The value of social media marketing is undeniable. Many marketers have come to understand this and now leverage social media as an integral part of their overall marketing strategy.
However, recent research shows that marketers still face a number of challenges when it comes to strategy and tactical implementation. Developing social strategies that support business goals, and identifying and understanding target audiences are amongst social media marketers’ biggest challenges.
On top of this, many B2B marketers are cursed with the idea that their industry is unexciting, lackluster, or – dare I say – boring! Even worse, they believe they are restricted to only a limited set of social media tactics due to this.
Before reading any further, you must clear your mind of that thought. It’s true that we often see cutting edge social media campaigns come from traditionally “fun” companies like retail, food and lifestyle brands; however, your job is to find what your audiences deem exciting and fun, and apply it to your social media strategy.
Despite the many challenges associated, social media marketing is essential to increase brand exposure, build thought leadership, drive traffic to your website, and help customers feel more connected to your brand, ultimately, generating sales for your business.
Below, I’ve compiled several tips to help make your B2B social media marketing strategy more exciting and impactful.
1. Define Your Goals and Objectives.
A successful B2B social media marketing strategy starts with clearly defined goals. Social media is never ending, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the endless amount of tactics that could be applied.
Whether you are leveraging social media to generate business leads, build brand awareness, offer better customer support or all of the above, it’s important to have solid goals defined from the jump.
I realize the intention of this post is to make your social media strategy more fun and exciting. And, goals are not exactly always associated with fun! But, this will help identify the key metrics you need to measure and track in order to determine the success of your tactics.
For example, if you’re aiming to build brand awareness, metrics like impressions, reach, engagement, and new followers will be important. If your goal is to generate leads for the business, you will want to track metrics like social media referral visits, conversions via social media, and conversion rate.
Don’t spread yourself too thin. Know your goals and tailor your priorities and tactics accordingly.
2. Figure Out What Matters to Your Audience.
It’s essential that social media is about your audience, and not simply to serve your business. I can’t stress this enough.
Of course, it is important to distribute content that is important to your business, but social media should not be a one-sided channel. It should be leveraged as a conversational tool.
Your goal should always be to deliver top quality content that your target audiences will engage with and feel is share-worthy.
In order to do this successfully, you must have a solid understanding of your audiences’ interests and challenges, the channels they use, how they consume content and what types of content they are consuming.
It’s important to listen attentively to your audiences and monitor key conversations happening in the industry, about your brand, and competitors.
If you truly know your audiences and what they care about, B2B social media marketing doesn’t have to be boring.
There are many free tools available to help you get to know your target audiences better. One of my favorites is FollowerWonk, but I would also strongly recommend checking out the features available in each platform – like Twitter Advanced Search.
3. Pay Attention to the Competition.
Staying on top of the competition will help you get to know your audiences better, and the industry.
Anastasia Warren, our Senior Social Media Manager says, “Pay attention to the market and how competitors are showing up on social media. The new year is a great time to perform a competitive analysis of your direct and indirect social media competitors as well as the industry as a whole.”
This includes things like posting frequency/timing, type of content being shared, who they are interacting with and how, visual assets and imagery shared, hashtag usage, industry events participation, followers/following, etc.
While everything that competitors are doing is not always correct or strategic, from all of this research, you will likely walk away with some key insights and actionable next steps to apply to your own strategy.
You may want to add new tactics to your existing strategy or take some away depending on what you find competitors doing.
4. Create a Distinct Personality.
If your social media communication lacks personality and a human voice, it’s bound to fall flat. Instead, create a social media persona that helps your customers understand and connect with your brand’s mission and core values.
I get it, not every brand can be as hilarious and sarcastic as Taco Bell on Twitter. Exhibit A:
Figure out what’s right and comfortable for your brand, so that you can offer customers a consistent and fun experience across social media channels. Don’t be afraid to:
- Start the conversation 💬
- Be casual and conversational 😎
- Be humorous 🤪
- Use gifs and emojis 🤩
- Engage with customers/prospects 💍
- Share original and opinionated thoughts 🧐
Keep this bigger picture vision in mind to help guide your daily communication. By creating a distinct and memorable voice on social media, you will better reach and engage target audiences.
5. Offer Exceptional Customer Support.
Social media has great value for customer service. In fact, 21% of consumers would rather message a brand on social media instead of calling up customer service.
Twitter, especially, is important for customer service engagement. In effort to support social media marketers, the platform released a Customer Service Playbook a few years back.
By leveraging social media as another customer support channel, brands can create a real competitive advantage while also making their stream more interactive and exciting.
This doesn’t only include customers reaching out to your brand directly on social media – you should consider anyone mentioning your brand or competitive solutions. Use a social listening tool to monitor important conversations, find and answer the questions people are asking, and even spike new content ideas.
6. Use Custom Graphics and Multimedia Content.
Sharing custom imagery, graphics and videos across social media platforms is a great way to get users’ attention, boost engagement, support brand awareness and prevent posting fatigue. These tactics will also benefit your content marketing efforts.
This doesn’t need to be a huge investment in resources or time. There are plenty of free tools available like Canva to create custom images, and templates that can be used moving forward.
Staying on top of all of the latest social media features will help ensure you are maximizing on new multimedia opportunities. For example, Twitter Polls are fantastic for engaging users and learning more about your audiences.
Other key multimedia features to consider include:
- Twitter and Facebook Live Videos
- Photo Collages (Across Platforms)
- Video Uploads (Across Platforms)
- Instagram Stories
- Facebook Recommendations
- LinkedIn Documents
7. Exert the Power of Your People.
It’s no secret that your people (or employees) are the power behind the business. With that in mind, it’s key that you apply this to your social media strategy as you do for other aspects of your company.
Showing the faces behind your business is a great way to humanize the brand and amplify your social media personality. This can be done by implementing simple tactics like employee spotlights, which gives your audience a chance to see who they have been or will be communicating with.
Sharing photos and information that displays company culture, career paths, events and happenings is also a useful tactic to add human element to social channels.
Encouraging employees to promote company content on their personal social media channels will help gain additional exposure. One way to go about this (as mentioned above) is to share posts that feature employees and tag them.
Another way is to create a more comprehensive content distribution strategy that encourages internal team members to participate. For example, let your internal team know about a new blog post by sending an office-wide email. Crafting a Tweet and/or LinkedIn post for their use will help encourage internal sharing.
Remember, B2B social media marketing doesn’t have to be boring. I hope these tips help keep your social media strategy fresh, engaging and exciting. What social media marketing tips do you have for B2B companies? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below or reach out to me directly on Twitter @Kristen_Vaughn.