Pillar three of digital marketing: Using a B2B social media strategy to drive results for your business

Read our blog to learn more about how a B2B social media strategy can help to drive results for your business.

Social media can help you to reach a wider audience and allow you to build relationships and trust with your potential customers. In fact, it’s the third pillar of an effective B2B digital marketing strategy.

Want to know more about the other pillars of digital marketing? Find out more in the rest of our series: 

Pillar one of digital marketing: Getting your B2B SEO strategy on track 

Pillar two of digital marketing: Is a B2B content marketing strategy essential? 

Pillar four of digital marketing: Building an effective B2B paid search strategy for your business

If you want to know more about how the B2B customer journey is changing, why not read our ebook? 

📖Digital Marketing and Today’s B2B Buyer: New Rules of Digital Marketing 

When it comes to marketing to a B2B audience, social media might not be your first port of call. However, more B2B buyers than ever are using social media to inform their purchase decisions. 

Today, 40% of B2B buyers use social media to inform their buying decisions. And, according to Gartner, marketing leaders are spending an average of 12.2% of their marketing budgets on social media.

So, as you can see, if you want to reach your B2B audience when they’re browsing online, social media is an important strategy to consider. But first, you need to understand why, and how to make sure your social media marketing strategy is as effective as possible. 

Let’s have a closer look…

What is B2B social media marketing? 

B2B social media marketing means using social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn to build an audience, provide them with interesting content and, eventually, drive them to your website. 

B2C marketers use social media to reach their potential customers and influence their purchases. While social media is effective for a B2B audience, it needs a different approach because B2B buyers research and purchase slightly differently. You need to think a bit more strategically about how to reach B2B buyers online. You can then nurture these relationships until your audience is ready to make a larger purchase. 

B2C decision-makers tend to be individual users so they’re easier to target and reach. With B2B there are more decision-makers involved, but they’re still individuals and they’re still using social media so it’s worth building a strategy. 

How to create a B2B social media strategy 

Here are our top tips for building an effective B2B social media strategy. 

1. Think about your goals 

The first step to getting the most from social media is thinking about how it can tie in with the overall goals of your business for the next 6-12 months. Social media might not be a direct way to drive conversions but it can help you attract and engage with customers further up the funnel. 

Think about using social media for the following goals: 

📈Build brand awareness

Utilise your social media channels to let your customers know who you are and what you do. There’s so much competition out there and it can be easy to get lost in the noise so use social media to show your customers who you are, what you can offer them and how this is different to your competitors. 

You can provide bite-sized pieces of information that help you achieve all of the above. 

🧑‍🎓Educate your audience 

The B2B buyer journey is more prolonged than B2C so it involves more than just a potential customer visiting your website or clicking on a social media ad. B2B buyers conduct their own thorough research to make sure the products and services they buy are valuable and will solve their problems. Educate your audience about your brand, products and services, and why they need them with blogs, ebooks, reports and how-to videos. 

👍Build credibility and trust 

With so much competition out there, it’s important to build credibility and trust with your potential customers if you want them to choose you. Share testimonials, reviews or any awards you’ve won on social media so your audience can see them when they’re doing their due diligence. 

2. Choose the right platforms 

You need to know which platforms are most likely to resonate with your target audience and the platforms they’re spending their time on. If your audience doesn’t use the platform, it’s unlikely a strategy will be effective for your business. 

You may want to focus your efforts on just one channel or you might want to utilise a few. This all depends on the resources you have and the channels your audience is using. You can do this by looking at your customer personas and then the demographics of each channel 

Here are some of the best channels for B2B and how to use them: 

  • LinkedIn - this is the number one social media channel for business professionals. We’d recommend posting content relating to your company culture, your thought leadership and informative content and use it to build a community of loyal followers. 
  • Facebook - this can be seen as an extension of your website and is the perfect place to build a brand awareness and provide a customer service support channel. 
  • Twitter - this is the best platform for news, building brand awareness and joining in with industry conversations. 
  • Instagram - this is a visual platform so short, engaging content will work best. Instagram is a great way to communicate your brand culture and add a bit more personality. 

3. Share informational and educational content 

B2B buyers often have to get a decision through other decision makers within the business and are more calculated in their decisions so you’ll need to provide them with the information they need to push a decision through. 

Keep your social media content informative with blogs, infographics and videos to educate your customers about your business, products, services and industry. This is important for attracting your customer’s attention and building a relationship with them instead of selling to them straight away. 

B2B buyers want content that’s informative so content such as blogs, e-books, whitepapers, infographics, webinars and case studies are likely to be the most effective. 

Thought leadership is particularly important. In fact, 75% of potential buyers say thought leadership helps them create their vendor shortlist. 

4. Repurpose your existing content 

If you have a social media strategy, you don’t have to be constantly creating new content. Repurpose your existing content into a more digestible format. If you have a blog post that performs well, why not turn it into an infographic or a quick video?

Repurposing your content will save you time and provides you with a range of formats to share to reach different buyers in different places. 

5. Utilise paid social media 

Alongside organic social media, you can also use paid ads to increase the reach of your brand. Paid ads appear in users’ feeds, even if they don’t follow you. This can help you to build brand awareness among customers who aren’t already aware of who you are and what you do but who may be interested, either now or in the future. 

One of the biggest advantages of social media ads is you can target based on demographics such as: 

  • Age 
  • Location
  • Occupation 
  • Job title 

As a result, you won’t be wasting ads, content or spend on an audience that is never going to buy from you. You can directly target the people you hope will be interested in your business and eventually buy from you. Not everyone is going to find you on social media organically so using paid social media ads can help you to draw in more users who you can then continue to keep engaged with your content until they’re ready to buy. 

6. Be consistent 

When it comes to social media, consistency is key. You need to make sure you’ve got plenty of content for your social media channels. 

Spend time creating the right content for each channel and think about how you can provide value for your target audience on each channel. Remember that every channel lends itself to a particular type of content and bear this in mind when creating your strategy. 

7. Measure the results of your strategy 

Did you know: 94% of the most successful B2B content marketers measure their content performance? 

How do you know how well your social media strategy is performing if you don’t measure it with clear metrics and KPIs? 

The KPIs and metrics you choose to measure will depend on your overall business goals and the goals you set when you started your strategy. This could be the number of followers, engagements or shares you receive on your channels or posts. Or, it could be the number of visitors you drive to your website through social media posts. 

Google Analytics is a great tool if you want to see how your social media channels are performing. You can also look at the analytics for each of the platforms you’re using too.

Key takeaways 

While social media might not be the first strategy you think of when it comes to B2B marketing, it’s definitely a must-have strategy if you want to reach your potential customers in the right places at the right time. 

Social media is all about communicating with your ideal customers, sharing valuable content and building relationships until decision-makers are ready to purchase from you. 

If you’d like to know more about how a B2B social media strategy can help you to drive results for your business, why not request a free digital marketing audit

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Blog written by

Amy Ward