What is B2B Social Media Marketing?
B2B is the acronym for “Business to Business”. In essence, a B2B marketing strategy involves one business pitching its products or services to another. The marketing approach is inherently different here vis-à-vis marketing directly to a consumer because a business has unique and different needs than end-users.
The B2B marketing strategy that utilizes social channels to approach and nurture potential (business) clients is called B2B social media marketing. The social media channels you utilize to implement these strategies largely depend on your brand profile and the fact that you are targeting business owners rather than consumers. For example, according to the Content Marketing Institute, 96% of B2B marketers prefer LinkedIn for pitching to other businesses.
Why Does B2B Use Social Media?
There are several reasons businesses turn to the social media when it comes to marketing directly to other businesses:
- Networking is a part of every marketer’s workday: there is no better way to connect with potential client businesses than finding them online on social media
- It is simpler to garner the attention of your potential clients when you have relevant, industry-specific content floating around on digital-social platforms
- The support/customer service mechanism is more prompt through social media; leveraging this platform for marketing helps a business establish trust with the clients
Here are 4 Mentioned Ways to Build a Better B2B Social Media Marketing Strategy
Listed below are 4 easy ways to build a social media marketing plan.
1. Align Your Goals and Objectives
Every marketing strategy starts with two points of focus:
- What objectives does your company have through this business?
- In what way can social media help you achieve these objectives?
The answers to these questions define the direction of your B2B social media marketing strategy. Here are the top three goals to focus on:
Creating Brand Awareness
Letting your potential clients know that your brand exists to solve their problems is a B2B social media marketing goal of 87% of the marketers. One effective way this can be done is by including the handles of your company’s social media profiles on all outgoing emails. Your social media marketing team can plan to include an email signature marketing campaign for the same.
Educating Your Audience
Clients always search for information on a business – any source apart from social media – to form an opinion about a brand. Social media marketing, thus, also involves B2B content marketing, an exercise where your business posts highly informative and relevant blogs about the niche. These could be How-To blog posts, consumer surveys, or anything that contributes toward a solid B2B content marketing strategy.
Social media is a place that is accessible to any and every business – as such, you need to build trust with the audience that connects with you on these platforms. This can be achieved easily by posting content that is relevant and informative. A good rule of thumb is using the 80/20 rule, where 80% of the content is subject-related and the remaining 20% is branded.
2. Use the Most B2B Friendly Social Media Platforms
The first step of marketing always constitutes knowing your target audience and locating them. According to the Content Marketing Institute, the most preferred B2B social media marketing platform is LinkedIn, followed closely by Twitter and Facebook (96%, 82%, and 82% preference respectively).
In the case of B2B marketing, much like your own business, your competitors and potential clients can also be easily found on social media platforms that your business frequents. On the other hand, depending on the niche your business operates in, the social media platforms may vary.
Connecting through Facebook may make more sense for beauty and cosmetics brands, while for a company manufacturing technology, LinkedIn and Twitter may be better options. Always contemplate where your potential clients would be spending their time, and connect with them there.
Remember: the information you deliver must reach the right eyes at the right time.
3. Leverage Employee Advocacy
Making use of uniqueness is a great way to set your content apart from that of your competitors. Take employee advocacy, for example. When used in B2B social media marketing, it creates a great impact on the operating ethos of your brand in the eyes of your potential clients.
One great example is Reebok. Their employee advocacy program allows employees to share their fitness stories, inspirations, motivation, and sessions on social media with a specific hashtag (that lets the company track this content). What this does is tells the world that Reebok, as a brand, is built on a passion for fitness down to its last employee. This is a great image to project when you are looking for potential business partners on social media.
Set up a good employee advocacy program at your company and educate your employees on how best to use it for the brand’s benefit.
4. Use Analytics
Metrics matter. KPIs need to be monitored in order to understand how your investment in B2B social media marketing is paying you back. Measuring how your efforts have performed in the real world gives you a reality check on your strategies – it is essential to track certain marketing metrics like:
- Engagement rate – track this to understand how your potential clients are responding to your content
- Impressions – track this metric to see how far and wide your outreach strategy, and how many people saw them
- Conversions – how many potential clients actually got in touch with you? Were you able to take things further with any of them?
- Reviews – what are people saying about your products, services or content?
All these metrics (and more, depending on your goals) have an impact on your ROI. Measuring these metrics and analyzing them helps you better inform your B2B social media marketing strategy.
3 B2B Brands Successfully Implementing Social Media Marketing Strategies
The best way to learn is by example. Let’s take a look at these 3 brands that have made successful branding strategies for social media marketing.
Highlight: their posts build trust.
By leveraging a tone that is more conversational rather than professional or official, Slack manages to bring down the formal boundaries on its Twitter accounts. Its social media marketing is cleanly B2B by subtly delivering partnership benefits through real-world applications of its platforms. There is a good mix of statistics, facts, friendliness, and brand identity, without the tweets being “in the face” of their potential business partners.
This is, in no way, a client testimony – it is still a company tweet – but it works wonderfully towards giving the company a casual air about helping other businesses function better every day.
Highlight: their posts are informative and educational.
Cisco, being a technology giant, finds it easier to leverage YouTube and Twitter. The company regularly shares news about events, technology innovations, podcasts, and other interesting tech topics on YouTube and promptly gathers up its followers on Twitter for periodic hashtag-based challenges or activities.
This is fun and engaging for all those who find technology interesting; there is always the latest and high-quality content that they can view or read on Cisco’s YouTube or Twitter feeds. The brand voice they follow is clean and professional – which is reflected in what and who they are as a brand.
Highlight: their posts let the employees/members speak.
WeWork is a unique brand that offers co-working spaces to other businesses. At its core, it encourages the development of a working community inside the same thriving space – and the same is evident through its social media marketing as well.
Normally, you would find this brand quoting studies, research, and reports that have relation to coworking and seamlessly connect the WeWork ethos with the undertone. The brand also has an active hashtag #wework that lets the employees that utilize its spaces tell their stories of transformation.
This works brilliantly to imbue that social feeling into a digitally-social platform that are WeWork’s posts.
Does Your B2B Social Media Strategy Make Sense?
The results can only be as good as your plan.
Social media is a happening place today – whether you plan to target customers or businesses, it has become essential to have a good social media marketing plan in place. The examples discussed above are exemplary demonstrations of relentless consistency and repeated polishing of B2B social media strategies which your company can also achieve with careful planning and dedication.
Social media marketing isn’t an overnight business builder. It is a long process that focuses on fostering long-term relationships with businesses that need your products and services.