7 Steps for Strengthening Your B2B Social Media Strategy
By 2025, digital channels will inspire 80% of sales interactions, with social media being the driving force.
83% of B2B marketers use social networks as the main advertising avenue, falling second only to SEO; and this is set to increase.
From validating your position as an industry leader to building a loyal community, the B2B space is diverse and fruitful, but sometimes hard to crack.
Customers expect value, transparency and responsiveness from brands on social media. Not only this, content should be unique, informative and engage your audience. There’s a lot to juggle, but the right B2B social media strategy will generate results.
We’ve compiled 7 best practices we believe can help all B2B brands strengthen their social media strategy.
Best Social Media Platforms for B2B Marketing
B2B marketing isn’t jumping on the hottest trend. It’s about finding the appropriate platforms to convey your brand voice and consciously connecting with your target audience.
Social media is an investment for B2B companies. You must use your time wisely for promotion, and assess which social media networks are worth the effort.
Research from the Content Marketing Institute identifies the most beneficial social platforms for B2B marketers. There’s no surprise that LinkedIn rules the roost. However, you may be surprised to learn that B2B marketers often use a mix of channels, with 82% still working Facebook and nearly half on Instagram.
7 Steps to Enhance Your B2B Social Media
Utilise Social Targeting
Social targeting is a powerful marketing tactic because there’s so much data and audience insight available to steer content distribution.
LinkedIn allows you to use targeting parameters on paid and organic content. You can create target audiences using segments such as job title, industry and seniority, but you can also be more niche. The platform can target employees of accounts you want to do business with, pushing content onto decision-makers’ screens. This might be why it’s the most rewarding B2B social channel, generating 80% of B2B leads.
You can create two types of Matched Audiences; a contact list and a company list.
- Contact lists use names, emails, job titles etc. to create a target audience based on individuals
- Company lists allow you to find employees of certain businesses without already having their contact information
Adjust and experiment with your targeting until you discover your optimum audience segments; then craft messaging that speaks directly to the audience to increase your LinkedIn engagement.
Use Company Engagement Reports To See Who Is Engaging
Using LinkedIn’s company-matched audiences also gives you access to the channel’s insightful reporting tool, Company Engagement Reports.
Company Engagement Reports give you a great understanding of how a specific company, or its employees, engage with your brand on LinkedIn.
Metrics you can review include:
- Members Targeted – How many matched audiences were targeted
- Engagement Level – Volume of LinkedIn engagements versus the number of people targeted
- Impressions – How many times was an ad served
- Organic Engagement – Reactions, comments, shares, & video views on organic posts
- Ad Engagement – Reactions, comments, shares, & video views on paid ads
- Website Visits – How many users visited your website
These reports are great for learning who engages with your organic and paid content on LinkedIn. You can then adjust your content strategy to suit the companies you want to engage with your content more or those who are prime to target as a lead.
Considering Content Types and Distribution
In 2022, it’s time to look beyond solely producing written B2B content.
Blog posts, email newsletters and short articles are still the top content types, used by 93% of marketers last year. They also produce the best overall content marketing results for organisations. However, branching out from this allows you to stay ahead of the emerging trends.
Last year, virtual events, webinars or online courses increased to 67% from 57% and tied with blog posts as generating the best marketing results for B2B organisations.
Other content types used by marketers in the last 12 months that we expect to take off were;
- Videos (pre-produced) – 68%
- Infographics – 65%
- Videos (live streaming) – 29%
- Podcasts – 26%
The top ways marketers circulate content organically are;
- Social media platforms – 89%
- Email – 87%
- Blog – 86%
Each social media platform is vastly different, something to bear in mind when trying to build a buzz around your content. Social platforms have different demographics and cultures, and you must adjust your messaging to engage the audiences. Differentiating your tone of voice between platforms is a way to do this without creating considerably different content.
For example, LinkedIn is a text-heavy storytelling platform, while Instagram is visual-focused. If you have an Instagram post that you want to re-share on LinkedIn, don’t repost using the same imagery and a short, snappy caption. Craft a detailed story about the topic as a LinkedIn status or a micro-blog, and use best practice tactics that you would use for any LinkedIn promotion.
