Social media marketing is no longer just for B2C companies. B2B marketers also now see the benefits of engaging with audiences via social networks. By creating an online persona for your brand, you’re humanizing it, just as those in the consumer space do, creating a relationship that makes people feel like they know your brand personally.
91% of B2B companies are present on LinkedIn and more than 80% have Twitter and Facebook accounts. But just because companies are “on” these networks, doesn’t mean they are are being used efficiently or effectively. According to research by the Content Marketing Institute, only 44% of B2B marketers have a documented social content strategy, meaning too many companies aren’t properly capitalizing on social media.
To succeed in social, B2B companies need to engage as an individual first and the business second. This personal tone will make your brand more approachable and relatable as those you’re engaging with are individuals first as well. Just as we’re seeing the consumerization of IT, we need to see the consumerization of B2B marketing.
Here we share a few “social secrets” for maximizing your marketing across LinkedIn, company blogs and Twitter.
The top site for virtual networking, LinkedIn is a no brainer from a B2B perspective. It’s great for promoting thought leadership, generating leads and building relationships. But how to harness the considerable power this network has to offer? Go visual.
Customize your banner image on your company profile, share videos, and upload presentations. While LinkedIn is a professional network, you’re still trying to reach individual people. It’s proven that people respond to video and images most online. There should be no exception here, and this approach will help you stand out among a sea of content.
Company blogs are one of the best ways to inform and engage with a target audience and can play a crucial role in driving new business. This type of content shows your company as an authority and source on trends driving your industry. In developing a blog strategy, there are a few important things to keep in mind:
First, set goals for your blog – whether it is generating leads, improving SEO, or acquiring an online following. Determine what tone, cadence and type of content you want your blog to have. It often helps to create an editorial calendar of posts to map it all out and have a clear path. Also keep in mind the value of mobile-optimization. Research shows that 40% of social networking happens on cell phones. That’s a huge audience you’re ignoring if your blog is hard to read on the go.
A Mediabistro study noted that 82% of leads generated on social media are done through Twitter. The social site also revealed that more than 30% of Twitter users search for B2B brands online, compared to 12% of average Internet users. There is no denying the influence it has.
Here are a few tips we find to be essential to a successful B2B Twitter strategy:
- Tweet often – The key to profiting from social media is using it regularly. Update your Twitter 2-3 times a day to maximize your brand’s presence. Many tools make it possible to do this without having to constantly be at your computer.
- Be responsive – Monitor which Twitter content is the most effective by looking at which cause the most buzz or get the highest number of retweets, and then tailor future content. And if someone asks a question, don’t ignore them. That’s a potential customer. Using a social media monitoring tool is the best way to stay on top of this.
- Share interesting content – Sharing interesting content that will engage your audience is the best way to drive leads. Rather than always tweeting about your company’s products and services, share relevant articles on trends and new studies that your audiences will find useful. This is how you will build a following.
Remember that the label B2B simply refers to the sale; online relationships are between people and not businesses. Social media can serve as a channel to humanize your brand and create relationships with the people behind the business.