The time when B2B companies relied on conferences and symposiums for marketing their products and services is long gone. Now, B2B marketers are turning to social media to connect with their target audience and generate leads.
But since most B2B products are boring, therefore, marketers often struggle with creating a social media strategy that can keep their audience engaged and drive tangible results. How interesting can their content get when their product is something as dull as, say, a PCB? But despite everything, leveraging social’s potential is the need of the hour.
So, in this article, we are sharing insightful tips for you to create a social media strategy for your B2B company. Stick around till the end as we share social media insights and examples of B2B companies, who are pretty boring but still killing it on social media.
The Importance of B2B Social Media Marketing
75% B2B buyers and 84% of business executives use social media to make buying decisions. This means your target audience is looking for you on social media. And how you appear on these platforms, what you say, and how you interact can shape your growth and determine your business acquisition.
Additionally, your competitors are using social media to connect with their target audience. And since you share the prospects with your competitors, not being on social platforms would mean you are letting your competitors win all the customers who turn to social media when looking for a business.
Moreover, B2B companies are often as soulless, faceless, and boring as they can get, which is a major turn off for most people because let’s face it (no pun intended), B2B customers are humans too. And humans crave human connections. And with 40% of all customer interactions expected to be completely automated by 2023, it is now more important than ever to hold on to your business’s human side to keep your audience engaged.
A well-executed social media strategy can help you put a face on your brand, humanize it, and build healthy connections with your customers.
Finally, social media bursts with data. Executing a social media strategy can equip you with the data-driven insights that you need to make customer-focused decisions.
Let’s look at a case study of a major B2B company that has proven its worth on social media.
Maersk line, commonly known as Maersk, is a famous shipping company. They decided to leverage social media to tap into market trends, develop customer relationships and boost employee satisfaction.
As a result of their actions, they managed to gain 700k Facebook fans and around 172k unique interactions. Since their goal was to drive engagement, it would be safe to say that they executed a pretty successful social media strategy.
Execution of a successful and profitable social media strategy is way more complex than you can imagine. But fear not. Let’s jump right into discussing 6 top tips to help you become a successful B2B social marketer.
Tips for B2B Company’s Social Success
Social media has the same growth potential for B2B companies as it has for B2C businesses. But to harness this potential and use it for their success, B2B businesses have to approach it with caution.
Here are 6 tips to help you start your B2B social marketing journey:
1- Get Creative
Most B2B companies fail to ride the social media growth wave because they are boring. While no one can change the fact that a company and its products are inherently dull, B2B social marketers can, and should, take a different approach to market and turn boring into brilliant.
You see, people turn to social media to have fun. And when you are competing against funny cat videos, memes, and cute baby videos, you have no option but to ditch the boring angle and pick a creative approach towards spreading brand awareness and building your authority on social media.
Find out what interests your target audience and then blend it with creativity to generate valuable and engaging content.
For example, if you sell solders to electronic companies, you can create content discussing different types of solders and how they are used. But you have to be sure to use a conversational tone and include visuals because 40% of people respond to visuals better than they do to text.
Caterpillar Inc., a construction machinery and equipment company does well on its Instagram. Can you imagine how anyone can get fun, engaging, and creative when their products are nothing but big yellow pieces of metal? Caterpillar shows how!
And if a company with a product as dull as construction machinery can kill it on Instagram, why can’t you?
2- Humanize your brand
B2B companies are mostly very distant and appear to be robotic. And that’s one of the reasons for their social media dilemma.
People connect with people. Even though your target audience comprises business professionals and executives, they are still humans at the end of the day who naturally gravitate to and bond with humans.
Therefore, you must humanize your brand so that your B2B customers can bond with it, relate to it, and engage. And it’s not just optional anymore. Studies show that B2B companies that manage to keep their customers engaged experience a 63% lower customer attrition.
So, make sure to let your human side shine through in your social posts. Let your customers feel that there is a human behind the screen who can understand them and connect with them.
There are many ways in which you can humanize your B2B business on social media.
Reveal your team members to put a face on your brand. Post funny or relatable pictures to let people see your human side. Share your achievements so that your customers can relate to you and see you as a human that cherishes small achievements.
Here’s how NP Digital get’s human:
Many B2B marketers are hesitant to let go of industry jargon and professional tone. They believe that since most of their leads come from professionals and executives, they should communicate with them in a professional tone and use jargon to come off as knowledgeable. But most social media users, regardless of who they are, prefer simplicity and conciseness.
