In previous years, companies often believed social media marketing was reserved for the B2C sector, but B2B companies have been wiggling their way onto social platforms and many are finding great success. Stand-out examples include General Electric and IBM, but you don’t have to be a huge corporation to find success on social media. In fact, 54% of B2B marketers have generated leads with social media marketing and 40% of those who generated leads have generated revenue. To deliver these results, you must first put in the work.
There is no denying that creating a social media profile is easy. Technically, all you need to do is sign up for a free profile, and you’re done. But, to find success on social media is a totally different story. Though it may take time, money, commitment, and a lot of effort to generate a solid social media strategy, it’s important to go all in when deciding to step into the social media world. Otherwise, you’ve spent time and resources on a marketing tactic that will never provide a return on your investment.
Therefore, we’ve put together a list of helpful B2B social media marketing tips to help you boost your social media presence with business results in mind.
1. Post in the right place at the right time.
The first step to improving your social presence is to make sure you have chosen the right social platform for your company and your audience. While you can later expand to other social channels, first choose one or two platforms you can fully commit to first. It’s much better to be active and helpful on one channel, rather than aloof and inattentive on five channels. When deciding which social platform to use, keep your audience in mind. After all, the goal here is to build your brand presence, connect and engage with your target audience, and increase traffic back to your website.
LinkedIn is a great place to start, as it is consistently listed as one of the most popular channels for business professionals, boasting more than 465 million users. This platform is a great place to position yourself as a thought leader in your field by publishing your latest blog posts and sharing industry news.
You should also take into account what times people are most active on your chosen platforms to increase your chances of having your posts seen. The frequency of posting will vary among social platforms, but when you do post, make sure it’s an active time for your audience. For example, many people check their social media accounts during their commute, their lunch break, and after they’ve made it back home for the night. Conduct some research to see if the same trends are true for your audience, and then schedule your posts based on their activity level.
2. Join the conversation during events.
Attending trade shows and events is a major part of working in the B2B sector, but with the expense of travel and tickets, it is not always possible for you and your team to attend all the events in your sector. Just because you can’t be there physically, doesn’t mean you can’t join the buzz digitally.
Do your homework before the event begins. Identify the most popular relevant trade shows and their hashtags and make note of them on your social media calendar. Before the event begins, join the conversation. Follow event coordinators and influencers, retweet or share feature articles about the show, and even join the conversation by sharing your own content that’s connected to the event theme. Below, I’ve provided an example of how we joined the conversation around Denver Startup Week.
Relevant trade shows will attract your target audience so you want help to build the momentum and increase your digital presence before, during, and after the event.
3. Connect with your prospects.
Social media marketing is a simple way to connect with your potential customers. By connecting or following your prospects, you can monitor what content they are consuming, what they deem share-worthy, and how they engage with others (brands or people). You can also learn what matters to them and gain insight into their pain points.
Not to mention, there is a good chance that when you follow them, it’s likely they will follow you back. This is a great way to ensure your message is reaching your audience.
4. Engage your followers.
The best way to build a relationship with your followers is to interact with them. Follow trending hashtags in your industry, identify groups of industry experts and thought leaders, and become a valuable member of the conversation. Make sure to use hashtags and tag responders using the “@” symbol so they’re able to easily see your response. Being an active participant in social media will further your credibility while giving you an opportunity to interact with prospects and industry leaders on a daily basis.
5. Be different.
There are thousands of B2B companies on various social media platforms, many of which may be selling a product or service that is similar to the one your company offers. To break through the noise, it’s critical for you to bring something new to the table.
Get creative and find new angles to refresh your content creation. You must ask: what are my competitors publishing? How can I improve their content? How can I increase the value of my content? Always know what you can offer that your competitors can’t, and let that be the driving force behind your content creation.
6. Stay focused.
While this may be a subsection of tip number five, we thought it important enough to break out on its own. Your audience followed you for a specific reason: they are hoping to learn from the industry content you provide. The goal should be quality over quantity, so stay focused on the content you post.
Whether you’re shooting out a link to your blog or posting an article from a third party, make sure you’re sharing content that is related to your audience’s needs. If the content was helpful for you, most likely it will be helpful for your audience. If you thought the article was useless, it will be useless to your audience as well. Don’t just share/retweet to increase your post frequency.
To keep your audience engaged, you must remain a helpful source of information. According to a LinkedIn survey on B2B buyer preferences, buyers are 5x more likely to engage with a sales professional who provides new insights into their business. So, stay on topic and provide insightful information. If you lose focus, it’s likely you’ll get unfollowed or unfriended, resulting in the loss of a valuable opportunity to connect.
If you have trouble staying organized, use a social media calendar to keep track of daily posts. This will allow you to plan in advance to ensure your messaging and content match your audience’s needs and the current trends in your industry.
7. Optimize your profile.
Being an active member of a social media platform has a lot of upsides, but one of the major perks is that it can contribute to your ever-powerful search engine rank. But, in order to do so, you must make sure you’ve optimized your profile.
Here are a few steps you can take to increase optimization:
- Link to your social media from your website. Not only does this increase the visibility for your social profiles, but it also connects your website’s authority to your social media. When credible links are connected to your social page, it helps to push them up the search engine results page.
- Consistent branding across all channels. Your social channels may be the first place new customers interact with your brand, so make sure it’s obviously connected to your company by using branded images throughout, providing a link back to your website, and consistently using your messaging in profile bios.
- Include keywords. Throughout your bio and in your individual posts, make sure to include keywords that tie back to your company and the products/services you provide.
- Post often. Customers should never question whether or not your page is still active. Make sure to post frequently to get as many eyes on your content as possible.
This Search Engine Land article is also a great resource for how to optimize your profile on each specific social platform.
8. Zero-in with paid advertising.
While posting on social media may allow you to connect and interact with your followers, paid social media advertising is a great way to ensure your content is being seen by a larger audience, including people that aren’t following your account.
Additionally, you can have greater control over who is seeing your content with social media targeting. With paid advertising, you can target people based on demographics, interests, geography, etc. The more focused your targeting is, the greater chance you have of connecting with people that are actually interested in your product.
9. Track, test, and analyze your results.
The best way to find success is to constantly improve your social media strategy by tracking, testing, and analyzing your activity. Conduct A/B testing to see how different aspects of your posts resonate with your audience? Does your audience engage more when you post photos? Do they prefer a lot of text or brief messaging?
Look at how past activity performed. What posts inspire the most comments? The most shares? Which posts drove the most traffic to your website? Are there themes among your most popular social media posts?
By analyzing your social media results, you can find out what works and what doesn’t to ensure you’re making the necessary changes to ensure future success.
Want to take your first step toward improving your social media presence? Share this article!
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