When you think about the brands that are killing it on social media, the majority of those that initially come to mind are all B2C businesses. Think Pretty Little Thing, GoPro or Nike. It’s not often that you hear about the computer software company that’s crushing it on Facebook, or the national window and door installer that’s generating hundreds of leads on Instagram.
You could argue that B2C brands have an advantage over B2B when it comes to visuals, after all, who doesn’t want to spend time looking at pictures of burgers or a pair of trainers! Most B2C businesses also have heaps of user-generated content at their disposal, which is a gold mine for engagement.
So, why exactly should B2B brands use social media, especially platforms other than LinkedIn? If you’ve been shying away from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram because you think it won’t work for your B2B businesses, then you’re missing out.
Does social media work for B2B companies?
Most social media posts are visual, so for a brand to use social media as a marketing channel, they must be delivering content in a way that’s easy–to–read and engaging to an audience. That’s why some B2B businesses think that social media won’t work for them because they’re in a ‘boring’ industry.
But social isn’t just a stomping ground for the big-hitters. After all…no matter how boring you think your topic is, you can bet you’re not the only person interested in it.
It’s simply your job to find and then interact with them using your social media platforms. The key is to think about the type of content that your audience will like, not the type of content you like.
So does social media work for B2B companies? The answer is…well, of course! If it didn’t, brands such as DHL, Monzo and Hootsuite wouldn’t be thriving online.
So how did they do it, and how can your B2B replicate the same results? Follow some of our social media tips below, and you’ll be on your way to creating a successful social media presence.
Here’s what you can do…
Now that you know that social media can work for your B2B brand, you might be eager to just jump in feet first and start randomly posting across Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. However, you need a plan. Yes, really.
Set some social media goals and create a strategy
Like any other aspect of your business, you need to decide what your goals and objectives are for setting up a social media presence for your B2B brand. Do you want to increase reach? Get more leads? Generate more traffic to your company blog? Once you know, you can decide which metrics to measure.
For example, if you’re trying to increase reach, you might track impressions, engagement and follower count. Once you’ve decided on your goals and which metrics you can use to track them, you’ll be able to start defining a clear social media strategy.
Your strategy will allow you to set new goals and paint a clear roadmap of how you’re going to reach them. It should answer an important question such as:
- Who is your target audience?
- What social platforms will you use?
- What type of content will you be publishing?
- What are your goals?
- Which social media metrics will you be using to measure your efforts?
- How are your competitors using social media?
Anyone can create social media profiles and post a few Tweets, but not every brand can plan and execute a social media strategy that gets results!
Don’t be afraid to create a personality
The saying goes “being different beats being better”.
Unless you’re Nike, I imagine very few people care about your latest product launch. Since a lot of B2B companies treat social media as an afterthought, their posts can often lack personality and a human touch.
This fear of being too personal or controversial keeps some B2B brands from getting creative with their content, and we get it, not every brand can pull off the same tweets as Burger King.
We've run offers that lasted longer than his campaign https://t.co/h6wROBeJ8P
— Burger King (@BurgerKingUK) July 15, 2020
Of course, you don’t have to go over the top to be entertaining! You don’t have to post ‘sassy’ tweets or replies if it doesn’t suit your brand, but you can make sure you sound like an actual human instead of a robot. Here are some tips to get you started:
- Use a conversational tone. When speaking about your business, use words like ‘our’ or ‘we.’
- Don’t be afraid to talk to your audience directly. Engage with other users instead of just broadcasting your message!
- A little humour goes a long way. Social media is meant to be somewhere people can have fun, share content and converse. Follow in the footsteps of B2C companies and add some flavour to your social media to connect with your audience. Have some fun, but just don’t go over the top.
Have a presence on multiple social media platforms
We all know that LinkedIn is a great social media platform for B2B businesses. A lot of B2B brands feel they need to be on LinkedIn and nothing else, and this is because they’re looking at social media strictly to generate leads and nothing else. You might think that social media is only there to help businesses sell products, but that’s far from reality.
If you start looking at social media with a new perspective, it opens up all the possibilities of which social media platforms your business can choose beyond LinkedIn. Instagram, Facebook, and even Pinterest are not off-limits. Companies on all these other platforms, that aren’t traditionally used for B2B marketing, realise the importance of using social media for branding instead of just looking for sales leads.
You could argue that B2B email marketing platform, Mailchimp, would pull in more leads on LinkedIn. However, they recognise how beneficial social media can be for branding, and have utilised other platforms, such as their ultra-successful Instagram page.
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Shannon Boughn and Marissa Axell of 17th Street Athletic Club took a multichannel approach to finding new customers. “I didn’t have to have a marketing degree to use it,” Marissa says. “I didn’t have to have a coding degree to use it.” Learn more about how 17th Street uses Mailchimp. [link in bio]
Despite what you’ve heard, LinkedIn isn’t the only social network for B2B businesses!
Promote your company culture
Another great way to make your B2B company stand out online is to share photos and videos from your office or work environment. This is especially true when you have a fun-filled company culture, like the team over at Hootsuite.
As we mentioned above, consumers don’t want to interact with a robot, they want to see the people behind a company. Promoting your company culture has never been more important; the products or services you sell are just a small part of your brand.
Introducing the people working behind the scenes helps show that your brand is real and can also help to strengthen customer relations. You can also use social media in this way to show, not tell, your followers what your business ethos is all about. By giving users a glimpse behind the scenes, social media can help with recruitment and brand reputation.
Don’t forget about employee advocacy!
With all the algorithm changes that happen regularly on social media platforms, especially Facebook, businesses need to constantly be looking for ways to get more eyes on their social media content. That’s where employee advocacy comes in handy.
Traditionally, B2B brands tend to stick to sharing content from their company social media profiles. However, that limits their reach to just their own audience. But imagine if just 10 of your employees also started sharing your content. Not only does it increase your potential reach, but it also results in more engagement!
If your business creates any blog posts, infographics and videos, then make it easy for your employees to share that content on their personal profiles.
Why not enlist the help of a B2B marketing agency?
If this all sounds very confusing, complicated or too time-consuming for your B2B business, then why not enlist the help of a dedicated B2B marketing agency? At List & Found, we’ll create a custom social media campaign that’ll get your business noticed and get customers through the door. We’ll find the right channels to connect you and your customers! Get in touch today!