B2B companies are doubling down on social media and it’s paying off. Many social media marketers feel like social media is an important part of their overall marketing strategy, and they’re employing the latest trends and available options. After all, Content Marketing Institute reported that 61 percent of B2B marketers increased their use social media for content marketing purposes compared with one year ago.
Decision-makers are using social media for business and for personal use, and it’s important to reach them whenever they’re online. When sharing a relevant message, they’re more likely to pay attention and consider your brands products and services.
Below are some examples of actual B2B companies on social media and what they’re doing right to connect with their audience and leverage social media in the right way.
TripAdvisor has a Twitter account that’s just for their hotel partners that have listings on their site. Not only do they do a great job serving the community of hotel owners and managers that want to connect with them, but they also have a very visually appealing Twitter profile. Almost all of the images they share or retweet are branded with their logo and “Certificate of Excellence” that reminds anyone viewing their feed that they represent the B2B side of TripAdvisor.
Oftentimes, these types of images aren’t difficult to create.
TripAdvisor created images for the winners using a photo from their hotel and then placed their logo and a few graphic elements that match their brand colors on top of it. This cohesive feel leads to a more professional appearance and also plays into the idea that they represent the highest quality hotels around the world.
As a hotel owner, it would be difficult to turn down the opportunity to be listed on TripAdvisor. The brand aesthetic (with actual photos from hotels on TripAdvisor) represents hotel quality and professionalism, something that any hotel owner or manager would be proud to be known for.
Tripadvisor just announced that Elixir Boutique Hotel located in Kalkan / Turkey received ‘Hall Of Fame’ award after receiving 5+ years of Certificate of Excellence award #tripadvisor #certificateofexcellence #halloffame #elixirboutiquehotel #kalkan #turkeyholiday #elixirotel pic.twitter.com/UbgogsOVue
— Elixir Hotel (@theelixirhotel) June 6, 2018
Note: On the flip side, there is something this Twitter account is doing wrong: Not Tweeting! You’ll see the last tweet was in Feb 2019, and before that, 2018. If you’re going to have a brand profile on social media, at least post weekly or monthly, at a bare minimum. Any fewer shows you don’t care about your connection with your audience.
Interaction With Community
One of Salesforce’s tools, Pardot, has its own Twitter account that is a good example of interaction with their community and industry influencers. For example, they run a series called #TrailblazerTipTuesday, where influencers share a video tip for the industry and it is retreated and shared by Pardot.
— Pardot (@Pardot) August 20, 2019
This type of content creation is great for B2B because it not only shows that the company is invested and intertwined with their community, but that they’re also sharing high-quality content from people that their audience has probably heard of before.
Online interaction is crucial to a successful social media presence because it can help you grow your following and engagement overall. A large social media audience shows more credibility and respect in the industry.
Outside of sharing information from influencers, it’s important for B2B companies to also provide help and support to current and new customers that are asking questions or looking for company assistance. Simply scheduling out several different social media posts on a tool like HootSuite and then not checking for any comments or questions from the user base defeats the purpose of social media as a whole.
Think of social media as an online water cooler or meeting room where you can post what is going on with your company and also share information about others’ expertise and answer questions as a resource. It’s a place to make connections and build customer trust and loyalty.
In-Depth Content Creation
Verizon has a Twitter account that’s for their Verizon Enterprise division, which provides IT security and enterprise news for their large-scale business customers. Because this is a technical field, Verizon does a great job of sharing in-depth content that is directly applicable to their target audience. From sharing the latest news items about cybersecurity to how developments in tech influence telecommunication networks, Verizon does a great job of sharing in-depth content.
The DBIR shows that #CyberSecurity breaches can take mere minutes. Discovering them can take months. Learn how you can prepare and respond faster by reading our Verizon Incident Preparedness and Response Report. https://t.co/VJQVWBko6R pic.twitter.com/4c7clcGn8J
— Verizon Enterprise (@VZEnterprise) August 20, 2019
One additional benefit to their strategy is that the majority of the content that Verizon is sharing is content that they’re writing on their own website. This goes hand-in-hand with content creation and marketing, but to be able to create such in-depth content that can be shared on social media is a great benefit to B2B companies. Not only are you driving traffic to your website instead of external sites, but you’re also showing expertise in the field by authoring useful and descriptive content.
When it comes to sharing the right content, if your business has a highly technical audience, it’s worth the extra cost to have someone who’s more educated about the industry running your social media. Not only will they have a better eye to find content that is more in-depth and important to the industry, but they’ll also know the right hashtags and industry vocabulary to use in their messaging.
To have a social media newbie or someone who’s never worked in the industry before run a Twitter account such as this one isn’t the right strategy, as they don’t have the experience to truly interpret the information correctly across Verizon Enterprise’s social media profiles.
