More than 3.6 billion people across the globe use social media. Of that number, 57% follow a brand to discover new products and services. So it’s no surprise that 66% of B2B marketers use social media to help increase revenue and sales.
Having a strong presence on social media can help a B2B brand in many ways. Research by the Content Marketing Institute found that B2B marketers hit fundamental goals using content marketing across social channels, such as:
- Creating brand awareness (87%)
- Building credibility and trust (81%)
- Educating audiences (79%)
- Generating demand/leads (75%)
To help give you the best chance of attracting and engaging with your target audience on social media, here are our five steps to social success.
1. Align content to company goals
24% of businesses say that the biggest challenge they face with social media is not having a formal strategy in place. The best – and simplest – solution to this is to align your social media output with your overall business goals.
Creating a social media strategy in harmony with your wider-picture business strategy will give you a clear focus and help define your key performance indicators (KPI) to measure and report on. Whether it’s to increase brand awareness, generate leads or encourage more traffic to your website, consider what success means to your business and use your social media content to support it.
2. Put a face to a name
It’s often said that people buy from people. So rather than speak as a faceless company, speak like a human. This doesn’t mean you can’t be professional, of course, just veer more towards conversational than corporate.
A simple way to get across the human side of your business is to put your staff at the front and centre. Showcasing your employees helps add personality to your brand by revealing your company culture, which can make your business seem more approachable.
As well as being your greatest asset, getting members of your team involved with your social content helps make them your greatest advocates.
3. Educate the right audience on the right channel
With dozens of social media channels available, it’s not easy to know where to start. The solution is to focus on the channels that your audience uses the most. For B2B, the most used social platform is LinkedIn. Let’s look at the stats:
- 96% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn for organic content distribution
- 64% of visits to business websites come from LinkedIn
- Four out of five LinkedIn members drive business decisions
- LinkedIn’s audience has two times the buying power of the average web audience
As a result, LinkedIn is 277% more effective at generating leads than other social media platforms.
While that’s an overwhelming argument for using LinkedIn, don’t overlook other channels such as Twitter and Facebook. Research your audience and their social habits to stand the best chance of reaching them.
4. Adopt a truly customer-centric social media strategy
Your social content should put the customer first. When you talk about your products or services, do so from your customer’s point of view, revealing the problem you’re solving and the value you bring.
Social media channels can also be a great way to provide real-time customer service support. Twitter, in particular, is used by many brands to proactively address customer care queries and engage with an audience. These social interactions are instant, short and sweet, and bring a less salesy approach.
5. Start a conversation
One of the benefits of a customer-centric approach on social media is that it allows you to connect with your target audience by starting a conversation.
As well as starting conversations via social customer support, you should also create social content that engages with the topics and issues that are important to your audience. This will inspire them to respond and even encourage them to share your posts.
You can also pose questions and run polls via social, which is a great way to undertake market research. The results can help shape your marketing campaigns and even be collated to create a ‘State of the Industry’ thought leader report.
When you look at the impressive statistics, it’s clear that social media is a must-do for any B2B brand. Ensuring your strategy is customer-centric, human, conversational, aligned with your business goals, and using the right social media channels for your audience will help boost brand awareness, generate leads, and set you apart from the competition.