So, it can work wonders for you if you ditch industry jargon and adopt a conversational tone while conveying your message on social media.
Workday is an American HR and Finance Software developer. And putting a human face on their brand is critical for the success of their human-focused product. They do a pretty good job of putting a human touch to their social campaign and keeping their audience engaged.
3- Employ a social media expert
Let the experts do their job. No really.
49% of B2B marketers struggle with social media lead generation. Why? Because most B2B companies often delegate social media duties to the industry experts. And these people are knowledgeable in their niche, sure, but they don’t have the insights and expertise needed to drive a successful B2B social media marketing campaign.
You see, B2B social media marketing is a tad bit more complex than B2C marketing. Because, as mentioned above, B2B social marketers have to create engaging and interesting content based on their often dull products and services. No offence.
Therefore, you need to entrust your B2B social media activities to someone who knows your niche but are also seasoned in maneuvering their way through the complexities of social media. These are the people who can drive true social media success.
Do you see? That’s what happens when an expert is at work:
4- Ramp up your social media campaign with content marketing
Do you know what it means? You have to use social media to promote your thought leadership content.
Content marketing is a valuable source for conversions, especially for B2B businesses. You can use it to develop valuable and research-backed content and establish yourself as an industry thought leader. Then once your content goes live on your website, you can share it across all your social handles so that it can reach your B2B prospective buyers and influence their buying decisions. Supplementing a B2B social campaign with content marketing is not a new concept. Some of the bigwigs in the B2B space have been doing it for a while now. Check out how Marketo, a marketing automation company, uses content marketing to drive social engagement
5- Capitalize on B2B-friendly platforms
Certain social platforms offer high-quality engagement opportunities to B2B marketers. These platforms are what we call B2B-friendly platforms, so yes, that’s a thing.
As you can see from the chart below, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram appear to be the go-to choice for B2B marketers in 2021. So, make sure to develop a presence on any one, two or all of these platforms. But remember not to spread yourself too thin and prioritize only those platforms which have a majority of your target audience.
For example, if your research has shown that most of your audience base is on LinkedIn, prioritize that platform.
LinkedIn has excellent lead generation opportunities for businesses. It is said to drive 277% higher lead generation than both Facebook and Instagram. And since 81% of B2B marketers are using LinkedIn, you might want to consider adding that in your social platforms’ list.
Regardless of the platform you choose, just make sure to adapt your content according to each platform’s unique personality.
Don’t know what that means? Check out how technology giant Microsoft adjusts its posts and tone when posting on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook.
Microsoft taking a humorous approach on Instagram while being all professional on LinkedIn.
6- Build Employee Advocacy
Social media backed employee advocacy means that your employees promote your brand, products, services, and work culture on social media. Essentially, they become your social media brand ambassadors, promoting your brand to their followers, building reputation, and developing trust.
You may have never given employee advocacy much thought. But when employees share brand messages, they get 561% greater reach and 800% more engagement. Additionally, leads generated from employee-advocacy content convert 7x more often than leads from other sources.
Building employee advocacy, you can tap into your employee’s following and leverage their community to promote your brand. But, for a successful employee advocacy program, you must build healthy relations with your employees, make sure the people chosen for employee advocacy have a solid social media presence, and finally, are encouraged to continue to promote their employer, aka your business.
Tinuiti, a performance marketing agency, drove an employee advocacy program after rebranding itself.
In the early weeks of this program, they experienced a 2400% increase in impressions and the traffic to their website almost doubled. Do you need more reasons to be convinced of employee advocacy? Customers referred by brand advocates have a 37% higher retention rate.
Social media is getting increasingly competitive. Therefore, it’s about time that B2B marketers ditch the conventional marketing methods and bring innovation and creativity to their social media game.
B2B customers are not executive robots. They are humans who crave human connections. So, B2B businesses have a lot to earn from humanizing their brand on social media.
Additionally, with most B2B buyers turning to social media when researching a product or service, having a strong presence backed by thought leadership content is critical for new business acquisition and survival of your B2B brand.
However, it is essential to note that social media is a top-of-the-funnel strategy. It does not drive sales. It offers engagement, which turns into leads that convert. So, focus on driving engagement on social media, and leads will follow.