When you think of brands that have an extraordinary social media presence, most companies that come to mind are probably B2C. Sure, B2B businesses have a more difficult time growing and reaching their audience, but it’s not impossible.
The key to a successful business to business social media campaign is to put your resources into the correct social media channels – and share the right content to them. By doing this, your brand can be noticed by company executives and considered for services. In fact, according to Forbes, 83% of executives actually use social media in their decision-making process to use a company. In addition, 92% of these executives said that social media has influenced a decision of theirs within the last year. Wow!
Difference Between B2B & B2C Social Media
Understanding the difference between B2B and B2C social media will allow you to strategically make the shift from one to another and successfully implement a campaign. Per Sprout Social, these are the main differences between the two:
Focus: B2B brands are focused on conversions, website traffic, and leads. B2C is focused on audience growth, engagement and brand health.
Invest: B2B invest their time in analytics and niche audiences. B2C invests in brand loyalty, customer service and engaging with the community.
Content: B2B content is geared towards a company’s social audience only, whereas B2C also considers the brand’s social community.
Which Channels Are Best for B2B?
If you’ve been ignoring Twitter, Facebook and Instagram because you think only LinkedIn matters for B2B – you’re doing it all wrong!
LinkedIn may be appealing for B2B because it generates leads, but a goal of B2B social media marketing also should be branding. Most people on social media are there to kill time, and your content needs to appeal to that. Do not simply post videos about why your products are so great, but create content that tells stories to spark conversation. After considering this, the other platforms will sound much more appealing!
Social Media Examiner found that more B2B companies are picking up on this and are expanding to other channels:
- 89% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn
- 88% use Facebook
- 83% use Twitter
- 61% use Google+
- 55% use YouTube
- 39% use Pinterest
- 26% use Instagram
A great way to find what other social media channels are right for your B2B business besides LinkedIn is to research what your competitors are using. If they are successfully building a social media presence on Twitter, chances are you can too. Look at the top companies in your industry and check out what platforms they’re throwing resources into.
It’s also recommended to look at social media demographics to find where your target audience hangs out – you may be surprised! Sprout Social has conducted excellent research on social media demographics. Check out the graphics below and learn about each platform’s dominant audience:
Dos and Don’ts of B2B Content
Now that you know which channels are influential in decision making, let’s cover what type of content you should be sharing to sway potential customers to choose your brand. Here are the do’s and don’ts to consider when creating a content calendar for your B2B brand:
Do use a conversational tone! It’s ok to use words like “we” and “our” when speaking about your company. It humanizes the brand and reminds people there’s a person behind the posts – not a robot!
Do engage with users instead of just sharing your services. Talk to your audience and learn about their needs.
Do master the art of social selling! This is the end goal, after all. Introduce customers into your funnel to find people who could benefit from your business.
Do promote employee advocacy. Create content that is easy for employees to share onto their personal profiles. Per Bambu by Sprout Social, people are 16x more likely to read a post from a friend than a brand.
Don’t be afraid to have a sense of humor. Remember, people are on social media to take a break and have a little fun.
Don’t stick to industry-specific content. Talk about other areas that are related to your business that can reach a broader audience.
It is also important to use tools offered, such as sponsored posts. When creating your social media plan, you should consider the budget that you will have for sponsored posts (if any!). Organic social media is still successful, but it takes a much longer time. Keep in mind that sponsored posts should always be about your brand’s product or services.
B2B companies may have to be more strategic with their social media marketing, but studies have shown that it is well worth the time that they put in. Social media is a huge part of marketing, and if companies want to see an increase in their sales, it is definitely something that they should spend time on.