There’s a weird, pervasive belief out there that social media marketing only works for B2C companies. While it’s true that many B2C companies have snagged headlines for their snappy, savvy and innovative social presence, social media marketing can be an effective tool for B2B organizations too. As a digital consulting company, we see examples of this all the time. Here are our top tips for leveraging social media as part of your your B2B marketing strategy:
Define success: what are your goals and how will you measure them?
A sure way to waste your company’s time on social media is to have badly-defined goals. Like with any marketing strategy, you have to know what you want from it and how you plan to measure success. A good digital consulting company will tell you that this is especially key for social media. For a B2B organization, this could mean anything from increasing exposure, to generating new leads, to getting potential clients to download an e-book. Defining this will help you decide which metrics to measure. For example, if you plan to increase exposure, you might decide to track new followers, engagement or organic reach.
There are a number of programs that allow you to measure your social performance across channels, which ultimately lets you know if you’re reaching your goals and getting a positive ROI. Make sure you use this to your advantage.
Pick two or three channels and master them
Social media marketing is not a competition to see how many channels you can use. In fact, for B2B organizations, it’s even more important to be select about the platforms you communicate on. Otherwise, you risk spreading your marketing resources too thin and ultimately, not having the desired outcome at all. Decide which channels showcase your products or services best and which ones are most utilized by your target audience.
LinkedIn, for example, can be great for B2B companies. It not only has an extremely wide reach, but it’s built on the idea of making professional contacts and establishing relationships. If you run paid advertising, LinkedIn lets you target by location, job title, corporation and industry. And, if you’re scoping out a particular sales prospect, it allows you to view their professional information and see if you have any mutual industry contacts.
Likewise, Twitter is another great professional resource for B2B marketers, letting you connect with and monitor other industry professionals, prospective clients and media professionals who cover your niche. A digital strategy company can help you identify which platforms will get your business the most exposure.
Make use of social advertising
Social advertising can be a hard sell, because companies are often unwilling to invest in paid content when they know they can create posts for free, and, in some cases, still get a pretty good reach. As a digital strategy company, the way we look at social advertising centers on results. You could pay someone on your marketing team regularly to post social content that may or may not result in leads, or you could invest a little in paid social advertising for a targeted audience and reach a demographic with a much higher chance of using your services.
You can also test your social ad campaigns very easily by using metrics to determine which ones resulted in more conversions, making your job even easier the next time. If you want to streamline time spent on social media and maximize your results, social advertising is definitely something to look into.
Keep Tabs on the Competition
Many companies think of social listening as primarily a tool to monitor your own activity and audience, but it can also be a great way to monitor other companies in your field. If you’re targeting the same audience, monitoring their social channels to see how your competitors sell themselves can give you an edge. Not only can you see how your own services stack up, but you can see what areas they’re lacking in, which will help you fine-tune your own sales pitch.
Also, don’t forget about your competitors’ clients! Monitoring their requests, activities and interactions can help you gain a fuller picture of what clients in general need from your industry.
Don’t believe the hype about social media being a waste of time for your B2B organization. With a bit of strategy and a game plan, you can leverage digital communication for your company too, resulting in better branding, increased exposure and, ultimately, more leads.