You may have heard of the term “social media marketing” countless times already. If you have a B2B company, you may be wondering about how to use social media marketing for your B2B efforts. You may think that you can’t reach your clients on social media, as is the belief of most companies in B2B. But with over a billion active users daily on Facebook alone, the probabilities are that you can use social media marketing for your B2B campaigns. In this article, we will see how you can do just that.
So let’s start!
Here’s a vital point first: would you choose human to human or business to business? A great thing about social media marketing is you get a chance to make your brand more human. Social media can be a very powerful tool when it comes to connecting with people in a more personal manner. This is one thing you can certainly take advantage of. You can approach potential clients as a brand representative and not just a faceless brand. You are going to interact with humans even if you are a B2B company. The more you can humanize your efforts, the better results you will see. Let’s look at the ways you can make this happen.
Choose a Channel
Don’t spread yourself too thin by being on all major social media platforms. You can start with one and focus your social media marketing efforts on that one. When it comes to B2B marketing, you can start with Facebook or LinkedIn because that’s where it usually works well. Different platforms require different kinds of contents. If you choose to be one to each and every platform, you are going to spend a lot of time and effort in adjusting and editing your contents for that certain type of particular platform. That’s why you should choose one which you can focus on and give all your efforts to.
Get to Know Your Clientele
A way to achieve success in social media marketing is getting to know your clientele first. Once it is clear to you who your customers are, you can begin to draft your messaging in social media. You are now in a good position to also make the most out of paid traffic methods in the social media platforms.
It is also important to know at what stage your customers are in. For example, are they in the Research phase? This phase is when they are still trying to look for solutions to their business problems. They could also be in the Awareness phase. In this phase, they are already aware that they are facing a problem. This is where you come in. It is now your job to emphasize this to them at to direct them to what they will be needing to do. These kinds of information are crucial, especially when you are starting to define your goals – which we will be covering next.
Choose Your Goals
When it is already clear to you who your customer is, the next step will be to know what your goals are. Many B2B businesses going on social media marketing think that it’s all about the “Likes” and “Retweets” and these things are going to bring them closer to their goals. A mindset like this often leads to failure. They later turn on to be skeptics who will swear that social media marketing does nothing to give you a positive ROI.
From the very start, it is important that you know what you want to gain. The importance of choosing your goal is essential. There are two goals you want to achieve in your social media marketing efforts. These are Brand Awareness and Conversions.
When you want to build your brand awareness, you shouldn’t be doing things just so your endeavors will lead to an increase in revenue. What you want is to become a thought leader in your niche and that you want people to be familiar with your brand. Of course the “likes” and “shares” are important to make your social media page grow so that your social media page will grow also.
Now, about conversions, you have to take steps that will ensure that you will see a direct ROI on your activities in your social media marketing endeavors. You can make this happen when you promote your content using paid traffic. Paid traffic is designed so that you can get people into a funnel and they get the chance to convert them into customers. For this kind of campaign, you will be much more eager about click-through rates and website visits. This strategy can work well if you are reaching those who are in the Research phase. This is because they are still looking for the right solutions to their problems.
Choose Your Approach
Now that you know your goals and you’ve chosen the platform where you’ll execute your campaign, what you’ll do next is to think about how you are going to develop your approach. Your approach highly depends on how you plan to market yourself on the social media so that you can reach the goals you plan to achieve.
In this strategy, maybe you can consider combining content marketing with social media marketing. For marketing teams, one of the priorities is making content that is unique and original. So now that you can combine social media marketing and content marketing, what will you be able to do to get the results? This all depends on what stage your audience is in already. When you know this, then you know the kind of content to create.
For example, if you are reaching out to your audience in the Research phase, you would want to create content which gives suggestions that are actionable and helps your audience to solve their problems. After reading your content, your audience may find sufficient information so they can solve their issues on their own. If not, they may choose to reach out to you and ask for further advice. You can have a webinar for this. Webinars are also great converters.
Getting Your Content Out
How do we bring all these steps together? What is important here is that you get to know what you want to achieve and how to achieve it. The steps we have covered above is for your groundwork in developing your social media marketing strategy. The last thing we are going to discuss is on how to get your content out to the right audience.
You can do this in two ways: Paid traffic and Organically. For starters, it can be better to do this using paid traffic. After a while, when you have a big enough following, you will need paid traffic less and less.
For LinkedIn, you would want to use Sponsored Updates. With Sponsored Updates, your ads can be seen in the newsfeed of the user. They are known to work well because they are very visible and gets a lot of engagement. LinkedIn also has great targeting features which make it easier for you to get in front of your potential B2B client. One final note though, ads on LinkedIn can be quite expensive. So if you’re running on a tight budget, try to be mindful of how you are going to spend it on ads.
You may start to think that social media marketing for B2B is complicated. However, once you can break down the steps, it will be much easier to imagine and to execute. Remember, it is very important that it is clear to you what you want to achieve and how you can achieve it. If it ever becomes difficult for you to do it by yourself, you can always employ the assistance of agencies who can make the job easier for you. Don’t be afraid to try new things and to discover the strategies that work best for you and your business.
Nicolas Finet is the co-founder of Sortlist UK – Helping customers to get the most out of their digital strategies.. He stimulates the company strategy in line with the strong business and market insights he possesses. Connect with him on LinkedIn.