Considering the power of social media in the modern marketplace, any 21st-century business that doesn’t leverage this powerful marketing and communications tool risk falling behind the competition. But effectively harnessing social media — especially for B2B brands — can be a unique challenge. Largely because the target audience for B2B businesses is much different (and much smaller) than it is for typical B2C businesses, the path to social success for each can look markedly different.
If your business-to-business brand is looking to capture new growth via Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and the like, it will likely take some different tactics than the ones employed by most consumer-facing businesses. And to help make it happen, The Brandon Agency has compiled this list of six powerful tips that — when employed properly — can lead to B2B businesses generating more followers and engagement on social media, as well as more website traffic, leads, and ultimately revenues for their business.
1. Understand Your Buyer
Carefully consider the ideal customers your B2B business is looking to reel in. What are their biggest pain points — especially related to your business’s offerings — and how do your offerings help ease these challenges? Which social media platform(s) are they most likely to be using? Conducting some consumer research to identify and better understand your target market can go a long way toward determining how to best reach these potential customers, as well as how to most effectively convey to them the advantages of your offerings.
2. Pick the Right Platforms
When choosing which social media platforms to employ for B2B social efforts, brands should be aware that some are more effective than others for reaching business decision-makers. It may seem intuitive that LinkedIn is the best platform for this purpose — and a 2021 study from the Content Marketing Institute confirms that this is a commonly held belief among B2B content marketers, with 96% using the platform for their organic efforts. Twitter and Facebook tied for second, with 82% of content marketers employing each for their organic social efforts, followed by YouTube, which 62% of content marketers employ, according to the report.
To avoid spreading themselves too thin with their social efforts, it’s advisable that smaller B2B businesses maintain a focus on one or two social channels, with the specific choices depending on the brand’s social goals. When it comes to non-paid organic efforts, LinkedIn is the top choice for sharing thought-leadership content, while Twitter is great for following business trends and directly interacting with customers. Facebook is an ideal spot for showcasing company culture and interacting with employees, while YouTube is a great place to share content such as how-to videos and other brand-related clips.
3. Boost Awareness with B2B Social Media Ads
While organic social posts are primarily employed to maintain connections with current and potential customers already familiar with and following your B2B brand, paid social posts offer an opportunity to reach all-new prospects who may not have heard of you before. And to do so via highly effective targeting that helps ensure your advertising budget isn’t spent on the wrong demographics. Conversely, on some social platforms, paid ads can also be used to target companies that may be actively considering your B2B brand. Both LinkedIn and Facebook’s advertising programs allow you to retarget users who have already visited certain pages on your website or engaged with your brand in other specific ways. Then you can personalize your advertising messages to speak directly to what their needs may be — and how you can meet them.
4. Deliver Valuable Content
Perhaps the most powerful way to build and retain a sizable following on social media, providing truly valuable content allows brands to both help their potential customers overcome their business challenges and showcase their expertise in their field. Each increases the likelihood that the businesses will turn to your brand when purchasing decisions are made. Use the market research mentioned above to help you compile topics of concern to your customers that your content can address. Social listening is the practice of monitoring social media for mentions of your brand, your competitors, topics of interest in your industry, etc. That can be another powerful tool to help you determine what your potential customers are talking about and what matters to them, each of which you can incorporate into your content strategy.
5. Develop a Distinctive Brand Voice
While a B2B business should project a professional image with its social media posts, this doesn’t mean that all of its social communications must be colorless and devoid of personality. In fact, posting in a conversational tone can add a distinctive character to your communications and make your brand more likeable and approachable for prospective customers.
The most important goal to aspire to here is to develop a distinctive brand voice that fits with your company, its mission and its personality — and, once established, to ensure that all of your social (and other) communications adhere to it. When you company’s communications are well-done, over time consumers will come to recognize your company’s voice and tone right away, just as they can recognize your logo at a glance.
6. Embrace Analytics
At The Brandon Agency, we’re huge believers in letting the data drive your decision-making — and that employing analytics is critical to making the adjustments needed to boost your business’s success. This definitely holds true when it comes to your B2B brand’s social efforts. Analytics in that area can offer insights into such things as which social platforms are proving most effective for your business, what types of posts are delivering the most user engagement, which efforts are driving the most sales, traffic and leads, and much more.
Be sure your B2B brand is employing a strong social analytics platform that measures and reports top KPIs related to social reach, engagement, leads and conversions. (Some of the top options here include Sprout Social, HubSpot, Google Analytics and Hootsuite.) Once all of these critical insights are in hand, you can use them to tweak your social strategy, optimize the performance of your social content and ads, and boost the ROI of your social efforts over time, making them more effective as you move forward.
Could your B2B business use some social help from a group of experienced marketing professionals? At The Brandon Agency, our team of certified brand strategists and data-driven marketing experts has a wealth of experience boosting social following and engagement — along with bottom lines — for our B2B clients. Further, TBA’s fully integrated marketing firm can cover the full spectrum of your brand’s marketing needs, including brand strategy, web design, creative, media, e-commerce, analytics, social media, SEO, conversion rate optimization, and more. To get started with help ranging from a simple website analysis to a comprehensive strategy tailored to boost the performance of all of your marketing campaigns, contact us today.