Having a business logo is like having a driver’s license. It tells us what you are but it doesn’t tell us who you are as a person. The “who” of your company is cultivated by your marketing team, and usually communicated to your prospects on their Twitter and Instagram feeds.
But wait, is there really a B2B social media strategy for marketing?
If you have to ask that question, you haven't been paying much attention. Ask any marketer what strategies are going to continue their uphill climb and they'll all agree on one: social media! This graphic from Barn Raisers shows just how many B2B companies are seeing ROI from their social media efforts (Hint: It's a lot).
Social media content, native ads and personalized, user-generation posts are helping B2B companies worldwide see billions and billions of dollars in ROI.
What works in 2017? To answer that question, we compiled this list of THE best social media marketing practices for a B2B business.
Here are 7 ways to optimize your B2B social media strategy in 2017:
1. Put your customer first
DocuServe’s LCMS service offers their customers the ability to use their product how they need it. It is literally designed for the customer’s use.
From the post above, you can see DocuServe is trying to do two things with this simple post: 1. Let their e-learning clients know that they understand how boring creating e-learning content can be and 2. Associate their product with the idea of fun through a gif that also reminds their prospects of a classroom.
When offering a product, find purpose in it:
- 1. Why would our customers be loyal to your business?
- 2. Are we putting their needs first with our product
When you can successfully answer yes to both, you can now market a product worth the attention and worth the purchase. You now have a purpose for your content. All you have to do is start talking about it, open a conversation about it with your content.
2. Maintain a consistent, active presence online
Social media a form of free marketing.
Social media is your gateway to fast access to your targeted audience. You can so easily find community niches of who could benefit from your product.
These people are already in your market, why not utilize them?
You can use them for photos and videos of your product/business. You can have them write a guest blog about your product. You can have them tweet about new updates or advances your products. Their actions can be some of your best reach for engagement.
Understand the platform your business may perform best on and find the people who dominate it. You and social media influencers can co-create your content on social media.
Keep in mind that you do not need to use a platform that does not service your industry. In fact, LinkedIn has a 94% user rate for B2B with 66% effectiveness.
Consider Dell, a leading influencer in technology, uses LinkedIn as a primary social media platform to showcase their accomplishments, interests, and continuing goals. Posts like this one inform other businesses that while Dell can provide world changing technology, it also is simply passionate about it.
3. Leverage the power of industry experts
People trust people who have “made it” in their field. Use this to your advantage. Most likely you have a product that has not reinvented the wheel, but it may certainly be the best wheel on the market.
Many websites exist for job seekers and recruiters. Everyone uses these to find the best professional paring as possible. Glassdoor used this to their advantage. They accumulated interviews and quotes from top-tiered professionals to inspire, educate, and inform the best practices for management, employees, and business opportunities.
Seeing successful business professionals or beginning entrepreneurs like Charles Hudson collaborate with Glassdoor gives it a level of trust and validity for newcomers to not only visit the site but to register and become a member. This is called “executive branding” as it gives customers an insider view a company/industry they want to find work in.
4. Create shareable content
How can your business standout from a field saturated with similar businesses? Creating original and unique content. Original and personal content not only attracts views but it entertains those viewers enough to want to share your content.
Additionally, you need content creative enough to excite a customer to visit your site, understand your purpose, and decide to go into business with you. Booker, a software company designed for marketing B2B, scheduling, and point of sales, managed to capture the intricacy of their software in the simplest form- a dog.
In a sweet, six-second video, we see a dog effortlessly book an appoint for the hair salon through Booker’s services. In fact, they won a content award for a video series featuring the same dog on their Facebook page.
One of the most important parts of running a business is retaining your existing customers -- Booker can help you to do this. Here's a fun #TBT video featuring one special (furry) business owner.
Posted by Booker on Thursday, July 28, 2016
Another video of Booker’s booking dog video series is seen here. Repetition is key for branding and Booker does so with the same featured dog. This creates a familiar theme with your B2B social media strategy.
From a marketing stand point, the videos do each of the following:
- 1. Attracts a viewer with a cute picture of a cute dog.
- 2. Clearly demonstrates how easy it is to navigate on the Booker platform.
- 3. Intrigues interest in their product as it demonstrates ease of use for both the business owner and the business’s clients.
- 4. And finally, it entices a viewer to share the video. More shares are more exposures for Booker.
Coupled with these types of videos, consider taking your brand to conventions other businesses within your industry may attend. Booker did so, with this video in mind, to market to possible partners in the grooming industry. They created dog-friendly, Booker branded, takeaways. They cemented their physical marketing on their Instagram page for their digital audience to see.
5. Create interactive, engaging content
Like your product and business itself, your content has to put your customers first. Content is designed for your customers’ entertainment and education. With that said, while images and videos are aesthetically attractive and will attract views, they can still be passive.
Your B2B social media strategy should include active content that offers opportunities for viewers to take part in. Think quizzes, surveys, or “tests” that subject their personality to a group. For whatever reason, it is human nature to be grouped and this curiosity leads us to quizzes that tell us what kind of macaroni and cheese we are! As wild as that sounds, social posts such as these draw attention to your business.
You want to make their experience with your business’s content different.
Fedex has just launched an interactive way to track your package- by sound. The idea is to be able to hear the various “soundtracks” among its passing locations. Type in your package’s tracking number and listen to its journey!
Additionally, when customers can take part in surveys or commentary within your business, it shows you value their input. After all, without your customers, you don’t have a business
6. Make your content simultaneously relevant and unique
Joining a national or trending conversation opens your customers/viewers up to your involvement and purpose in such matters.
However, it’s suggested you stick to what’s in your field.
eZnetCRM, a cloud-based platform for business operations, utilized recent expansions in the technological field in their social media posts. By hashtagging and sharing posts relevant to those in technology shows off their willingness and desire to know as much about the industry as one of their potential customers.
By adding to a trending conversations and topics, you attract those already interested in your field and therefore, possibly, your business.
7. Always track and measure your progress
Advanced analytics is very important in your marketing. You need to know what’s working and what simply isn’t. Analytics will show you the following:
- 1. What content is driving the most traffic to your website?
- 2. What platform receives the most impressions for your business/ industry?
- 3. Within those platforms what forms of content receive the most attention? Videos, blogs, gifs, Instagram images, Tweets?
Each social media platform (set to a business profile), allows you to see the impressions and engagement your posts are receiving.
Norah by Earth, a best smelling dog shampoo provider, developed their Twitter page a little over a month ago (March 2017) but has already accumulated 11,000 impressions per day just based off of their Twitter activity. This means 11,000 people are being exposed to Norah by Earth’s content and the brand itself.
Google Analytics takes this information and organizes how many site visitors were directed from Twitter.
Google Analytics allows you to see which social media platforms convert the most views to your website. Google Analytics breaks down page views, bounce rates, how long the viewer sessions are, and even the demographic of those viewers.
Additionally, Google Analytics allows you to discover which keywords will best promote traffic to your site. You should use these keywords in your web copy as well as content posts like blogs and images.
Having all these components will only boost your presence online, which boosts your overall SEO (search Engine Optimization). Having powerful content paired with Google Analytic tools, your B2B social media strategy should fall into place. You have a business, you have a personality, combine the two and get started!
Whether you are course management system provider, a Sanford leak detection expert, or a DPC doctor, leveraging your social media presence is a great way to generate more leads, new customers and the kind of customers you want to do business with (which is the most important thing).