How to Drive Engagement on Social Media for B2B Marketers
For B2B brands, a strong social media presence is crucial to long-term growth. The right social media marketing strategy can drive leads, increase trial sign-ups, and generate demand for your business.
If you are posting regularly and still not seeing the impact on your bottom line, the issue might not be your content; it might be your social media engagement. (Or lack thereof.)
High social media engagement can help you reach a wider audience for free. Want to increase your engagement without spending a bunch on ads? Here’s what you need to know.
What is social media engagement?
Social media engagement is a metric used to track how often users interact with your content on social media. Depending on the platform, social engagement might include interactions such as likes, shares, emoji responses, comments, mentions, regrams, link clicks, video watches, retweets, and replies.
The most common way to calculate engagement rate is by reach, which measures the percentage of people who see a post and interact with it.
You can use this formula to quickly measure engagement for each post:
For example, if a Facebook post gets five likes, three comments, and reaches 200 people, the ERR would be 4 percent.
If math isn’t your thing (no judgment here), Hootsuite has a handy engagement rate calculator you can use.
Engagement rate isn’t just a vanity metric; it’s crucial to tracking social media strategy success. High engagement rates can also increase your reach because social media platforms show posts with a lot of engagement to a wider audience.
Now that you know how to calculate social engagement, let’s talk about improving it—which can be challenging, especially for B2B brands.
Analyze Your Current Social Media Engagement
Before you start making changes, take a look at your current engagement rate and strategy. There are tons of social media analytics tools you can use to track this in one place, or you can look in the analytics section of each platform.
In addition to looking at social media engagement, I recommend looking at Google Analytics to see how much traffic social media drives overall. Tracking this over time will help you see how engagement rate impacts site traffic and revenue.
If you’re using the new Google Analytics 4, you’ll find this data under Reports>Acquisition.
This data will show you whether the changes you make actually impact engagement rate and highlight which platforms and content types your audience is likely to engage with.
Understand Your Audience on Social
When it comes to social media, B2C and B2B are in different ballparks. The type of content each type of business can post, effective platforms, and even the goals are often very different. For example, B2C might aim to drive actual conversions, while B2B is more likely to nurture leads and increase awareness.
Start by learning where your audience tends to hang out. According to Content Marketing Institute, the top social platforms for B2B include LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube.
But don’t forget about less-obvious platforms for B2B. Depending on your industry, you might find success on newer platforms like TikTok or Snapchat.
Look at your competitors and other brands your audience engages with to understand the type of content they want. Does educational content get a lot of engagement? What about memes or trendy videos? Test different formats to see what works for your brand and your audience.
Use Platform Features
You don’t have to invest $5K in social media ads to increase reach! Most platforms offer built-in features that help increase engagement. In some cases, social media platforms increase the reach of posts that use these extra features.
For example, LinkedIn lets you create polls, ask questions, and even go live. Instagram has an “ask a question box,” reels, Stories, poll stickers, and carousel posts. Consider using hashtags as well; these can increase your reach and help users find your content.
These features are fun to use, free, and help drive engagement.
Include Strong Copy and CTA’s
Social media isn’t just about memes and cat pictures. While you should post a mix of promotional, educational, and interesting content, you also want to drive conversions. Ensure your promotional content hits the mark by using strong copy and including engaging CTAs encouraging users to act.
Just like a landing page or website, social media posts should be optimized to include the main keywords your audience is likely to search for and to address pain points. Here’s an example from Slack’s Twitter page that shows this in action:
In addition to including an eye-catching image, Slack also included hashtags, tagged speakers at their live event, and included a clear CTA telling followers what to do next.
Engage with Your Engagement
No one likes having a conversation with themselves. If you want to increase engagement, take the time to respond to users who engage with you. This means commenting back when people respond to your posts, commenting when people repost your content (even just to thank them for reposting,) and engaging with influencers and followers in your industry outside of your own content.
Several platforms make this easier—for example, joining LinkedIn groups related to your industry can connect you with your target audiences in a more controlled setting. Twitter Lists make it easier to interact with Twitter users in a specific industry or about specific topics.
You can also create your own Twitter list to stay engaged with users. Just keep in mind Twitter does notify people they’ve been added to a list.
Get Creative With Your Content
Do you have trouble coming up with ideas to post on social media? Try switching things up. If you usually post images, try videos or Stories. If you usually share stock images, try sharing GIFs, memes, or branded images. It’s hard to increase engagement when you’re sharing the same type of content over and over again.
Here are a few other creative ideas for social media content;
- Share industry news or events.
- Post content about fun holidays like National Taco day or National Pet Day.
- Share user-generated content, such as reviews or blog posts that mention your brand (and tag the poster when possible.)
- Host an AMA (ask me anything.)
- Share behind-the-scenes videos of your office or employees.
Finally, make sure to balance fun content with promotional or educational content. Aim for an even split between the three types of content.
Final Thoughts on B2B Social Media Engagement
Increasing social media engagement can be challenging for B2B, but it’s worth the effort. The more engagement your posts earn, the less you’ll have to invest in social media advertising—and the bigger your audience will be.
Are you struggling to find your audience or get engagement on social media? Our social media marketing and program management team can help.