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September 29, 2022

How To Do B2B Social Media Right

By Eddie Becker, Senior Content Specialist

78% of salespeople engaged in social selling are outselling their peers who are not.1

That stat alone tells us that the days of social media being nothing but a hub for cat videos and funny memes are long gone. If B2B companies aren't embracing social media's vast landscape, they're missing out on opportunities to build brand awareness and generate leads.

Learn how Ironpaper can help you develop a social media strategy that fits into your B2B marketing plan.

Social Media: The Missing Piece To Your Marketing Puzzle?

Studies show 75% of B2B buyers use social media to make purchasing decisions.2 If your organization isn't present in the social space, you're missing out on potential customers.

75% of B2B buyers use social media to make purchasing decisions.

-Kathleen Schaub for LinkedIn

 

Social media is available at virtually no cost, but that’s not the only reason for your company to be using it. Social media gives you the chance to better understand your customers, engaging them where they are, and feeding them interesting content they wouldn't encounter in other marketing methods. 

But before you create a Twitter account and start posting away, it's essential you understand some best practices around social marketing for B2B companies. In this blog post, we'll discuss the best practices for doing B2B social media right, which include:

1. Pick your platform

2. Plan with purpose

3. Promote with personality

4. Post with past content

5. Position with paid ads

 

B2B Best Practices

1. Pick your platform

Social media might seem like the wild west of content creation, but that doesn't mean you should enter the fray without knowing the landscape. This starts with understanding which social platforms your organization should use.

Start by researching your current customers. What platforms are they on? Where are they active? What types of content do they engage with and appreciate the most? This will help you determine where to put your best marketing efforts. Despite its booming popularity, many B2B buyers may not use Tik Tok as their primary social channel for making buying decisions. For most B2B organizations, LinkedIn and Twitter are great platforms to engage potential leads. YouTube is massive in its reach, but you'll need some video-creation knowledge to make an impact there. Facebook and Instagram are strong platforms as well for B2B brands. Find where most of your current and potential customers are, and start there.

2. Plan with purpose

Have you ever researched a company's social media page and noticed a great post about the start of spring and why now is the perfect time to do business with them? But the problem is that it's fall time, and the company hasn't posted anything new in months. Yikes.

Few things in B2B social marketing are worse than inconsistency on a platform. When you don't post regularly, you lose engagement and eventually followers from your account. So create a social media calendar that helps you keep track of what you're posting and when you're posting it. Determine how often you want to post based on your team's capacity to create and share social media content. Will you post twice a week on LinkedIn? Maybe four times weekly on Twitter? There are numerous tools to help you schedule posts, such as Loomly, Hootsuite, and HeyOrca.

Your content should be meaningful. Ensure posts are buyer-focused, sending messaging that resonates with current and potential customers.

3. Promote with personality

As a B2B company, your goal is to convince businesses to become customers. Your messaging is targeting decision-makers who take their bottom line seriously.

That being said, your social media activity should not be void of personality. Social media is, by definition, social. Leave behind your formal tone and be conversational, witty, and fun. You're selling to businesses, but those businesses consist of real people.

Make sure your posts don't come across as robotic or overly "salesy." Yes, promote your products and services, but do so in a way that's engaging, light-hearted, and keeps potential customers interested. 

Not every post has to sell or promote your business. Social media is excellent for spotlighting your employees, sharing thought leadership content, and celebrating fun holidays. Even for B2B companies, social media doesn't have to be socially awkward.

4. Post with past content

One of the great things about social media is the opportunity to take existing content and make multiple posts from it.

The apprehension some have when it comes to posting consistently is not having enough content. That's understandable, but when a business looks at its content library, it will find a wealth of potential posts.

That 10-point listicle you wrote last month? That's at least ten separate social media posts. The 30-minute executive webinar your organization did? Splice it into a half-dozen short clips with key quotes or stats. That's at least six social posts. Don't view LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook as places where you always have to create brand new content. Take your existing blogs, white papers, videos, and other assets and build social posts from them.

5. Position with paid ads

To this point, what we've covered pertains to organic content. Organic content will only be seen by those who follow your social media pages. Statistics show that even the best organic content is seen by only 5% of a company's Facebook followers.3

Fortunately, all the major social media platforms allow organizations to buy ads. Paid advertising works especially well when you're looking to drive leads. Because paid ads give you various options for targeting, you can make sure your ads are seen by the specific businesses you're hoping to convert.

For example, let's say you run marketing for a catering business based in New York City serving mid-large size companies. The holidays are coming, and you want to promote your business for upcoming corporate functions. You can create ads that target specific companies within a defined geographic area. You can also target people according to their job titles and set the time frame you want your ad to run. This ensures your ads will be seen by key decision makers in mid-large size businesses in New York City.

Putting The Puzzle Together

4.7 billion people worldwide use social media.4 For businesses, missing out on a chance to reach even a tiny fraction of that number would be considered a failure.

When the proper strategy is in place, social media can boost brand awareness, generate leads, and grow an organization. More and more, buyers are looking to social media to help in their purchasing decisions. Over half of buyers look for a strong story from companies that’s compelling.5 Make sure your organization is making its presence known to these buyers.

With the right planning, social media can accelerate growth for your business. And while cat videos and funny memes make social media fun, lead generation makes it invaluable.

 

Sources

1Hubspot, The Ultimate List of Marketing Statistics for 2022

2Kathleen Schaub, Social Buying Meets Social Selling: How Trusted Networks Improve the Purchase Experience, April 2014

3Hootsuite, Organic Reach is in Decline– Here’s What You Can Do About It, August 24, 2021

4Smart Insights, Global social media statistics research summary 2022, August 22, 2022

5Demand Gen, Content Preferences Survey Report, 2021

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