Social media engagement for the B2B sector is in some way similar, and in others different, from B2C. For one, the B2B environment is less transactional. What does this mean? In a B2C social media campaign, you offer a discount coupon and the sales increase suddenly.
In B2B, things work differently. There is a notable time lag between the moment when an offer is made and the moment when a purchase decision is made. At any rate, the discount per se is not a powerful argument in B2B marketing. At this high professional level, the guarantee of quality, reliability and dedication to building long-term business relations is more important.
For this reason, your social media strategy as a B2B marketer or business owner needs to adapt to the specific audience and look forward to specific goals related to your business. In this article, we will pinpoint a few specific, actionable social media strategies for the B2B environment.
1. Create S.M.A.R.T. Objectives for Your Social Media Strategy
When you plan the activities and outcomes for your social media strategy, you need to keep in mind these words: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. These five attributes determine the success of your social media strategy.
Every piece of content you share, every survey you plan and every kind of engagement should have a specific purpose. Every goal for a specific number of likes and shares needs to be attainable. Every landing page you build for a social media ad campaign needs to be relevant to your scopes. And you should have a timeline for the completion of each social media campaign.
2. B2B Does Not Mean Boring
In the attempt of being ultra-professional, many B2B marketers go to great lengths in creating content written in impersonal and corporate language, in sharing strictly business related links and in turning their social media accounts into a virtual boardroom meeting.
This is one of the slow but certain paths towards social media suicide. At the beginning, your followers will be interested in the high quality and pertinent content you share. However, in time, they want to notice there is a human behind the brand image and that you share not just heavy, business-like content, but also photos, links and content which is informative in an entertaining manner.
3. Mix Business and Personal Interests in Data Collection
When B2B marketers build their CRM, they are especially focused on capturing details related to the business interests of their audience. The main type of data that marketers seek are related to the position held in the company, years of experience in the current business field, other related business ventures and endeavours, membership in professional organizations, and so on.
This is useful, but not sufficient to create great engagement on the social media. Remember that there is a human being behind every job title. And people have personal interests, likes, hobbies. When they connect on the social media accounts, not everything should be about business. Even on LinkedIn, for instance, the number one professional social media network, people share content related to some of their personal interests, such as charities, scientific innovations, environmental issues, etc.
Thus, when you set up your CRM, make sure that the type of data you seek contains a balanced mix of business and personal interests.
4. Listen, Engage, Monitor
Running a social media strategy, no matter for what purposes, involves a core activity: being social. This means sharing content, answering to comments, messages and questions from your followers, monitoring social mentions of your brand name, and creating engagement by opening and maintaining discussions on hot topics.
No matter what kind of elevated professional niche you are operating in, you cannot get away from these core activities, you cannot replace them with other forms of one-way communication. Success in B2B social media is given by the ability of creating a professional forum for discussions and information sharing – where you are the key initiator and moderator of all discussions.
5. Create Specific Content for Each Platform
Most companies have social media accounts on at least three platforms and have throngs of followers on all of them. Many of these people follow the company on all social media platforms. Why is that so? Because the content and type of engagement used for each platform is unique and specifically adapted to the respective platforms. It is very easy to take a link and share it with copy/paste on all your social media accounts. It takes dedication and insight to find the unique angle and approach to help you share this link and draw attention to a different aspect of its content on each social media platform.
And we have reached the end of our recommendations. We hope that you find them helpful and inspirational in building and enacting your successful B2B social media strategy.