Whatever type of business you have, social media is crucial to your marketing strategy. After all, company decision makers and IT buyers have accounts too!
That said, how do you create a killer B2B social media strategy that gets leads? Let’s discuss the steps you need to know and check out some examples:
Step 1: Set Your Goals
What do you want to achieve from your social media strategy? The first step is to set your goals.
You need to define what you want from your social media strategy. For example, if your interest is brand awareness, you’ll likely look at metrics such as likes, shares, and impressions to evaluate the impact of your social media campaigns.
Here’s an example of social media goals from Kemp Edmonds, director of marketing at GetintheLoop:
Your social media goals can be anything that you want to be, but you also need to include bullet points to define how you want to achieve them.
Step 2: Understand Your Audience
Here’s how you can find conversations based on your industry:
- Competitive insights. Your competitor’s audience is similar to yours. That said, you can stalk your competitors, find out how they are engaging with their customers or discover customer complaints about their product. For example, if your customer had a viral customer complaint, you can advertise your service as “professional and helpful” in a social media post.
- Keywords. List down brand-related keywords and find out which ones are getting more traffic. Not only will this help you get information on your customer’s interests, but you’ll also find out their motives for their search.
- Influencers. Influencers are industry insiders who have a wealth of knowledge about the updates on new products, innovations, and developments in your industry.
- Hashtags. Monitor hashtags related to your brand to understand what people are talking about on social media.
Step 3: Identify Social Media Platforms
The next step is to determine the social media platform that’s right for your business.
There are currently four social media platforms that you should target. Let’s discuss them one by one.
When posting content on LinkedIn, marketers usually post thought leadership insights and company updates. They also connect with professionals via InMail.
For example, General Electric’s LinkedIn page has videos about their latest innovations, which gets hundreds of likes.
There are over 1 billion active accounts on Instagram. So if you want to stand out, then you need to post visually attractive photos that stand out from your competition.
You can create posts that feature quotes, user-generated content or your company culture.
For example, Adobe’s Instagram has 804,000 followers. Their success can be attributed to their user-generated content, which is based on their monthly themes. In November 2018, their themes are human, and so far the results are astounding.
According to Forbes, 87% of B2B marketers use Twitter.
Unlike LinkedIn or Instagram, Twitter functions as a customer service platform. It’s used to interact with customers, answer questions and address issues.
For example, if a customer encounters a problem with your product, they’ll probably send you a DM or tag you in a tweet. IBM uses this as an opportunity to interact with their customers.
You can also use Twitter to send quick updates, promote your services and links to your content like IBM:
Company decision makers spend 74% more time on Facebook than the average user. This makes it an ideal platform for B2B marketers to connect with leads.
Most B2B marketers use Facebook to promote their business, spread the word about their events and more. For example, Gartner uses their Facebook to promote their webinars:
Step 4: Maintain Consistency
Consistency is key in social media.
You need to maintain a consistent look and feel so that people recognize your brand. You also need to post frequently in order to reach the most number of people – without having to pay for a boost in ads or posts.
But maintaining consistency is a lot harder than it looks. Altimeter found that 70% of marketers lack a consistent or integrated content strategy.
“Marketers fail the most because they do not deliver their content consistently. That means delivering the same time every day, week or month…for a year or more at a minimum. It takes time to build a loyal audience,” said Joe Pulizzi, founder of Content Marketing Institute.
That said, you could create a brand style guide that has details on the look and feel of your brand in various social media platforms. This should also include details on posting frequency so that you and your team can consistently grow your profile.
Step 5: Create a Calendar
A good way to maintain your consistency is to plan ahead.
In fact, HubSpot’s Senior Manager of Acquisition, Lisa Toner, believes that planning is a crucial factor in content success.
“Marketers should be spending as much time promoting their content as they should on producing it. A promo calendar is essential and should include various formats of content to promote the core piece of content, whether that’s a video, ebook, article, etc. You should include a pre-launch phase, launch phase, and post-launch phase in your promo calendar to ensure you build some buzz in the lead up to the launch, capture the majority of people on launch, and then continue to hit new audiences over time after the launch is over.”
This isn’t just lip service, HubSpot has a pretty good social media calendar template that you can use to schedule videos, graphics and blog posts that you’ll publish in the next few weeks.
Ready to Create a Killer B2B Social Media Strategy?
How do you create a killer B2B social media strategy? In the end, it all comes down to setting specific goals, understanding the social media platform and planning.
Create content based on your objectives and audience. Maintain visual consistency by setting rules and publishing your own style guide. When launching social media campaigns, plan your pre-launch, launch phase and post-launch.
What’s your B2B social media strategy? And what were your results? Let us know in the comments below.
About the Author
Emil Kristensen is the CMO and co-founder of Sleeknote: a company that helps e-commerce brands engage their site visitors—without hurting the user experience.