Can Social Media Work for B2B?
Social media have been working out splendidly for B2C. Beauty, art, fashion, food — all these niches mix well with Facebook and Instagram and it’s no wonder. They’re bright, they provide many opportunities for creativity and generate a lot of material for ad campaigns.
Compared to all of this, B2B business seems like a rather dull industry to promote on social media.
However, is that so?
Why do we need social media?
People use social media to connect, network, chat with their friends and family, to share their achievements and thoughts. But their primary need is entertainment. With plenty of messengers and apps on their hands, it is very easy to dive into the world of images, photos and videos or share content with just one tap.
Does your B2B business fit right in? How effective is social media marketing for it? At first glance, it may seem that it has no place anywhere besides LinkedIn. The second glance requires an in-depth exploration of user mentality, your business specifics, and your prospects’ needs.
Your prospects get bored
We will never stop saying it. At the end of the day, your prospects are living, breathing people and they have their hobbies, interests and communication needs. Therefore, they certainly spend some of their time on social media.
Naturally, they don’t refresh their feed for business needs. They are looking for something to satisfy their craving for new information and interesting content.
Your prospects don’t care
In a good way. When your prospects come across good content, they don’t care where it came from. What they care about is if there is more where it came from.
Therefore, they won’t care if your business has a Facebook page if that page makes their stay worthwhile.
Your prospects love the attention
Your B2B emails should be about the company, not about the person. However, on social media, you can finally give your target audience some love.
Modern B2B marketing doesn’t discourage you from being understanding and relatable. Social media provide plenty of possibilities to appeal to your audience and your audience will appreciate it. In a modern busy world, people often feel left on their own with their problems, so a little bit of attention will go a long way.
How to combine social media and B2B?
So, it’s not impossible to make social media a part of your B2B lead generation and B2B marketing. However, how do you do it?
- Define your goals. There is no point in creating a social media account if you don’t know what you need it for. Attracting more traffic to the website, increasing reach, spreading brand awareness - these all are different goals that require different strategies and are tracked by different metrics. It’s possible to mix these goals, but for starters, you should determine the main reason for creating an account and stick to it.
- Track your data. While you won’t need to invest in costly campaigns and ads to promote your account, you still need to invest time in watching the metrics to see your progress. For instance, if you’re looking to generate site visits, you should track the number of users who find your site through social media, clicks, and conversions. If you want to promote a new service and expand your reach, you should monitor engagement, organic reach, and your follower count.
- Wield content. Once again, properly structured and written content will save everybody’s day. Videos, photos, interesting information about your team’s activities, fun facts about the company, small tips to make your reader’s day easier…It’s a great exercise in b2b creativity. If there are talented designers or artists at your company, creating a company mascot for your social media page would be a nice touch.
- Rely on research. Since your social media will be dedicated to your readers, you should know for sure what your audience likes and hates. Knowing your prospects will let you plan your content smoothly and hit the users’ sweet spots with every new post.
- Know the competition. There is a thing which is quite important but ignored by many. In the world of social media such as Facebook and Instagram, you don’t compete with other businesses. Your real competitors here are not companies, but other users. To be more precise, you will be competing with the influencers. They are top-tier content creators who can be encountered in almost everyone’s feed. While it doesn’t mean that your content should look like their posts or that you should dabble in the subjects promoted by the influencers, you should always pay them close attention and don’t take them lightly when planning your content.
How to do social media marketing for B2B?
Speaking of content, there are several ways of using it for your B2B social media marketing.
- People like to have their questions answered. And they love it when they don’t have to go far to get those answers. Your social media page can be that type of a life-saver, supplying users with informative tips, illustrative infographics, reviews, and recommendations.
- To keep your materials fresh and diverse, you can involve your employees. There are many talented people in your team and they probably have some valuable insights about their work. Let them shine!
- If you have followers and your engagement level allows it, you can arrange AMA moments, answering whatever niche-relevant questions that your users may have. It’s a good way to connect and share information, as well as to show your expertise in the field.
- Let your audience choose the content. If the size of your follower base allows it, let them participate. Let them tell you what they want to see, if there is any subject they want you to elaborate upon, etc. Create polls, so they could vote for the topic they want to know more about or ask them for their opinion regarding a webinar from one of your experts. This way, you will build a relationship that will make your brand stronger.
- Of course, nothing speaks louder about the quality of a B2B company than the size of its customer database. However, unless you’re one of the titans, you need something else to stand out from the rest of your competitors.
- These days, it’s all about personality. Even in B2B, your target prospects would be more likely to sway towards a company with a logo, a voice and a presence instead of an enterprise without any visible distinctive features or mentions.
- You must build your brand identity with web design, color schemes and any supporting assets, including social media. This is where you can work on your voice, your approach to the audience and even work out a mascot to be your mouthpiece and entertain the readers. It never hurts to be positive.
- Share your latest achievements or team events with your audience. Whether it's participation in a conference, being a speaker on the event, networking, it’s a new bit of information that can be neatly wrapped up and presented on your social media.
- Develop employee advocacy by showing how proud you of your employees, informing about their achievements and reposting their work-relevant content. If your sales executive’s article got published in a sales community blog or your data research officer spoke at the conference, why not tell about it?
How to stay relevant on social media?
Anyone can make a social media account. However, a few brands can make it work for them. Some companies’ attempts to generate engagement on social media fall flat and don’t bring any productive results, further feeding into the myth about social media platforms being incompatible with B2B.
However, compatibility is not the reason why they fail. It’s the lack of the following important things:
1. Social media strategy. A stunning amount of companies plunge themselves into the world of social media without a plan. They act on a whim, post any bit of information they think is relevant and often have to scrape the bottom of the barrel to find an interesting subject for a new post. Improvisation usually does more harm than good. Therefore, make sure that you have an idea of what you want to accomplish and how. Also, have your idea written down and broken down into a comprehensible structure. Don’t be afraid to question yourself. What is your company about? Who is your audience? Who are your main competitors? What is your edge? By dealing with these questions in advance, you won’t end up asking yourself “Where did I go wrong?”
2. Conversation. Many businesses make the mistake of retaining their business-like persona on social media. While we don’t mean that you have to switch to slang and start posting memes, we do recommend loosening up a bit. Nobody likes a dry, toneless presentation without even a hint of humanity. It takes some time before you find the right voice, but it’s worth the effort.
Social media in B2B: The final verdict
Regarding our thoughts on social media and B2B, we can say that it depends on the business industry and your goals. Currently, we use social media as an educational hub and a way to inform users about content updates, our team activities and other fun stuff and we’re pretty satisfied with the way things are.
However, in case you want more from your social media platforms of choice, you can see that it’s not impossible as long as you:
- Have a plan. Don’t start things without knowing the hows and whys. Something as minor as creating a social media account can make an impact, so treat it as seriously as crafting an email for a CEO.
- Be aware of your audience. Your social media profile is not for your profit, it’s for your prospects’ convenience. Build your strategy around that thought.
- Show some personality. Create an identity that appeals to your target audience. Avoid being stiff and dry.
- Use imagination. Content can pave a road for a higher flow of leads, better brand visibility and reputation if you know how to use it. Try different types of content, mix them to create something informative and unique.