In the great marketing bake-off, social media takes the cake in terms of reach. With so many networks to choose from, and an audience of over 2 billion people, social media can be an effective platform on which all businesses can reach their target market. While that may be true, the reality is most B2B businesses struggle with how to incorporate social media into their marketing mix. To aid you, we’ve outlined several B2B social media tips below.
Before we dig into best practices, let’s look at how B2B companies are using social media?
- Market research. Listen online, and find out what prospects and customers are saying about your brand. What do they want from your product?
- Brand awareness. Expand what people know about you, and increase your reach. A strong online presence can bring you greater exposure.
- Thought leadership. Position yourself as an authority in your industry by sharing your thoughts on social media.
- Account-based marketing. Reach employees of target companies with ad campaigns specific to their company.
- Hiring & recruiting. Use social media as a platform to attract potential employees.
- Relationship building. Connect and build rapport with your customers through social media.
- Lead generation. Identify and forge relationships with potential customers online.
- Social selling. Sales teams can leverage their social networks to target prospects and drive sales.
Now that you know how B2B companies can use social, lets look at how can you build the best social strategy for your business. Check out these B2B social media tips to enhance your brand’s presence online:
- Awareness. Make sure you have buy-in across the organization. Start with the CEO and work outwards making sure to manage expectations and find employees who shine on social.
- Adoption. Make social a cross-departmental effort. Reach beyond Marketing, and get Sales, HR, Recruiting, and Customer Service involved.
- Analysis. Use social data to your advantage, and gain valuable insights to see what content and posts perform best on social.
- Accolades. Share all wins, regardless of size. Tell your stories on social to humanize your brand and connect with your customers.
While B2B marketers tend to be hyper-focused on led gen, it’s important to remember that social media is a great tool for relationship-building that can help your business gain traction and credibility with specific audiences.
To do it effectively, social media should be a company-wide endeavor, with everyone involved and actively contributing. Sometimes people think they have nothing to offer. Make it easy for them to distribute engaging content on their own social media networks by providing relevant company updates and news.
The key to increasing your digital footprint, brand awareness, and generating trust, is simple. Get your team to engage in conversations. This humanizes the brand, helps give the brand a personality, and gives a boost to any paid campaigns you are running.
Here are five B2B companies that are embracing these B2B social media tips and are excelling on social media:
GE makes specific engineering topics feel relevant to their audience with interesting content like this video, which shows how 3D printing can be used for medical purposes. Through content like this, GE is able to spark interest and highlight how their products are applicable in other fields.
American Express uses social media to get feedback and input from customers. For example, they will create polls on Twitter like the one below to engage their audience and better understand their motivation.
Cisco likes to focus on current events. For example, for April Fool’s Day they posted an April Fool’s Day inspired post on Instagram. Similarly, during March Madness they posted their CEO’s bracket on Instagram. By utilizing this type of content Cisco has been able to have engaging conversations with its audience and, at the same time, make its brand more relatable.
Cisco April Fool’s Day Instagram post
Cisco March Madness Instagram post
Intel leverages its social media for recruiting by showcasing the company’s culture and highlighting how its employees are changing the world.
Novartis uses its Instagram to showcase employee volunteerism in the community, which promotes its brand and builds a positive image of the company.
Novartis Instagram post