Businesses that market to other businesses, AKA B2B companies, often struggle when getting started on social media. It isn’t unusual for us to get asked whether or not B2B companies should be on social media in the first place. The truth is, they should be and they are. According to Search Engine Land, 91% of B2B companies use LinkedIn in their social marketing efforts (highest of all the social media channels) and 85% use Twitter. Those are some compelling statistics! Read on to find out how your B2B company can tackle social media for an ROI that your competitors will envy.
1. Know Your Audience
Before you begin executing any type of social media strategy, make sure you understand your audience. Identifying your target demographic can be more difficult when dealing with businesses. Not only will you need to look at the business as a whole, you will need to dissect its key stakeholders. Who makes the decision to work with your company? Is it the CEO or the office manager? Take some time to really understand who your audience is, what they are looking for on social media, and what kind of language they respond to. This will point you in the right direction when it comes to the social platforms you join, what you post, and when you post it!
2. Identify Your Key Performance Indicators (KPI)
There should be a clear purpose for your company being on social media. Knowing what that purpose is will help you to identify your key performance indicators (KPI). For example, if you want to generate new leads, then your KPI may be the number of people who have filled out your contact form on Facebook. Or if your goal is to increase brand awareness, your KPI may be the traffic your website has received from social media. Having your KPIs clearly outlined from the get-go will allow you to track your performance and continually make improvements.
3. Experiment with Channels
Don’t just try out one social media platform and stick with it. We recommend trying out a few different platforms and going with the ones that work best. While platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter are typically more geared to B2B companies, you may surprise yourself with an outstanding Instagram following. Anything is possible! Once you know who your audience is and what your goals are, pick out 3 social media sites. From there, do a trial run on each for several months at which time you can decide to stick with all 3, drop 2, or even pick up a new platform!
4. Monitor Your Competitors
If you are having a hard time selecting the channels you want to be on, go where your competitors are. This will allow you to monitor your competitors and how they are interacting with their clients. If you have a HootSuite account, you can set up search streams to help monitor your competitors’ social accounts all in one easy-to-use dashboard. Pay attention to what your competitors are doing well and what opportunities they are missing out on.
5. Pay to Play
One advantage that some B2B companies have over B2C companies on social media is their marketing budget. If you find yourself with extra marketing dollars to put toward an initiative, we recommend giving paid social advertising a try. Paid advertising on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn could all greatly increase your reach, conversions, and therefore, ROI. Just like we recommend experimenting on multiple platforms for your organic marketing, we recommend experimenting with paid advertising as well. Divide your budget across all of your social channels and see which performs the best!
If you weren’t convinced before, we hope you are now that social media can be just as beneficial to B2B companies as it is B2C! If you need assistance with managing a social media strategy, please contact Informatics.
View the other B2B digital marketing blogs from this month: