, remember that people are at the core of your business. Presenting a strong company culture and sharing your team’s activities and successes on social media channels can attract a broader audience.
This audience can help in creating and boosting brand awareness. Engage your audience by showcasing your employees, not just your products or services. For example, instead of just showing a product image, share a photo of the team behind it. Your team members will likely share this content on their social media, further expanding your reach.
8. Offer Support
Ignoring customer support messages on social media can be frustrating for customers. If you can’t manage a separate support account, quickly responding to these issues can repair customer relationships.
This also demonstrates to future customers that you’re ready to assist if they face any problems.
9. Maintain Consistency
Consistency in social media posting is challenging. Posting on every social media channel daily takes a lot of time, as well as content creation and planning. If you’re starting out, focus on creating valuable content that enhances your audience’s experience rather than posting daily.
A single, well-thought-out post can be more effective than several rushed ones. Using social media management tools to create a publishing calendar and scheduling posts in advance can help maintain this consistency.
10. Measure Content Performance
Using social media analytics tools is crucial. These tools track engagement metrics like clicks, likes, shares, and comments and can even show increases in traffic and sales. Analytics gives you a clear picture of the success of your social media efforts.
They help you understand where you stand with your key performance indicators (KPIs), which content performs best on each social media channel, and where improvements are needed.
- What needs to be fixed in your current strategy?
- What’s your social media ads’ return on investment (ROI)?
- What changes could lead to better results?
This approach helps boost brand awareness and provides vital audience insights, guiding you to refine your strategy effectively on each social media channel.
B2B Social Media Marketing Strategy Takeaways
When planning your B2B social media strategy, here are some essential points to remember to make it work:
- Set Clear Goals: Before making any content, be sure about what you want to achieve. Having a clear goal helps guide your content creation.
- Understand Your Audience: It is vital to know who your audience is and what they’re looking for. This understanding will shape the kind of content you create.
- Create Relevant and Engaging Content: Your content must be interesting and useful to your target audience. It should answer their questions, solve their problems, or provide valuable information.
- Promote Your Content Effectively: Share your content organically through your team members and also use paid methods to reach more potential customers. Encouraging your employees to share your content on their social media can significantly extend your reach.
- Use Multiple Channels: Don’t just rely on one social media platform. Use a combination of different platforms and marketing channels to promote your content. This strategy helps in driving more traffic back to your website.
By focusing on these key areas, you can create a B2B social media marketing strategy that reaches your target audience and engages them effectively, leading to better business results.
Mastering B2B social media strategies is essential for thriving today’s digital business landscape. The key is to set clear, specific goals and deeply understand your audience. Your content should be engaging, relevant, and shared effectively across various platforms to maximize reach.
You create a powerful online presence by showcasing your company culture, offering support, and maintaining consistency. Analyzing competitors and measuring content performance are crucial steps to stay ahead.
With these strategies in place, you’re well on your way to leveraging the full potential of social media to grow your business, build lasting relationships, and stay connected with your audience in the ever-evolving digital world.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Can B2B Companies Benefit From Social Media?
B2B companies can benefit from social media by building brand awareness, establishing thought leadership, generating leads, and fostering customer relationships. Social media platforms provide a space to showcase expertise, interact with the audience, and stay updated with industry trends.
What Are The Key Differences Between B2B And B2C Social Media Marketing?
The key differences lie in the audience and objectives. B2B marketing focuses on building relationships and demonstrating value to other businesses, while B2C marketing aims to drive immediate sales and engagement with individual consumers. B2B content is more informational and professional, targeting decision-makers in companies.
Can B2B Businesses Use Influencer Marketing Effectively?
Yes, B2B businesses can use influencer marketing effectively by collaborating with industry thought leaders and experts. This approach can increase credibility, extend reach to a more targeted audience, and add a human element to the brand.