According to Backlinko, 4.48 billion people use social media worldwide, and that number is set to keep growing.
When you’ve got such a big audience online and people are more connected than ever, a social media strategy becomes absolutely essential for any business.
Social media might seem like the domain of the B2C space, but it’s just as, if not more, critical that B2B brands not only have a presence but that they’re producing outstanding content that gets them noticed and increases sales.
From which platforms to be on, to what kind of posts to be putting out, and how often, there’s a lot that goes into a social media strategy.
In this guide, you’ll discover a closer look at why social media marketing is important, how to do it, information about which platforms you should be using, and how to produce an effective B2B strategy. You’ll also find a number of articles discussing the key points in more detail.
- Why B2B social media marketing is important
- How to do B2B social media marketing
- Which social media platforms should you use?
- B2B social media strategy
Why B2B social media marketing is important
Social media allows brands to connect and engage with their customers and potential customers. Even though as B2B you’re selling to other businesses, social media marketing is about those human relationships, and the different social platforms do this very effectively.
Objectives you can achieve with social media:
- Build brand awareness
- Generate/nurture leads
- Build brand authenticity
- Grow your audience
- Promote products/services
- Talk directly to customers
- Grow a community
- Create unique content
But aside from selling products or promoting your brand, social can offer other benefits. LinkedIn is a great platform for making professional connections for networking purposes, like recruiting, with 82% of B2B marketers reporting that’s how they use LinkedIn.
90% of Instagram users follow a business or official brand account, and Facebook reaches 59% of the global social media population - the only platform in the hands of over half the world’s social media users. So social media is an essential tool for any B2B marketer.
How to do B2B social media marketing
There are two main types of social media marketing:
- Organic - content your brand shares that is not paid for
- Paid - content that is sponsored and pushed out towards a target audience
You may choose to focus more of your efforts on one or use both. But the important thing is to monitor your results over time and adjust accordingly, you don’t want to overspend on paid ads that aren’t getting results, and you don’t want to spend too much time on organic posts that aren’t getting any engagement.
Check out our article all about organic vs paid:
The success of your social media marketing depends on having a killer strategy, which we discuss further down. You need to understand who your audience base is, what content will they most engage with, which platforms you can best reach them on, and post at times that will generate the most engagement.
There are a lot of social media tactics you can utilize, such as:
- Create content
- Share/promote content
- Engage with your audience
- Grow your following
- Increase brand awareness
- Get more downloads for your white papers, podcasts etc.
- Respond to customer queries/reviews
If you want to get inspired by some great social content, check out what some of our favorite B2B brands were doing in 2021:
And if you want to find out what kind of social trends we expect to see in 2022 we’ve got you covered:
Which social media platforms should you use?
So once you’ve got some killer social posts planned, where do you put them? There are several popular platforms to choose from, and while it might be tempting to have a presence on all of them, you’ll likely need to focus your efforts on just a couple to get started.
Here’s a rundown of the most popular social media platforms and what they offer:
- LinkedIn - a place to establish yourself as a thought leader and authority in your industry.
- Facebook - the original popular platform, it has incredible reach and everyone expects businesses to have a presence there.
- Twitter - the leader in mobile usage, the medium by which more and more people do business.
- Instagram - a visual platform and a place to demonstrate your company culture.
- YouTube - a place to share high-quality video content.
- TikTok - a place to share short-form video content, the fastest growing social media platform currently and popular with younger people.
Which platforms you choose will depend on your goals and your main audience demographics. You need to seek your audience out on the platforms they already use, so producing a buyer persona will really help narrow down your choices.
Want to find out how to boost your brand’s LinkedIn page? Check out this article:
Curious about the new kid on the block, TikTok? Take a look at this article to learn more about whether TikTok is right for your B2B brand:
Already doing well on LinkedIn but want to expand outside of that to other platforms? Check out this article:
B2B social media strategy
There’s more competition than ever these days on social media, so a comprehensive strategy is crucial if you want to stand out amongst the noise. Here’s a rundown of how you can put together a strategy:
Set goals for your brand
Decide what you want to achieve on social. Are you trying to increase brand awareness? Increase community engagement? Build a large following? Drive traffic to your site? Take time to define clear goals so you know what to aim for when building your campaign. Just pick a couple of objectives to focus on.
Research your audience
Your audience will influence your social strategy, as different demographics prefer certain platforms over others. As an example, TikTok has a vast user base of younger people, and Pinterest is used overwhelmingly by women. When you know precisely who your target audience is, you can narrow down your choice of social media platforms to the ones that will reach the most relevant people.
Of course, for B2B LinkedIn will likely be your foundation regardless of your industry, as it’s a platform very much built for B2B brands. But you can then choose different platforms to engage with your audience, depending on their demographics and where your content would best be suited.
Establish your KPIs
Your strategy needs to be data-driven so you know whether you’re meeting your goals. On social, you can use metrics like your reach, click-throughs, engagement, likes, comments, and hashtag performance. It’s important to keep on top of how well your social platforms are performing so you can constantly adjust and improve your strategy. Check out our article on identifying KPIs so you can measure success.
Create engaging social content
Your social strategy hinges on the engaging, dynamic content you create and put out there. You need to establish a clear brand identity and voice. You’ve likely noticed that when a brand posts on social, their post feels like it belongs to them, from their use of graphics, language, and even their choice of emojis.
Keep your tone consistent across all channels. Create time-sensitive content that’s relevant to what’s going on now to keep people engaged. Video is one of the most popular forms of content, especially short-form, so use it across all channels. Check out your competition and see what they’re posting, and what you can provide that they don’t.
Schedule social posts
So you’ve got your posts ready, but when do you post them? Timing can be the difference between a successful social post and one that just floats by, ignored. You’ll find stats online claiming to be the best time to post on the different social platforms, but they’re not always going to be the best times for your industry. You can use them as a good baseline, but try running some tests for social post timings and monitoring when you get the most engagement.
But it doesn’t stop once they’ve been posted. Comments and shout-outs should be responded to promptly, as it helps boost engagement and builds a sense of community. You can utilize social media platform scheduling tools to help you plan your posts in advance, ensuring you’ve always got content rolling out.
Your social strategy needs constant adjustments to improve over time. Without continuously analyzing your efforts, you’ll never know why one campaign worked or why another failed. Look to your top-performing content, monitor the metrics behind your campaign in real-time, and make small tweaks to make gradual improvements. Reporting on this data also offers valuable insights that can be shared across your organization.
Collaborate across departments
You shouldn’t work in a vacuum, other departments should be kept in the loop about what’s going on on social. Your sales team can use your insights to make smarter decisions in ever more digital customer journeys. When you have content performing well, you can share that knowledge with the email team so they can utilize the same strategies in their campaigns, or collaborate across channels.
Find out how you can perform a social media audit so you can adapt to achieve your goals:
Customer retention is essential when it’s five times more expensive to gain a customer than to keep one, and social media can aid customer retention:
Brand personas are essential for gaining a better insight into your target audience, find out how you can align your social campaigns with your brand persona:
Want to discover more about social media marketing in B2B? Join the B2B Marketing Alliance Community!