How to Do B2B Social Media Marketing the Right Way
Wondering how to do B2B social media marketing? Since they sell to other businesses rather than to the general public, B2B companies often have the reputation of being overly professional or “boring”—even when that’s far from the case. The good news is that social media marketing is one of the most powerful tools that B2B businesses have available to craft their brand voice, deliver compelling content, and grow their revenue.
So what should B2B companies know about social media marketing? In this article, we’ll discuss how to use social media for B2B marketing, including various B2B social media tactics and how to create a B2B social media marketing strategy.
How is B2B social media marketing different from B2C social media marketing?
Of course, the most obvious difference between B2C and B2B social media marketing is the target audience. B2B companies sell products or services to other businesses rather than consumers (as with B2C companies).
This simple distinction significantly impacts how B2C and B2B social media marketing are conducted. Below are some of the greatest differences:
- Sharing content: B2C companies often focus on grabbing the most eyeballs with visual content such as images and videos. A B2B buyer will find long-form content more compelling, such as white papers, ebooks, webinars, case studies, and infographics.
- Platforms: B2C companies often heavily rely on visual-oriented social media websites such as Instagram and TikTok, while B2B companies often focus on LinkedIn and Facebook. Both B2C and B2B companies have a large presence on Facebook. (However, these rules aren’t absolute, as we’ll discuss later.)
- Objectives: B2C companies more often want to use social media to increase brand awareness or go viral. B2B companies, on the other hand, concentrate on generating and nurturing leads that can turn into long-term client relationships.
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What are the best ways to manage B2B social media marketing?
There are a variety of software platforms for B2B social media management. Some of the tools you might wish to use include:
- Scheduling tools: Scheduling tools set the exact date and time that a social media post will be published. This ensures that you can post at the optimal time to reach the largest audience.
- Analytics tools: Analytics tools calculate the number of impressions and interactions your social media posts achieve. These tools are essential for understanding and optimizing the performance of your social media strategy.
- Social listening tools: Social listening tools help businesses understand what people are saying about a company, brand, or product on social media. These tools use AI and natural language processing (NLP) to measure the tone of a social media post (i.e., positive, negative, neutral, angry, joyful, etc.).
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What social media platforms should B2B marketers focus on?
Below are some of the most important social media channels for B2B businesses to focus on:
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn is the most “serious” and professional-oriented of the major social networks, making it an ideal choice for B2B social media marketing. Executives and key decision-makers often use LinkedIn to share thought leadership and their company’s recent marketing content (white papers, ebooks, etc.).
- Facebook: As the largest social media platform, Facebook is still an excellent target for B2B social media marketing. B2B companies can use Facebook to network with key personnel and leads and use their business page to leverage various forms of marketing content.
- Twitter: Twitter is an excellent social media platform for professional networking and building brand awareness. As a primarily mobile platform, Twitter is great for reaching people in the office, at home, or on the move.
- YouTube: YouTube remains the best place to share video content. B2B marketers can use YouTube to publish explanatory videos about a product, tell stories about the company, answer common questions, etc.
- TikTok: More and more companies are seeing the potential of TikTok as a B2B social media marketing tool. One of our B2B clients, for example, is a concrete pipe association that uses TikTok to share interesting educational resources and interact with architects, engineers, and other experts in the field.
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What should the goal of B2B social media marketing be?
Every B2B company will have its own goals for social media marketing (depending on its unique situation) – which means there’s no single correct answer to this question. Regardless of what you decide, it’s a good idea to select objectives that are clear-cut, actionable, and easy to measure.
Below are some possible goals of B2B social media marketing:
- Building brand awareness: Companies looking to expand often aim to build their brand awareness. By reaching a larger audience with your social media posts, you’ll increase the number of potential clients at the top of your marketing funnel.
- Sharing thought leadership: B2B social media marketing is often focused on improving the company’s reputation as a potential business partner among potential clients rather than explicit sales pitches. To achieve this goal, many B2B companies use social media to share thought leadership articles and blog posts that reveal valuable insights and attract attention from their target audience.
- Generating leads: Publishing thought leadership articles is one of the best ways to generate leads for your marketing funnel. By creating the right content for leads at different stages of the process, you can drive traffic to your website and convert more prospects into long-term customers.
- Interacting with clients and prospects: Many B2B marketers often forget the “social” aspect of social media. B2B companies can use social media to interact with clients, prospects, and other professional contacts and build long-term relationships: for example, checking in with a former client or congratulating someone on a new position.
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How do you create a B2B social media marketing strategy?
Creating a B2B social media marketing strategy can be as simple as firing off a few posts on LinkedIn or as in-depth as your marketing budget allows. Below are just a few suggestions for how to get started with social media marketing for B2B companies:
- Picking the right social media manager: Whether it’s an internal employee or an external marketing agency, it’s essential that you find someone to manage your social media. Your social media will likely be inconsistent and become more of an afterthought in your marketing strategy without a designated manager.
- Finding your voice: One of the most crucial steps is to decide what kind of brand voice you’ll employ on social media: playful, serious, friendly, intellectual? Making this decision upfront will ensure that your social media posts don’t create confusion or send mixed messages. Just remember, B2B doesn’t always translate to 100% serious and professional. Don’t be afraid to have fun and create a unique brand voice on social media.
- Creating a content calendar: By creating a schedule of the content you’ll publish over the next several weeks or months, it will be much easier to formulate a consistent strategy for attracting and retaining prospects’ attention. With the right tools, you can even automate this calendar for weeks or even months at a time. Keep in mind, however, just because the posting is automated doesn’t mean the interactions are automated. You’ll still need to get on your accounts to interact with clients, prospects, partners, and employees.
- Working with the right people: If you haven’t done much in social media marketing, it’s an excellent idea to work with experts such as designers and videographers who can make your social media content polished and professional. Even though your entire marketing budget shouldn’t be allocated to creating content for social media, you shouldn’t skimp on this step. Take the time and invest the money into crafting a high-quality customer testimonial for LinkedIn or an industry-relevant infographic for Facebook, and it could pay off in more ways than one.
- Integrating with the rest of your marketing strategy: Social media marketing is much more effective when integrated with your B2B marketing efforts. In other words, make sure you’re thinking holistically. For example, how can you leverage social media to drive traffic to particular blog posts to help those pieces rank faster on organic search results? Or, how can you create a comprehensive social media campaign that builds up your email list for your sales team? When you start thinking this way, social media will quickly become less of a chore and more of a must.
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How to get started with B2B social media marketing
From building a social media presence to formulating a B2B social strategy, the question of how to do B2B social media marketing can be tricky for many companies. That’s why it’s a good idea to work with a skilled, experienced marketing partner like Blender.
Blender is a full-service marketing agency that works exclusively with B2B companies. We help businesses accelerate their revenue growth by providing a wide range of services, from branding and website development to advertising and digital marketing.
Ready to learn how Blender can help grow your business with B2B social media marketing or other opportunities? Schedule a free discovery call today to chat about your business needs and objectives.