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This quick guide will give you four steps to launch and grow your B2B social media presence.

Incorporating social media into your marketing can be a highly effective tactic for increasing conversions, site traffic and leads. Once you’ve taken care of the nuts and bolts of setting up accounts on the social media platforms that your prospects use, you need a plan for posting relevant, interesting content on a consistent basis.

B2B Social Media

These are the four things you must do to establish and optimize your B2B social media marketing:

  1. Set your goals and marketing objectives
  2. Identify your target audience and their needs
  3. Create a content calendar
  4. Measure your effectiveness

Let’s dive into each.

  1. Set your goals and marketing objectives.

Defining the right objectives is key to the success of your social media efforts. Your return on investment depends on setting goals that align to your sales cycle and contribute to your company’s growth. Having the ability to measure outcomes and track the progress of your social media campaigns will give you the data you need to maximize your effectiveness. Every decision your company makes to acquire more prospects and convert them into customers should be driven by these goals.

  1. Identify your target audience and their needs

Not everyone is going to be interested in the content you share. That’s actually a good thing. You want to reach the people who actually need your expertise. Identifying your B2B target audiences is the first step to engaging and converting them. Companies that fail to develop a clear understanding of who their target audiences are — and their pain points and interests — are wasting their marketing dollars.

Knowing the job titles of your prospects isn’t enough. You also need to put them in appropriate categories or “buyer personas” according to their needs and buying behaviors. This gives you the information you need to create a specific strategy for each type of customer. When you understand their concerns, you can craft content that addresses their pain points.

At The Marketing Blender, we conduct an intensive, collaborative series of workshops to get into the minds of your ideal customers, document your entire prospecting and sales process, uncover the unique heart and differentiation of your company, and script the optimal messaging framework for each buyer persona.

  1. Create a B2B content calendar.

A content calendar is a tool to help you plan and schedule all your social content in advance. Simply put, it is where you decide what to post and when you will post it. As a sharable resource, it keeps all team members aligned on project details and deadlines. It is especially helpful as a visual representation of what content is coming up for the month, in a quick glance.

In general, the further ahead you plan what, where and when to publish, the better your content and results will be. Many businesses schedule posts on a monthly basis, with weekly check-in meetings and quarterly planning sessions. This structure will help you plan for seasonal events, marketing campaigns and any other important dates in your industry.

Posting relevant content on a consistent basis will reinforce your reputation as an industry leader and subject matter expert. It also sets expectations with your social media followers to look for and engage with your high-quality content, which cultivates a relationship that converts to sales.

There is an array of spreadsheet templates and more advanced online tools available. If you need a recommendation or help setting one up for your business, just ask.

Whatever tool you choose, your content calendar should contain the following information:

  • Description: A brief summary of the topic
  • Suggested target keyword(s): Specific keywords that will help search engines recognize the content
  • Content type: The format of the content (e.g., a blog post, article, video or link to another resource)
  • Post copy: The words that will accompany the content
  • Publication date and time: When the content goes live
  • Objective: The goal of each piece of content, such as lead generation or awareness of a new product launch
  • Buyer persona: Which audience segment you want to reach
  • Notes: A place to add any extra or relevant information
  • Status: Where the project stands (e.g., in production, on hold or scheduled)
  1. Measure your effectiveness.

Social media analytics tools offer a wide range of metrics which can be used to track performance. In fact, the amount of data available can be overwhelming. The key for B-to-B marketing is to focus on actionable metrics — the stats that demonstrate your social media activities are tied to real business outcomes. Track and iterate!

Generally, these social media metrics fall into the four categories listed below:

  1. Consumption metrics measure how many people are viewing your content and how much they engage. They include the number of page views, clicks on links and downloads.
  2. Sharing metrics track how often people pass on your content to others. The more relevant your content, the more likely it is to be shared — broadening your reach.
  3. Lead-generation metrics measure how often people who see your content turn into live leads. These metrics can also help quantify what kinds of leads you’re generating and whether the leads are members of your target audience.
  4. Sales metrics track how often viewers of social media content turn into actual customers. A customer relationship marketing (CRM) system allows you to track what content a prospect consumes. So when your sales team converts that prospect to a customer, you can determine the projected revenue and assign a dollar value to how your social media marketing contributed to the sale.

If you follow these four steps to optimize your social media efforts, your entire B2B digital marketing strategy will benefit. For tips on how to optimize your other essential digital marketing tactics, read this guide.

The Marketing Blender is a full-service B2B marketing agency focused on accelerating growth for clients in manufacturing, healthcare, software and professional services.

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