B2B social media is influencing purchasing today, just as it has for the last decade. However, designing a business-to-business campaign for social media can be intimidating, especially if you’re unfamiliar with this interactive marketing approach.
Nearly all of us have an account for Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and now TikTok. We spend hours connecting with our families and friends. And too many hours scrolling.
Personal and business social media engagement is entirely different. B2B social media requires a level of professionalism and a new set of rules.
For our purposes, it’s helpful to think of social media is three different buckets.
Personal social media: we usually keep these accounts between family and friends.
B2C social media: businesses use social media to connect with individuals such as you.
B2B social media: one business cultivating a relationship with another company through individuals.
Our comfort in these friendly apps can be deceiving and leave us casually managing our followers. On the flip side, we may use social media to push our company and products. Be careful. Social media is not the place for hard selling.
After researching and trying the best expert advice, we put together the top five things that worked the best to improve our approach and success rate.
First, let’s define why is B2B varies from other social media. Target audiences have very different purchasing patterns for B2C and B2B companies. B2B customers need detailed information, hand-holding, and confidence-building throughout the purchasing process. The dollar amount of many B2B products are enormous. Thus, the decision is more complex and intricate.
Social media can augment and support both sales and marketing by doing the following:
Social media fits very well with business selling to customers. After all, social media is about people. Business-to-consumer or B2C companies structure their content and marketing directly to the end consumer. In fact, you can sell directly on the platforms. Millions of companies have had success with B2C social media.
On the other hand, B2B companies concentrate more on leads because the purchasing pattern is different. Much of the effort is long-term. B2B customers need detailed information and time to build trust.
B2B customers are individuals as well, but they don’t buy for themselves. Purchases are for their departments and companies.
A good B2B media strategy unites decision-makers and business purposes.
An easy way to connect with B2B people on social media is through sharing useful, informative, and compelling content.
Hold back those fired up sales pitches. Post after post of self-promotion will not bring results. Visitors will come back if they read engaging posts and not just marketing material.
A good rule of thumb is:
Provide valuable information 80% of the time,
and sell your product 20% of the time.
There is no set rule for which social media platform works the best for a particular company type. Businesses need to test strategies and campaigns on various social media platforms. At Convirza, we have the most extensive following on Twitter, but our highest conversion rate is on Facebook.
In some cases, a combination of two or three social media platforms may work better rather than focusing on just one platform.
If you are a beginner, we suggest dedicating your efforts and resources to just one social media platform at a time. Once you understand how one platform works for you, branch into other platforms. We see many of our clients use call tracking to test their social media campaigns.
B2B customers look at your entire web presence. You can’t tell them to only look at your fancy landing page. They go where ever they want, and often that’s LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. The numbers prove it and the stats may surprise you.
Your entire web presence is critical. Everything you do presents an impression and shapes how consumers view your company and products. As a social media team, ask:
Though social media may not immediately generate sales for B2B companies, a successful B2B social media campaign will ensure that you develop a long-term relationship with your target consumers.
This step includes not only what you do but also who will do it. Many companies get excited about running a social media campaign but fail to include the right people.
Your social media marketing team needs to include a graphic designer, a blogger, and an SEO expert. Sometimes these skills will roll into one talented (and stretched) person.
Graphic design – We use Canva for quick and easy graphics.
Blogger – Blog ideas can range from company-specific topics to current events. Often the best content comes from account managers and software developers. They are in-tune with your customers and can write insightful blog drafts. You can also use freelance writers.
If you want to hit the bullseye, the team must understand your target audience, the customers’ needs, and plan accordingly. Get this team right, and you’ll get the campaign right.
The core of every successful social media campaign is CONTENT. Build a storehouse of all your blogs, videos, infographics, and webinars. Pull from existing material whenever you can.
Content is an investment, so don’t expect immediate results. Marketers and companies may be frustrated with the long-term endeavor of B2B marketing.
At Convirza, we believe in content. We test and optimize our strategies and have seen some nice organic outcomes. Here are some company statistics to support the importance of content.
Several years ago, Convirza published 3 blogs each weekday for 50 days. The following graphic shows the results after the first 50 days. Learn more by reading the article: 150 Blog Posts in 50 Days: Staggering Traffic Results After 10 Weeks
The campaign was so successful; we doubled our efforts and continued to produce 3 blogs each day for another 50 days. Read the updated article: 300 Blogs in 100 Days: Traffic Results After 20 Weeks
Based on data from Day 1 to Day 100
Just in case you’re not convinced yet, these additional facts are for you from Nielsen and Forrester.
Your time, energy, and money are wasted when you don’t measure your social media campaigns’ effectiveness.
You need to understand the whole customer journey.
This analysis helps improve your social media marketing strategies, which helps you generate more leads. Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint. Today’s efforts do influence people. And these people eventually make purchases for their companies.