Though it's still frequently seen only as a B2C marketing play, establishing a social media presence is just as important for B2B marketers. The digital environment of today's society means anyone who's anyone has created profiles on the top social platforms, so your visitors expect to find you there, too. Therefore, it's up to you to incorporate social media into your inbound marketing strategy just as you have done with blog content and premium content offers.
However, the B2B marketer is going to have incredibly different KPIs to measure in their social media strategy than the traditional B2C social media marketer. While some B2C companies can easily sell their products via social media, most B2B marketers aren't going to be able to pull a prospect all the way down the funnel to a purchasing decision using social media alone. Instead, most B2B marketers use these platforms to distribute, promote and repurpose existing content. With these goals in mind, here are 13 tips for building your B2B social media strategy across some of the top platforms:
Due to many recent algorithm changes and policy updates, Facebook has become a very different frontier for B2B marketers. A new emphasis on paid advertising (because, yes, that's how Facebook makes its money Senator Hatch!) has plummeted the organic reach of your brand's posts, which are already playing second fiddle to your prospect's friends and family. This additional competition then increases costs for your paid advertisement, which decreases your ROI and makes it harder to prove your marketing efforts are valuable. So how do you break through low organic reach without footing an extra bill?
- Video: This will be a common theme across all social media platforms, but video is an amazing piece of inbound marketing content to increase reach and engagement with your followers. Of course, you don't want to share your hour-long webinar on Facebook. But cutting it down to a 30-second snippet and linking to the full session will be enough to catch users' eyes as they're scrolling and entice them to click over to your website for the full experience.
- Stories: This feature is a great way to engage with your audience when something impromptu happens that wouldn't otherwise make it into your editorial calendar. Maybe someone finally closed on a considerable deal and celebrated with a funny win dance or your coworkers dressed up for Halloween. These moments might not be worthy of a regular post, but they're perfect to add to your brand's Facebook story for a "behind the scenes" look into your office and culture.
- Live: Another use of video is Facebook's Live feature. Facebook Live allows you to livestream video content to your feed where followers can engage with you directly during the broadcast. You can incorporate Live into your existing Facebook strategy by hosting live events: hold a Q&A session with a team member and answer audience questions about a confusing topic, or use it to extend your reach when attending a conference or fun event.
- Use the new engagement functions when creating your posts: When making a Facebook post, you now have additional options to encourage user interaction. You can check into a location, add a feeling or activity and create a poll — all will help extend your reach and add a fun, human element to your brand.
At the other end of the spectrum is Twitter, where organic reach can sometimes be lower due solely to all of the content constantly being shared on the platform. However, with increased posting also comes increased interaction. It's a lot easier to get your content shared and spread on Twitter, but it's also a lot easier to have it lost in the noise.
- Return engagement immediately: When someone does find your company and interact with your posts, be sure to return the engagement as soon as you can. This visitor saw you through tons of other content, so don't let them forget you and move on to your competitor. Granted, the visitor won't always be a good fit for your company. Make sure you understand what makes someone a good fit so you don't invest too much time pursuing a negative persona.
- Pin tweets to extend their value: With a highly robust posting schedule, your precious tweets are constantly getting pushed to the bottom of your Twitter feed. By pinning an important tweet to the top of your feed, you ensure that new visitors to your page will see it and be more likely to click on it.
- Gifs/Video: You should also leverage gifs or video to break up the stream of stationary content. Your followers are scrolling through hundreds of tweets! Make yours stand out with a relatable gif or quick video to capture attention.
LinkedIn is probably the best platform for B2B marketers. I'm not saying ditch all of your other accounts and solely focus on this one, but it is the platform where B2B seems to find the most success. It encourages the sharing of professional content that casual users may find boring or inaccessible on Facebook or Twitter.
- Use infographics/charts/graphs: Because it's a professional networking platform, infographics, charts and graphs perform really well on LinkedIn. The educational visual draws users in and lends credibility to the associated written content.
- Promote MOFU content: This platform may also have the best conversion rate when sharing your premium content offers and other MOFU content. Your decision makers live on LinkedIn and are seeking informational content. Give value in the form of gated offers, so they will be likely to offer value to you in the form of a conversion and additional lead intelligence.
For B2B marketers, Instagram will likely vary the most from other social media platforms. At New Breed, we find Instagram to be a great way to showcase our culture rather than to generate leads. For a quickly growing company, talent acquisition is equally as important as lead generation. Therefore, we don't promote our usual inbound content on Instagram, but use it as a space for content geared toward our employees and future employees.
- Showcase your culture: We showcase our culture on Instagram by sharing what's going on in our office right now. The same "behind the scenes" content you may share in your Facebook Story could also belong in your Instagram feed. Showing off your culture not only helps in recruiting new teammates, but also in showing your clients or prospects who you really are — and why they want to work with you.
Last but not least, YouTube is quickly joining the ranks as one of the top social media platforms. With video becoming essential to any marketing strategy, this video platform is skyrocketing in popularity and use. It's a great place to host a library of your full videos, and it's easy to link to them from your other social media platforms. However, New Breed has chosen to host our upcoming video library on our internal HubSpot platform rather than on an external one like YouTube. Why? This way, we'll be better able to track views, clicks and interactions with our videos. Ultimately, we'll be able to tie these video views back to our goal of lead generation.
Now that you've learned how important video is across your social media strategy, download our workbook to start building out your video marketing strategy and learn more about how to leverage it on social media: