Social media strategies are a must now. Social media marketing has become a part of every successful marketing campaign, regardless of the business. We can easily see how huge a role social media plays when it comes to entrepreneurs, influencers and small businesses, but when it comes to B2B marketing you may draw a blank. After all, this business model works differently than selling to consumers (a B2C model), so the marketing must work a lot differently too, right?
Not necessarily. While your business does have a different customer in mind, the traits that make social media marketing so attractive to consumers also make it appealing to the businesses you want to reach. It makes sense because businesses are run by people, thus if your marketing appeals to people, it will also appeal to businesses!
Why You Should Have A B2B Social Media Strategy not Just Tactics
Many B2B companies do have a social media strategy in place. Instead, they have tactics that involves posting to social media whenever there is new content created by marketing teams. Social media becomes an after-thought rather than a focused strategy. If your company,
- Has a dedicated social media manager or at least have a defined owner
- Have defined hashtags # that reflect your industry
- Have created custom tags for your own brand
- Has a social media calendar
- Has social media plan for all your campaigns
then, you are at a great start. Otherwise, define the strategy that aligns with overall marketing and business goals before making efforts to execute social media tactics.
1. Develop social media friendly content
Entertainment has become the first step to attract audience and retain their attention. Businesses have been creating fun advertisements for decades and centuries for now. However, with over 200% increase in content year over year since 2011, B2B content can be very long and boring to most of the general population. So, make sure your content is short and digestible to social media audiences.
Character limitations of some social networks enforce making short comments that are meaningful and yet convey the full message. Social media feeds are filled with both professional and personal friends with a mix of brands and topics we follow. There is a variety of sources and types of content on everyone’s social feed. Cutting through that noise and engaging audience is the first step in developing social media strategy.
2. Research industry trends
Every industry has standards and trends on social media. Even if your company plays in a niche market, make sure to align it with audiences of a larger audience base. For example, Identity Access Management is a niche market in cyber security. Hashtagging #cyberSecurity will reach much larger audience than #IdentityAccessManagement or #IAM
420 tweets were made in the last hour when this blog was written. However, for the past 3 hours there were no tweets for #IdentityAccessManagement. So, add both hashtags to reach both audiences.
3. Create social calendar
Social calendars are part of the social media strategy and execution. Once content goals are created, content calendar and social media calendar should be created in parallel. Social media calendar will likely have many more tasks compared to content calendar. Social media postings are made multiple times a week or multiple times a day. This requires time and effort every time a new post is created. Without planning and having a calendar, the process gets very inefficient.
Social media managers spend more than 5-8hrs a week only to publish posts to various social networks. Learn how to make this process efficient by building a simple and effective social media calendar.
4. Not all engagement is created equal
Social engagement may be the first engagement with your brand for many of your audiences. They turn into top level leads in the sales funnel. Brand awareness and education about the products and services should be the the initial goals of B2B social media strategy. However, as the user journey continues, engagement with the brand gets stronger. There are many metrics to measure this deep and continuous engagement.
Mapping engagement to data and metrics is crucial in understanding user journey. Many sets of data and metrics are available either on the social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter or if you use a publishing platform. For example, readily available analytics include,
- Follower count
- Organic reach
- Paid reach
While you can measure your success based on any of those metrics, you have to keep in mind that not all engagement is created equal. What we’ve found at MarketBeam is that some social media metrics are easy to measure but not very helpful, while others are difficult to measure but incredibly helpful. Keep that in mind as you decide how to measure success and how to steer your B2B social media marketing strategy. Click here to learn more about 2019 top’s social media metrics.
Metrics that are not easy to measure include,
- Top posts across all social networks
- Types of content that bring high engagement
- Location of audiences
Critical but not easily available metrics are built by MarketBeam that directly provides inputs to content and social media strategies for companies.
Social media strategies should be set and should have a buy-in from all the required parties before any execution starts. Without, strategy and planning, execution will not be effective and do not show patterns.
Developing the right strategy involves hard work, but you can build branding successfully and fill the sales funnel with social media audiences efficiently with a great plan in place.
MarketBeam helps prospects and customers with complete marketing assessment and social media strategy. Reach us today!
Still want to learn more about creating a social media strategy? Read our post about the whole enchilada of social media for businesses.