Author: Tom Manke
Let’s finally face it – most B2B companies are clueless in nailing their social media marketing strategies. This shouldn’t come as a surprise since social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are being used by B2Cs and have been connecting with fans and potential customers for many years. But it would be fruitless, at best, to replicate these B2C models. With the glut of social media strategies and social CRM software around that probably won’t fit your objectives, it’s difficult for the B2B owner to come up with a definitive social media marketing plan for his company without consultative assistance or a very bright in-house employee.
Your competition is always hungry to eat your share of your marketplace. B2B has much to gain by doing this right, but much, much more to lose if they ignore a proper social strategy plan. Besides, B2B products and services aren’t for everyone; it’s not a common consumer good for people to be really aware that they exist; most successful B2Bs will never have or need multiple millions of clients.
There are today, however, a growing number of B2B companies that are already doing their social media right. Maersk and GE are some companies that have capitalized on content marketing via social media to create brand awareness, improve lead generation, and even complement their employee recruitment initiatives. As an AdAge survey recently revealed, 80% of B2B marketers plan to increase digital spending next year (up from 67% last year).
The keyword here is ‘connection’, so while most B2Cs are capitalizing on Facebook to engage with customers and entice potential ones, B2Bs are trying to connect with a more specific target audience. In order to connect with a particular target audience, a B2B owner should determine where his customers live in digital space. For instance, if a B2B’s target customers are employers that need an automated payroll software, then chances are those employers are best reached within LinkedIn.
Here are some important pointers for B2B marketers to step up their game on social media:
- Create a Master Plan
Before you create an actual social media content marketing plan, it’s best to determine your marketing goals, objectives, and budget strategies. You need to define your primary social media marketing goals then come up with a substantial set of KPIs (key performance indicators) to set expectations. Start with a big idea and ask yourself how you can share this idea through social media.
- Map out your Social Communication Plan
Customer engagement starts with content. Content types can range from blog posts to videos and even infographics, but the real question here is “does your social communication plan have effective direction?” The idea here is to establish a coherent and relevant social media communication plan to project your B2B’s mission and vision.
If you’re using your company’s LinkedIn page to share Drake’s latest music video, then you have some serious planning to do. Always keep in mind that your social communication must be directed to your target audience, hence, relevant content is required to engage with them to gradually win their favor.
- Amplify your Brand Message
Every company needs allies. It’s important to create bridges so you can enhance your online clout. If your personal clout is pretty decent, then you can leverage this to promote your company as well. Colleagues, current customers, and industry experts are your assets to amplify your B2B’s product. Always highlight how your product is a solution they need so they can share your content to their networks and get your brand recognized and remembered.
- Capitalize on LinkedIn
B2B owners and marketers all love LinkedIn. Nine out of ten B2B companies have a LinkedIn page which they use to connect with current customers and potential leads. These B2Bs are aware that LinkedIn is the most dependable destination of their target audience. Not only is LinkedIn an effective tool in reaching potential customers and converting leads, it’s the most modern and targeted traffic driver essential for successful B2B social media presence.