B2B marketing is already challenging as it is, but boosting social engagement for such companies on platforms like Twitter or Facebook? Is such an endeavor destined to fail before it even begins? Well, no, of course not. Read on as we break down why B2B businesses need to take advantage of social media channels if they want to drive customer satisfaction and grow online.
Why Is B2B Marketing So Difficult?
If you’re a B2B business, you already know that your products are complicated, or niche, or both. These aren’t items that fly directly off the shelves at your local Wal-Mart. Frequently, they’re software, technical machinery, or raw materials that either need to be refined or will help streamline an operation. Not exactly the stuff of flashy advertisements or trendy social media campaigns—or are they?
Another challenge with B2B marketing is that so many of these companies actively avoid using social media. You read that right—the very thing that helps generate interest in their product and starts conversations isn’t being used in the first place. And that’s a shame.
How Does Social Media Actively Boost Social Engagement?
Other than the fact that both phrases contain the word “social,” you mean? Let’s dive deeper.
Social Media Appeals to a Visually-Oriented Audience
Scientists believe that the majority of the population is visually-oriented. That being said, even your most industry-savvy B2B customers may have trouble scrolling through big blocks of text about your product now and again. Try switching up those informative articles on your website with colorful Instagram product demos or contests for other B2B companies on your Facebook page. This will be a welcome reprieve from all the dense reading these employees have to do every day.
Social Media Gets People Talking
User-generated content. Happy customers tagging your company in posts. The chance to read reviews and respond to them. Collaborations with influencers of a similar background to your audience. The list goes on. When we say “social media gets people talking,” that may be the greatest understatement of all time.
Social Media Is a Chance to Personify Your Brand
That’s right; you can have a little fun with your content now and then without sacrificing your brand’s values or mission. Though it can feel unnatural at first, viewers are far more likely to respond to social media channels with heaps of personality, creativity, and passion.
If your social media platform of choice does, in fact, make greater use of text (Twitter or LinkedIn, for example), this is your chance to curate your brand voice. Does your B2B company have a lighthearted, casual vibe? Or do you want to establish your brand as a cutting-edge industry authority with a confident, assertive written voice?
Text not your thing? Try a cohesive color scheme or familiar structure to your company videos on Facebook or Instagram. Keep in mind, however, that “cohesive” and “familiar” are not the same as “comfortable” and “boring.” Strike that balance between the brand familiarity your customers love and pushing the envelope, or you’ll be known as the B2B organization that is too afraid to take risks.
With Social Media, the Numbers Don’t Lie
More and more consumers and even businesses are turning to social media as a news source, rather than your typical news outlets. B2B companies, for one, are famous for conducting substantial research before investing in a product (those sales cycles are long, after all). And 84% of B2B executives do research through social media during this process. You’ve got your clients perusing social media anyway, so it only makes sense to meet them halfway!
How Can My Business Start Incorporating Social Media Today?
We won’t ask you to jump from never posting on social media to posting a full 40 hours a week. In fact, over 40% of businesses spend only six hours a week on social media marketing. In our opinion, that amount (and perhaps just a little more occasionally) is your sweet spot. We’re talking from an hour to an hour and a half each day. Easy as pie.
Point being, you can start small and work your way up. Here are some quick suggestions for getting your social media channels up and running.
Plan Out Your Posts in Advance
We’ve discussed at length in other blog posts how often you should post on each channel, so be sure to take a look at those tips. Once you’ve got a clear sense of how often to post, make decisions about content. Are you shooting for one video post on Facebook per week and one original infographic? Is your research telling you to host an Instagram live session somewhere between 1 and 5 p.m.? When in doubt, the combination of a content calendar and some statistical analysis will see you through.
Define and Track Your Goals
Again, your B2B social media strategy requires structure! Identify realistic metrics for your brand, and monitor your performance. Review your follower counts, conversions, and, of course, engagement rate. How many responses do you expect from customers on the open-ended questions you post, for example? How many answers to these posts are realistic for your brand, on average, in the first place?
Call in the Experts
That’s right! We’re talking social media influencers, B2B brand ambassadors, and—you guessed it—digital marketing professionals. We know all about social engagement and what really captivates your audience, and B2B clients are no exception. In fact, they’re our bread and butter!
If you want help tracking your social media goals, connecting with your demographic, or creating content that positively reflects your brand, Snap is here to help. Let’s start a conversation.