B2B companies have a huge opportunity right now to deploy social media strategies that will move the needle – but with everyone doing it, how do you stand out in such a noisy marketplace? It all comes down to not being boring and telling a story that connects with your target audience.
Easy enough right? But most B2B marketers are not storytellers, so the content too often comes across as a sales pitch, which makes it all too easy for your customers to tune you out.
To be successful and relevant, you should start your B2B social media marketing strategy with a focus on content, using a combination of websites, blogs, videos, and premium deliverables (case studies or white papers, for example). Once your tactics are defined, focus on providing a fresh approach and a new look for your product or service.
Use your social media to create loyalty! Where are you promoting your vendors, partners, associations and the like? Social media is like hosting a party—you need to make sure all of your guests meet all of your other guests. Your goal is not sales at a party, it is connecting others first, yourself second, and making sure everyone is having a good time. (Now, I don’t mean post lame party jokes via social media! A good time here means learning, networking, connecting.)
Ideally, your marketing team has an established sales funnel that works like a well-oiled machine, continuously capturing new leads and moving them further down the funnel. To increase your impact, social media marketing can help to fill your sales funnel by providing content that creates interest, awareness, engagement, and a sense of community.
Understanding your audience is key because great social media applied in the wrong place will have zero impact. LinkedIn has the capacity to ensure that you meet all of the B2B social media marketing goals, but Twitter, Facebook, and even Instagram may be part of your B2B social media marketing mix. Once the right tools and platforms are in place, you need a solid B2B strategy that will help you reach your intended goals.
Ultimately, every company’s main goals are to drive revenue, and while social media is simply a stepping stone along the path to success, it is not the final destination. Just posting is simply not enough in this market. By delving into your target audiences, segmenting your topics, and creating buyer personas, you can use tailored approaches on each platform that drive interest and activity around your products and services.
Today, with the use of each platforms’ built-in analytical tools, gathering and understanding user data, engagement, and action is easy. Hence, there is no reason why you cannot be totally on point for personalization, targeting, and measuring your efforts.
B2B social media marketing in 5 easy steps:
- Understand your audience. What platforms, publications, and channels are most relevant to them?
- Understand your team. What resources, stories, and digital tools can you use in-house to build your B2B social media marketing plan? What activities or competencies need to be outsourced?
- Set a well-researched strategy and use an editorial calendar to keep your content and social media frequency and freshness moving forward.
- Review the data and use it. Understand what posts, stories, white papers, toolkits, etc. resonate with potential customers and lead to sales. Once you know what is working, you can do more of it.
- Refresh and follow-up, making sure that your content and stories are always connecting to the brand.
- And whatever you do, don’t be boring!
As a social media army of one, I have managed social media for small businesses, large corporations, PR agencies, and entrepreneurs.
The best advice I can offer for fellow solo social media adventurers is to make sure social media marketing is part of your daily routine. Engagement requires steady momentum; it follows that a daily social media routine will help you grow your brand’s following.
Here are extra tips for saving time as a small or solo social media department:
Use a content calendar to plan your posts in advance.
A simple spreadsheet could mean the difference between following an efficient roadmap and losing time to writer’s block when you are down to the wire. Check out Biteable’s up-to-date calendar of social media holidays and content ideas for inspiration.
Reduce, re-use, repurpose.
Repurposing a single blog post into smaller social media-sized bites is a great model for streamlining your workflow. Try the following steps:
- Plug blog posts into your content calendar at a cadence that is realistic for your workload. Predetermine a general topic for each post.
- For each day’s theme or topic, write a post your audience will consider useful. Include detailed analysis, making the most of the lack of a word limit. I like writing one lengthy blog post for the week and splitting it into smaller daily chunks.
- Gather photos relevant to the topic. Stock photo sites like Unsplash and Twenty20 are useful resources.
- Shorten the blog post into a thought leadership piece for LinkedIn. Link back to your original blog post to offer followers a deeper dive into your chosen topic.
- Trim the LinkedInpost further to craft a Facebook post with a few photos and a link back to the blog.
- For Instagram, post the best-looking photo to your feed, with a provocative sentence from your post in the caption, directing followers to a “link in bio.” (Be sure to change the link in your brand’s Instagram bio to the homepage for your blog first.) Use a few keywords as hashtags on both the feed post and an accompanying Instagram Story. For the Story, use one of your photos, and/or grab a short quote from the blog post using Canva or the native “Type” feature to make it pop.
- Pull a 280-character (or less) quote from the blog post, and post it with an accompanying photo on Twitter, linking back to the original blog post.
Liking others’ posts without meaningful interaction is inefficient. While it’s tempting to take a hit-and-run approach when you are strapped for time, you won’t build long-term trust or community by doing so. For better results, post brief comments on content relevant to your business, answer questions, respond to those who comment on your posts and share others’ creative content.
Aim for a 70-20-10 content mix.
Create a checklist for yourself: 70 percent of your content should be made up of real-time updates linking back to your website or blog. 20 percent of your content should share others’ posts—a great tactic for the army of one because it reduces the volume of content you’ll need to create. The last 10 percent of your posts should repost or comment on news topics of interest to your audience.
Focus your platform-specific efforts.
Prioritize the big four: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. Take time to learn each social platform’s interface to hasten the publishing process.
Follow these simple steps and you’ll soon find yourself winning the daily social media battle—even as an army of one.
A version of this post appeared on The Social ShakeUp.
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