Social media for B2B marketing has become an increasingly important method of marketing. B2B social networking allows businesses to stay connected with their customers and drive sales. In the past, social media has been seen as a more informal marketing tool that was used mostly by business to consumer marketers but today, 92 percent of B2B marketers admit to using social media marketing. The common B2B marketing tactics such as email marketing, website marketing and content marketing should not be ignored but we should recognize social media marketing as a new common B2B method as well. See below for some tips on an effective social media strategy for 2017.
A Small Business Owners Guide to B2B Social Media Success in 2018
1. Ensure that your 2018 social media strategy includes LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter
Over extending your brand on too many social networks may prevent you from having an effective social media presence. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are three of the most effective platforms for B2B social media marketing. LinkedIn is best known for making new contacts and creating relationships with business professionals which is crucial for any B2B brand. LinkedIn also offers targeted advertising ranging from location to industry to company. Small businesses should also have a Facebook presence to promote their business. With over 1 billion monthly active users, Facebook allows businesses to build communities where they can interact with prospects on a daily basis. Twitter is another one of the most popular sites for B2B social networking. Twitter is a fast and efficient way for you to reveal small bits of information for your clients to see. Unlike Facebook, Twitter posts are not filtered out of your feed so your followers are more likely to see all of your tweets.
2. Include ‘producing effective content’ in your 2018 social media strategy
In order for your content to be effective, your audience must be interested in it. To write effective content it often helps to answer a common question, via a blog post or an article, people in your industry would find helpful, this can be done through a social networking site such as Facebook or LinkedIn. B2B social marketers can also create interesting content through infographics, YouTube channels and case studies by posting these items to their social networks.
3. Understand your target audience
This tip may seem a little obvious but is a crucial point for B2B social marketers. In order for your content to be effective, it has to be pushed out to the right audience via the right avenues. Your product or service may appeal to a variety of different consumers which is why a one size fits all marketing approach may not work for your business. If you are able to understand your different types of clients and market specifically to them, your content will resonate. For example, this may mean creating multiple, unlike social media ads targeted to different customers.
4. Increase awareness by using paid advertising through social media
Even for B2B marketing, increasing brand awareness though social media is a must. Marketers can simply promote their pages to get more overall ‘likes’ or ‘followers’ or they can create in-depth ads connected to specific posts where they are able to target through geographic locations, gender and interests. Some B2B marketers may think their industry does not have a social media following, but it’s their job to dig deep and find those interested in their industry through targeted ads.
5. Create relevant videos for posting on social networks
Posting interactive videos on your social networking sites, Facebook specifically, helps to engage your audience. Business-to-business marketers can use social video for brand awareness, customer testimonials, product guides and much more. Video has shown to increase customer loyalty, ROI and brand awareness and is only going to become more prominent in 2017 with the constant development of Snapchat, Instagram stories and live feeds.
6. Expand beyond LinkedIn
While LinkedIn is an important social network for B2B’s, it is not the only network marketers should be focusing on. As we mentioned earlier, LinkedIn is important for creating business relationships and leads but, you can also increase brand awareness and trust by having a social presence on other sites. Social Media Examiner found that more B2B companies are starting to expand beyond LinkedIn. 89 percent of B2B marketers use LinkedIn, 88 percent use Facebook, 83 percent use Twitter, 55 percent use YouTube, 39 percent use Pinterest and 26 percent use Instagram. The companies who are using Pinterest, Instagram and other less popular social sites understand the importance of brand awareness and how it can ultimately increase leads for their businesses.
7. Stay current with the latest social media trends
Social media marketing is always changing. New features are constantly being added to platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Marketers and business owners must keep up with the latest trends and social platforms. Subscribe to social media blogs, attend social marketing events and conferences and watch what your competitors are doing in terms of social media. Knowing what strategies your competitors are using may help you to boost your own social media marketing. Another way to keep up with current trends are Google alerts. Marketers should set up Google alerts so they are notified when a new update is released or a new feature is added.
8. Interact with your users
Social media is not only a great avenue for pushing out content but also for interacting with your business-to-business customers. Show that your small business is interactive by conversing with your social media followers. Encourage your clients to come to your social media pages with questions and concerns where you can then address them.
9. Engage your audience with visuals
Social media users tend to be more willing to interact when visuals are involved. Marketers should create visually appealing infographics, photos and videos to regularly post on their social media accounts. The optimization of graphics specifically for social sharing has been proven to increase user’s interaction with brands. Researchers found that colored visuals can increase people’s willingness to read a piece of content by 80 percent!
10.Use hashtags when posting on social media
Using hashtags on social media helps to connect customers with your products or services. For example, when posting content, you should hashtag terms related to your industry so that other users clicking on those hashtags can more easily find your company. The hashtags will direct users to your company’s social media page which can ultimately lead them to your website.
Use social media to your advantage—there are so many social media platforms and strategies you can use to drive your sales and ensure company growth! Looking for other methods to ensure your small business continues to grow? Contact a representative from Factor Finders today and dive into the benefits of factoring for your business. Factor Finders works with small businesses from many industries to help get them the money necessary to expand and thrive.
Have any other tips your small business may have used that were proven successful? Let us know!