The concept of ‘social media marketing’ is probably one that you’ve heard a lot about
If you’re in the B2B (Business-to-business) space, however, you might feel a little unsure of how you can make the most out of B2B social media marketing.
After all, a lot of B2B businesses are steadfast in the belief that their clients can’t be reached on social media – despite the fact that platforms like Facebook have over 1.13 billion daily active users. If you currently find yourself doubting your ability to reach and market to your ideal B2B clients on social media, then this blog post should help you use your social network.
Because, in this post, we’re going to take a look at how B2B companies can make social media marketing produce results for them.
We’re going to review exactly how social media marketing works and what it takes to market to a B2B crowd, in a way that will generate engagement and leads on your social network whilst adhering to social media marketing best practices.
By the end of this post, you’ll appreciate the power of social media marketing and understand that it can work for you, even if you are working with B2B clients.
AN IMPORTANT POINT – BUSINESS TO BUSINESS OR HUMAN TO HUMAN?
Social media marketing gives you the chance to ‘humanize’ your brand. Social media is powerful, because it gives you the chance to connect with people, in a personal way.
You should take advantage of this and communicate with people on your social network via a media campaign as a brand representative, rather than as faceless company.
At the end of the day, you’re dealing with people, even if you are in the B2B sector. If you make your social network interactions personal, you’ll get better results, whilst increasing your social media presence.
If you’re struggling to grasp the concept of social media strategy, you’ll get a better understanding of social media campaigns as you read further.
For now, however, just remember this – it’s called social media marketing for a reason.
PICK ONE CHANNEL
Below, you can see the top social media channels in the world.
A lot of marketers get excited by the prospects offered by social media marketing and end up spreading themselves themselves too thin across social networks, conducting activities on all of the major platforms.
However, this is one of the fastest ways to get into trouble and hamper any social media campaign and therefore, any chances of social media presence.
The reasons for this are many.
First, different platforms require differenttypes of content. As a result, this can create more work for you.
Plus, even if they don’t require different types of content, different platforms still require that you present your content in different ways, meaning that you’ll need to adjust your copy, study varying social media best practices, and specific presentation styles for each platform.
This issue is also amplified, when you consider the fact that there are different groups of people on each platform who connect with different things. Meaning you can’t always re purpose a piece of content.
Different platforms have their own little nuances. So, it’s often helpful to master one platform, before you consider moving on to another social network.
GET CLEAR ON WHO YOUR CUSTOMER IS
You need to know who your customer is if you want to experience success with digital marketing – and especially for social media marketing and growing your media presence. For example identifying if you are dealing with a large or small business.
Therefore, it helps to create a buyer persona that lists out the traits and demographics of your ideal customer and how that relates to their usage of their media accounts.
Once you’re clear on who your customer is, you’ll be better able to craft your social media messaging. You’ll also be in a better position to take advantage of the paid traffic methods provided by social media platforms.
It might also be worth it to ask yourself what stage your customers are in, too.
Are they in the Research (also known as Consideration) phase, where they’re actively looking for solutions to a specific social media account problem that their business is experiencing at that very moment?
Or, are they in the ‘Awareness’ phase, where they’re aware that they have a problem (or they don’t realize that they have a problem) and it’s your job to highlight their issue and what their need/pain point is.
Knowing this information will help your media campaign later on, down the line, when defining your goals
DECIDE ON YOUR GOALS
Once you’re clear on who your customer is, the next step that you must take is to get clear on what your media campaign goals are.
Many businesses have fallen into the trap of chasing social network ‘Likes’ or ‘Retweets,’ in the hopes that it will somehow magically produce results that affect the bottom line. This is a limited approach to utilizing a social media account.
In fact, if you’ve heard of a business that has little belief in social media marketing, it’s probably because they did the aforementioned on their social networks whilst ignoring social media best practices.
If you take a look at the numbers, you’ll see that there is a variation, in terms of those who believe in social media marketing.
As you can see, there are also some who believe that social media marketing does not generate a positive ROI, even though, simultaneously, there are those who agree that social media generates a significantly positive ROI.
Obviously, you want to join the group that generates a significant ROI from social media marketing. And, the best way to do that is by being clear, from the onset, about what you want to achieve with a media campaign and, therefore, applying social media best practices.
DECIDE ON YOUR APPROACH
So, you’ve decided on your goal and you’ve picked a platform that you’re going to work with
Next, let’s talk about how you can develop your approach.
Your approach relates to how exactly you’re going to market yourself on social media, in order to achieve your goals. Content marketing is often a good method to combine with social media marketing.
If you take a look at high performing marketing teams, you’ll notice that producing unique original content is the
second highest priority for them.
So, assuming you combine content marketing with social media marketing, how exactly do you generate results? A lot of it comes down to being clear about what stage your target market is in, therefore making it clear what kind of content that you should create.
If you’re looking to reach people in the Consideration/Research phase, then you’ll need to think about how you can create actionable content that teaches your target audience how to solve a specific problem.
Upon reviewing such content, people may decide that they have enough information to solve the problem on their own. Or, they may reach out to you and ask for advice.
You can do this with the help of a webinar or a blog post. Webinars are preferable, however, as they typically convert more often whilst promoting social media best practices.
SO – WHERE TO BEGIN?
If you’re looking to market to your ideal customer on LinkedIn, you can make use of Sponsored Updates.
Sponsored Updates are ads that appear in the News Feed of a LinkedIn user. These ads work quite well, because they’re very visible and garner a lot of engagement with your social media account. LinkedIn also provides you with some incredible targeting features, making it easy for you to get in front of your ideal B2B client.
Note: Keep in mind that advertising on LinkedIn can be expensive. If your budget is small, be careful.
However, when done right, the results on
this social platform can be fantastic.
Skillsoft managed to achieve a 30% conversion rate, using Sponsored Content. Thanks to the targeting abilities provided by LinkedIn, their leads came from manager level or above.
If you’re looking to promote via Facebook, you can use Facebook News Feed Ads (if you’re promoting blog posts) and Facebook Video Ads.
Here’s an example of a Facebook Newsfeed Ad, from AdRoll.
Facebook also boasts some incredible targeting features that you can take advantage of. If you have a list of email addresses, Facebook can even analyze your list of customers, providing you with detailed targeting data that you can apply to Facebook and LinkedIn Ad campaigns. That’s possible, thanks to the Audience Insights tool.
If your business model allows for it, you can also consider targeting existing customers on this social platform with your promotional content. You can also target people who are similar to existing customers, using Lookalike Audiences.
Using Facebook Ads, they managed to achieve a 30% higher conversion rate than all other channels. Additionally, they also managed to decrease their cost per conversion by 50% on this social platform. You might even want to focus your media strategy on creating a community, through the use of a Facebook Group.
B2B social media marketing can appear complex. But, if you break it down, it’s actually quite simple. Provided that you focus your efforts, understand how to reach the right people through the right social channel combined with an accurate media strategy and generate goodwill in the process, it all starts to make sense.
Of course, if you really want to make the most of B2B social media marketing, it’s really important that you’re clear about what you want to achieve.
When you are, you can create content on your media account that hits all the right notes and get it in front of decision makers, who will pick up the phone and get in touch. IBM