To add value to your posts, give your audience content they can’t find elsewhere. Rather than reposting blog content or vague stats from the internet, offer real value with data snacks from a research report, or impart wisdom or quotes from company partners, CEOs or employees.
Interactive Posts; Twitter & LinkedIn Polls
Another typically unexplored avenue is interactive posting via Twitter and LinkedIn polls. Polls allow the audience to interact with and respond to your posts with minimal effort and therefore, boosting your chances of engagement.
Regardless of your sector, there is scope to have fun with social media polls. Being creative with the topic or using witty wording for your multiple choice answers can inject some personality into your brand accounts which can get your account into a much wider audience.
Incorporating polls into your social media strategy helps with:
- increasing audience engagement
- increasing conversions
- research purposes
- gauging audience opinions or preferences
- market research
- consumer feedback
Using Lead Gen Forms to Collect Data
Tracking and attribution for digital marketing have become increasingly difficult and less accurate due to increased consumer privacy. This mainly applies to conversion events that happen on mobile devices, but platforms such as LinkedIn are intervening and helping brands take back control.
LinkedIn’s built-in Lead Generation forms soothe attribution pains and create a straightforward way to track lead generation.
Instead of referring traffic to your website, the feature allows brands to create forms directly within the platform.
When you create a form, you can:
- Choose which information to collect upon submission
- Add up to three custom questions with different response types
- Sync with some CRM systems to have leads sent directly to your contact platforms
- Use UTM tracking parameters using the hidden fields section
- Forms can automatically populate from a user’s profile information
Always Attribute Your Leads
While we’re on the topic of leads, you should know how many come from each social media network or outlet and the conversion rate. As well as monitoring post engagement, implement tracking lead attribution. This insight will show you the true effectiveness of your B2B social campaigns and help you to improve them.
Using both single-touch and multi-touch attribution will give you a deeper understanding of your metrics and allow you to make informed decisions about how to optimise your posting and which channels aren’t influencing conversions.
Take On a Campaign Approach to Events
Whether you’re hosting an exhibition, a gathering for clients or in-person workshops, your social media promotion requires a solid strategy.
It’s not enough to live tweet from an event and expect a meaningful reaction or rewarding outcome. Social promotion of events needs prior planning, implementing the same strategic approach you would for any digital campaign.
Rather than waiting to immerse yourself on socials on the day of the event, form a solid plan to generate awareness and connect with your followers in advance, covering pre, during and post-event promotion.
More often than not, marketers have pre and during hype down to a tee, but social posting should be far from over when it’s lights down at the event.
Promotion tactics for the event’s lifespan could look like:
- Instagram story countdowns
- Creating Facebook event pages
- Event teasers
- Design AR filters
- Interviewing attendees and key speakers
- Live Tweeting
- Re-share user-generated content
- Create snippets of the event for those who couldn’t attend
- Follow up with clients
- Analyse your social media performance
- Create a post-event survey
You can also take advantage of LinkedIn Event ‘Boosts’. The new feature allows advertisers to boost their event ads, turning organic Page updates into Paid Ads. There’s also a host of new tools to enhance virtual events and track their performance.
Give Your Brand a Personal Touch
Bottom line, B2B social media marketing is humans talking to humans.
Revealing the faces behind your account builds trust and forms connections with buyers and decision-makers. Regardless of how exceptional a service is, it is the people behind the accounts that the client interacts with daily.
Employee accounts typically have a much higher reach than business accounts, so if possible, champion your partner’s accounts where possible. Direct the audience to their social profiles by posting about collaborations, engaging with their posts or sharing their content from the biz account.
Featuring employee faces in brand content is another way to humanise your brand. When clients become familiar with faces, understand staff expertise, passions and personalities, they see more than a faceless entity and can build online rapport.
Bringing personality to the forefront is easy. Showing company culture, video snippets of inspirational people in the organisation, or posting thought leadership content all create a connection and build trust with the audience.
Remember, people buy into people!