Great External Content Shares
As great as Verizon is at sharing their own in-depth content, it’s also important to share content from others in the industry. This has been touched on before, but there is an art to sharing others’ content in a way that I can actually benefit your brand.
Chorus, an AI sales tool for VP of Sales executives, does this well by sharing sales content that can help salespeople hone their craft and get better at attracting leads. Not only do they share great content from industry experts, but they also tagged the source where it is published on. This leads to a higher chance of the source retweeting them, following them, or even retweeting their tweet, giving Chorus more exposure to their audience.
This is a lot of upside for only one tweet!
— Chorus.ai (@chorus_ai) August 20, 2019
When it comes to sharing external content, always try to share the source that it’s published on and the author’s username so they are more likely to follow or engage with your tweet through their own profiles. Many outlets and writers also appreciate their work being shared, which leads to a buildup of goodwill down the line.
For example, say you wanted to have a guest post on a popular industry blog. Sharing previous tweets from the past years or months where you shared their content shows that you have been a good steward of them and are likely to produce high-quality content for their website.
Think about it: If someone pitched you a contributed article and showed tweets from the last few years where they’ve shared your content in a useful way, wouldn’t you be more likely to give them a chance over a cold pitch that didn’t prove any past connection to you?
Humanizes The Brand
Sometimes B2B marketing is seen as cold or uninteresting. If you’re looking for a brand that represents the opposite and does a great job of personalizing themselves in their customers, Bench on Facebook is a great example.
Bench is a company that provides accounting services for self-employed business owners or businesses that have a small number of employees and can’t afford to have their own accountant on staff. These businesses may not have a full-time accountant but often need to have a professional accountant involved with their bookkeeping and invoicing so it stays straight and consistent.
Many of Bench’s posts on Facebook focus on the specific business owners or use cases where their services have been invaluable to their customers. By humanizing themselves through the lens of their own customers, Bench is showcasing how future business owners could be using Bench and how it would make their lives easier.
Another bonus feature that Bench does is to tag businesses that they mention in their posts. Similar to the previous example, this gives them more potential exposure and opportunities for engagement with customers or other industry organizations.
When possible, even if you scheduled the post on a service like HootSuite, go back and edit the post to tag the business or person mentioned. This is a unique touch that not many Facebook pages do, and can make a big difference in your overall exposure and engagement across other business pages.
Uses the Shop Feature
Obviously, you don’t have to sell a service like accounting to be a B2B company. A vast majority of businesses that service other businesses are selling goods such as office supplies and equipment. One such example is Wayfair Professional, which is a branch of Wayfair.com, an interior design e-commerce website.
To sign up for an account with Wayfair Professional, you have to have a business EIN. This entitles you to discounted rates and a dedicated support rep that will help you with any orders or questions.
To get their point across that you can get high quality office furniture, artwork, or other supplies for your business on their site, Wayfair has a separate Wayfair Professional Facebook page that showcases their available products that their audience might be interested in. This is done using the e-commerce shop feature, which allows users to view and browse products directly on Facebook. When they want to make a purchase, they simply click “complete purchase on site,” and in this example, are taken to the product page on Wayfair.com.
If you sell products or have product pages on your site, this feature is worth utilizing, as it provides another outlet for customers to see the products you offer and to make buying easier.
Double Down on Video
Google’s G-Suite LinkedIn page Is a great example of using video to reach B2B customers. According to CMSWire, LinkedIn is doing video extremely well. Because 80% of sales leads come from LinkedIn (according to a study mentioned in the CMSWire article), it’s important to be active on LinkedIn, if that’s where all or part of your customer base is spending time. Google includes links to their YouTube videos if they’re linked to post, but they play natively on LinkedIn, allowing users to stay on the site instead of having to go to YouTube to view the video.
Google G-Suite chooses to do video that promotes the opportunities and features of their services and also highlights industry news and development that make their products stronger. All of the videos are well-produced and in high-definition, which translates into a polished look that shows how much time and energy went into each video.
Even though these videos weren’t likely produced especially for LinkedIn, the ability to play directly on the site at such a high-quality makes LinkedIn a useful and enticing place to post any videos you may be creating for your B2B audience.
When it comes to social media for B2B, it’s important to utilize all the available options on the platforms you’re active on, as well as to post often. It’s not crucial to be on all social media platforms, but what is crucial is to commit to staying active and useful on the places where you do you have a presence.
Social media can be a great way to pull in new customers, build existing customer loyalty, and showcase expertise in your industry for customers and potential employees alike. Don’t be afraid to try new things as long as you stay in your authentic voice and are dedicated to being a valuable resource for your audience.
Featured Photo by Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash. Screenshot taken in August 2019.