A B2B social media marketing strategy is now one of the most effective ways to reach prospective customers. This is primarily due to the massive shift in how B2B buyers buy things today.
According to LinkedIn, 84% of B2B buyers use social media in their decision-making process. They’re not using it like Google. It’s not a buyer-initiated media like that, but they are going to social channels like LinkedIn to engage with their peers and to stay informed about their industry.
But how do you stand out? There are more than 58 million businesses on LinkedIn today, and they’re all posting something.
The good news is that most B2B companies are going about social media marketing incorrectly. They post useless, jargon-filled cliched content that has no value to the reader whatsoever. This creates an opportunity for you and me.
The key is to create content buyers want to read, watch, or listen to. It also means making content that provides value – for example, shedding light on new perspectives or providing tips they can use to get some quick wins.
What are the benefits of B2B Social Media marketing?
B2B buyers are looking to social media channels more than ever to connect with their peers and stay informed about their industry. When you execute a solid B2B social media marketing strategy, your prospects will:
- Become aware that your brand exists
- Remember the problem that you can solve for them
- Think of your company as a thought leader and value our unique point of view
- Believe that you are the right and best option for them when they’re ready to move forward.
Could we ask for more than that from our customers? As a result, your company will find a wider audience, receive more website traffic, rank better in search results, and generate new leads.
Following the tips in this blog, you can develop, execute, and optimize a B2B social media go-to-market strategy that will win for your business.
If you don’t have time to read this entire article, we’ve got your back. Here is a B2B Strategy Cheatsheet that will give you a high-level overview.
Where Does Social Media Marketing Fit into an Overarching Demand Generation Process
B2B social media marketing is only one piece of a larger demand generation strategy. The following diagram shows the framework we use to drive demand for all of our clients.
Social media is part of the Activate Your Audience pillar of our framework. The goal is to share your content on social media so prospects will see it, like it, engage with it, and ultimately come to your website for more. Your website is where you will establish authority and validate that your company can help them solve their problem.
Check out this video for more information on how to activate your audience with digital marketing
10 B2B Social Media Marketing Statistics and Trends
- 84% of B2B Decision Makers Use Social During the Buying Process – Backlinko
- 58 Million companies have profiles on LinkedIn – Hootsuite
- B2B Buyers require an average of 31 touches before they are ready to buy – Deamdata
- B2B Prospects consume 11.4 pieces of content during the sales process – Forrester
- Only 1% of LinkedIn users post on a weekly basis – Kinsta
- Nearly half of all B2B social media traffic comes from LinkedIn – LinkedIn
- B2B companies will begin to leverage social media platforms as a way to build community with prospects
- More B2B companies will promote ungated content and reduce their dependence on MQLs
- Employee advocacy and social selling will become more formalized in many B2B organizations
- Social media ads will be utilized for targeted content consumption vs. only lead generation
Step One: Establish the Right Goals for B2B Social Media
Many B2Bs struggle with social media because they haven’t aligned their goals with how buyers utilize the channel. Remember, prospects don’t use social media to buy things; they go there to stay connected and to learn. This is why your goals should focus on:
Growing Awareness: Social media channels are a great place to get prospects to discover your brand and to learn about the problem you can solve for them. Social media impressions, branded search, and self-reported attribution are good ways to measure this goal. Start with a baseline and look to increase performance over time.
Staying Top-of-Mind: The average B2B sales cycle is ~192 days. You can’t control when a buyer is ready to buy from your company. But you can ensure they think of your brand when they are ready. Like the growing awareness goal, measure improvements in impressions, branded search, and self-reported attribution.
Driving Traffic to Site: You need to send prospects to your website from social media channels so you can establish trust while moving them farther down the funnel. This one is easy to measure; are you getting more traffic from social channels over time.
Step Two: Define Your Ideal Customer Profile
Marketing to everyone is marketing to no one. Focus on a subset of customers you can serve the best. Define your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) by looking at your top customers and searching for similarities. This is one of the reasons why Account Based Marketing (ABM) has become so popular with B2B companies.
Also, consider their psychological profile. For example, our ICP at Vende Digital is B2B marketing decision-makers who do not want to execute digital marketing on their own. They are looking for an agency that can develop and implement a strategy for them, leaving them free to focus on other critical priorities.
Prospects are looking for specific help. They want to work with vendors who are subject matter experts that understand their industry and provide helpful information. By defining your ICP and developing content that addresses their needs, you will stand out over your competitors who share bland, boring posts.
Step Three: Repurpose Your Long Form Content to Feed Social Media
Repurposing your long-form content into bite-sized social media posts is the best way to educate buyers and drive them to your website to learn more. Examples of long-form content include:
- White Papers
This starts with a good long-form content strategy. Check out our article on the 6 steps for building a demand gen content marketing strategy for the latest tips. The key is to produce content that communicates your point of view on what’s broken in your prospects’ business, why it’s happening, and how to fix it. Content like this will get your buyer’s attention. From there, you can repurpose and reformat the content and share it on various social media channels.
Feed your B2B social media marketing strategy with relevant content. Here is a checklist of examples of the best social media content for B2B marketing. If you consistently create items in this checklist, you’ll have the right ingredients to succeed.
Step Four: Distribute Your Content via Organic Posting and Paid Ads
Both organic and paid social media distribution are essential for B2B companies to reach a wider audience, generate awareness, and stay top-of-mind.
However, you don’t need different content for each tactic. The key is to create content your audience wants. If you have done that, use organic and paid distribution to ensure your ICP sees it.
Your employees need to come in and help from an organic distribution perspective. The reality is you’re not going to get a lot of organic reach or engagement from posts you share on your company page. LinkedIn and all the social platforms want you to pay to get your customer’s attention.
Your staff is your hidden weapon for organic distribution. Have the C-suite, subject matter experts, sales reps, and everyone else in your organization humanize your content and share their unique perspective.
Paid social is a great way to boost the visibility of your content and ensure that it reaches your target audience. When it comes to B2B paid social campaigns, LinkedIn is the platform of choice. LinkedIn offers several targeting options that allow you to target your ideal customer specifically.
Bonus Step: Build a Community Through Groups & Events
You can create a niche community on social media platforms to further nurture your ideal prospects. Communities are great for:
- Promoting events
- Answering questions
- Developing user-generated content
The key is to make your community 100% around helping and supporting the members. It must be a no-sales zone for it to work. For example, we currently manage a Demand Gen Jammers community on LinkedIn. It’s a community of B2B marketers focused on honing their craft and growing their careers. We also host a monthly Demand Gen Jam Session meet-up for this group. Come join us!
B2B Social Media Marketing Strategy Takeaways
When it comes to B2B social media, there are a few key things you need to keep in mind if you want to create an effective plan:
- Make sure you have a clear and specific goal in mind before you start creating content.
- Know your audience and make sure you understand their needs and wants before you start creating content
- You must ensure that your content is relevant and engaging for your target audience.
- Promote your content organically with your employees and via paid tactics to reach to the maximum amount of prospects.
- Use social media platforms and other marketing channels to promote your content and drive traffic back to your website.
How Can We Help?
Finding the time to build and execute a B2B social media marketing strategy like this can be challenging. Here is a webcast we recently hosted that can go into more detail. Additionally, Vende Digital has been recognized as a top B2B social media marketing agency by Clutch. Schedule a complimentary discovery meeting with our team if you’d like help thinking through and implementing a social media marketing plan for your business. We’ll take the time to learn about your business and give you an action plan to achieve your goals.