From Facebook and LinkedIn to Twitter and TikTok, the field of social media is a growing (and often intimidating) facet of modern-day marketing. It is a dual-edged sword, serving as a powerful tool when wielded within a comprehensive marketing plan, but can also bleed you dry of time and resources if used improperly. This razor-edged dichotomy is heightened even more when applied to business-to-business (B2B) companies.
Even with the added complexity of trying to market to other companies, it’s important to remember your targets are still the people who run and operate within those companies. In the end, the goal is to achieve a motivating human-to-human connection over a social media platform. People can be just as receptive to relevant and valuable content from a B2B company as they would from any other brand they follow.
In this article, we’re breaking down B2B social media marketing best practices to reach key decision-makers and build profitable relationships.
Let’s dive in!
Create Buyer Personas
A great product or service cannot sell itself. A business will achieve success only after identifying its target audience and crafting a compelling pitch and messaging to connect with those people on a personal level.
Creating that necessary emotional connection starts with building general buyer personas, i.e., broad outlines of the type of buyers you’re trying to attract. Doing this requires existing customer, industry and competitive research, as well as input from your sales staff.
With the proper data in hand, a business can build general buyer persona outlines which address several questions about their potential partners:
- Where are they located?
- What is their role within the company?
- What motivates them?
- What are their goals in their role?
- What are their pain points?
- What social media platforms do they frequent for business?
- How are they using social media?
- How do they typically interact with a company like yours?
These answers hold the key to determining what social media platforms you should be marketing through as well as what type of messaging and content will be the most impactful.
Get Your Timing Right
To get the most “bang for your buck,” you want your content posted when the most current and prospective customers will see it. In general, social media traffic fluctuates in relation to specific days, times and social media sites, so be sure to do your research and reference your accounts’ analytics.
For example, the very business-oriented LinkedIn sees the most engagement three days a week (Tuesday – Thursday) and three times a day: 7AM – 8AM, 12PM, and 5PM – 6PM.
A company with national reach should also note that 80 percent of the U.S. population resides in the Central and Eastern time zones and should optimize the timing of their social media posts accordingly.
Thoughtful transparency goes a long way toward building a desirable reputation. Incorporating photos and videos of time spent at a trade show, new employees, department brainstorming sessions and company events is a way in which a business can draw attention to just how relatable it can be. Interacting on your social media accounts, even with responsible amounts of humor, helps humanize the brand and “pulls back the curtain” for your followers. Simple ways to engage on social media include:
- Responding to comments
- Asking questions or requesting feedback to start conversations
- Recording a live video addressing product FAQs
- Making use of giveaways, contests and polls
Keep it Consistent
Most B2B companies ultimately fail at social media marketing because they don’t produce content on a regular basis. The first month or two of a strategy may be adequate, but when they don’t maintain the momentum, they lose the critical component of consistency.
Consistency also refers to more than just the frequency of your posts. All social media content should maintain a cohesive look so users can quickly identify your company. Developing a brand standards guide will keep design and messaging uniform when you have multiple team members, departments or partners contributing to a digital marketing strategy.
Social media platforms play a unique role within a B2B marketing strategy, allowing companies to engage with, listen to, and educate target audiences. In the end, attracting the next business partner is accomplished by reaching the people behind that brand. Leveraging the right tactics on the right social media sites can help manage brand reputation, generate leads, nurture sales prospects, and ultimately bring in more business.
Building an effective digital marketing strategy as a B2B company is no easy task, but it is by no means impossible. It starts with a commitment to invest in the required resources, which for many means partnering with B2B social media specialists to spearhead the effort. Contact Baer Performance Marketing to get started today!