10 B2B Social Media Best Practices
In MarketingProfs' "2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends Report," 95% of the companies surveyed posted some social media content in the past 12 months. But, only 43% measure its ROI.
For many B2B marketers, social media is still an afterthought.
It's relatively easy to come up with entertaining social media content if you're marketing disposable diapers, ice cream, or athletic shoes. But, if you're marketing complex medical equipment, industrial chemicals, or a high-ticket enterprise software solution, it can be a bit more challenging.
Here's the good news. Facebook has more than 2.4 billion users. LinkedIn has more than 645 million. And, Twitter has 330 million. Chances are, your customers are among them. All you have to do is create content that makes them stop, look, listen, and — most important — engage.
This may sound difficult. But, it's easier if you broaden your definition of social media content. B2B marketers who use social media solely for the purpose of spreading company news and talking about their products or solutions are missing an opportunity to connect with prospects and customers on a human level.
Here are ten best practices that can help make your B2B social media strategy for 2020 more effective.
Best Practice #1: Establish objectives and goals
Don't think of social media as a necessary evil (and don't automatically assign it to the youngest member of your team either). Are you looking for new leads? Trying to drive more traffic to your website? Or hoping to build more brand awareness? Focusing on a limited number of goals will help you determine what to post and how to measure your success.
Best Practice #2: Develop a detailed social media strategy
With your goals in mind, write out a social media strategy. This should include the same elements you would put in a strategy document for any other marketing activity. Who is your target audience? What social channels are they using? What content can you create that will appeal to them?
Best Practice #3: Watch your competition
How active are your competitors on social media? Which platforms are they using; what are they posting; and how often? Don't just focus on competitive posts; read any comments from customers — positive or negative. And, always look for ways to differentiate your brand.
Best Practice #4: Remember that social media is a two-way street
Speaking of comments from customers, make sure that your content lends itself to a marketing conversation. Encourage customers and prospects to respond. Consider open-ended questions, quick surveys, or contests. Focus on content ideas that are particularly likeable and shareable. And when a user does engage with you, be sure to respond quickly.
Best Practice #5: Appeal to your audience on a personal level
If you've created buyer personas for other sales or marketing activities, this is no time to abandon them. Most people spend time on social media because they want to connect with friends and family or be entertained. So, don't stick to content you would put on your website or in a corporate brochure. Use humor, tell stories, pass along handy tips or relevant news.
Best Practice #6: Get your employees involved
It's human nature. People like to do business with other people. With that in mind, think of your people as social media assets. They can help you create content (or be the focus of people-behind-the-scenes content a writer creates) and they can also serve as an informal distribution channel. Encourage them to share the brand's content on their own social pages and feeds.
Best Practice #7: Use video
Video is the fastest growing online content category. In fact, Cisco has predicted that more than 80% of Internet traffic will be video by 2021. And, thanks to the proliferation of user-generated content on channels like YouTube, you don't need a big Hollywood budget. Interviews with senior members of your team, customer testimonials, or just the musings of an internal thought leader will attract — and hold the attention of — your audience.
Best Practice #8: Test and track
Don't be afraid to try different approaches — as long as you're tracking what works (and what doesn't). Try posting at different times on different days. Alter the style of your content; post an interview one day, an opinion piece the next. Compare different platforms to determine what works best on each. See whether using images or just text produces more click-throughs. Or if certain hashtags work better than others.
Best Practice #9: Fine-tune your brand's social media personality
Once you have a sense of what kind of content is most popular, think about the voice you want to project. This should be a bit less formal and more conversational than the tone you use in your official marketing communications. But, it should still feel like it's the same company.
Best Practice #10: Be disciplined and consistent
Many marketers — B2B or B2C — who fail at social media do so because they run out of steam. (This happens with blogs as well; too often when you click on a corporate website's blog, the most recent post isn't recent at all.) Create a calendar and stick to it. The best performing brands on social media commit to frequency in order to build relationships and engagement.
Remember, social media isn't just for B2C. With an open mind (as well as a thoughtful strategy and a rigorous schedule), B2B social media can help you fill a pipeline, build awareness, nurture leads, increase customer loyalty, or all of the above.
When it comes to segmenting and targeting audiences, or gaining more intelligence on target accounts, Dun & Bradstreet offers a range of solutions that can help.
Learn more about our Sales & Marketing Solutions.