B2B Social Media Marketing – The ‘X’ Factor of Lead Generation
Social media marketing is one of the go-to options that almost every business integrates in their online marketing campaign. However, to get the best results one has to understand the core differences between B2B social media marketing and B2C.
Earlier it was believed that social media marketing is solely for the B2C, but things have changed over the years. Even B2B marketers have successfully run big campaigns and generated leads using some (or all) of the social media platforms effectively.
In a survey of 115 marketing specialists in B2B roles, Omobono found that 79% rated social media as the most effective marketing channel, with 38% noting that if they had extra budget for next year, they would spend it on social media.Smart Insights
See, how important social media can be in generating leads? We recently talked about the four pivotal pillars of an effective social media marketing strategy. And, in this article we’ll be talking about social media marketing for B2B.
What is B2B Social Media Marketing?
Simply put, B2B stands for business-to-business. When a business offers products/services aimed at solving another business’ problems, it is a B2B service. Hence, B2B marketing is marketing your products/services as a business to other businesses.
Contrary to B2C marketing where the sales cycle is short, B2B has a lengthy conversion process. This is one of the many reasons most B2B aren’t as eager to invest in social media. But, things have drastically changed now – thanks to the enormous increase in the number of monthly active users (MAU) in each social media platform.
Another thing that sets B2B and B2C apart is their target audience. While B2C relies heavily on emotional triggers and a casual brand voice, B2B needs a formal tone and a lot of informational content. B2B audience prefers interacting with long-form content as it helps them gain more insights into how a product/service will benefit their business. On the other hand B2C audience is driven by #FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).
Now that you have a clearer idea about B2B marketing, you might wonder how adding social media will help. Here’s the connection –
The end goal of every business, be it B2B or B2C is lead-generation and conversion.Including social media marketing for B2B not only helps in lead generation, but also helps attract new crowd and increases brand’s social value.
In the B2B world, Twitter and LinkedIn are both highly effective mechanisms to drive people to your website.Bob Dearsley, Chief Executive at itpr and The B2B Marketing Lab
Deciding the Content
When it comes to social media marketing, you can either include as many platforms as you like, or strategically select the one’s that will work best for your business. A simple way of differentiating among the various platforms is to clearly define the motive. The golden rule is “B2C uses social media for engagement. B2B uses it for brand positioning (which further opens doors to lead generation)“.
Firstly, as a B2B provider, you will need to answer a few queries before you start selecting the social media platforms –
- Who will benefit from your service?
- How does your product/service solve their problem?
- What platforms do your target audience use?
Once you have these details, you can proceed to build multiple buyer personas for your product. There are 3 types of buyers on social media platforms –
- Casual – interested in learning about the product.
- Curious – curious to learn more as your product/service might be one of their core interests or related to it.
- Committed – highly motivated to purchase.
Finally, based on these core personas, you can easily figure out what type of content you need to connect with these different type of buyers. Read more details on how to build a content marketing strategy for B2B. <insert link to CM002>
To make it easier for you, here’s a table you can refer to –
|Type of Audience||CASUAL||CURIOUS||COMMITTED|
|Interest Level||Low/Moderate||Moderate/High||High/Very High|
|Objective||To capture interest and encourage engagement.||To inform and offer knowledge for making an informed decision.||To provide in-depth details and actionable points (CTAs)|
B2B content doesn’t have to be boring (as many think it to be). Instead of being self-serving, the trick is to think about the type of content the audience wants.
Selecting the Social Media Platforms for B2B
The choice of social media platforms is totally dependent on your business niche as well as the availability of your target audience on these platforms. Whenever someone says about B2B social media marketing, the first platform that comes to mind is LinkedIn. It is no doubt a great platform where you can find a lot of C-level executives. But, using other platforms alongside won’t hurt you in any way.
First of all, every B2B needs to understand that social media isn’t the right place to post long-form content. Users never interact on these. Instead, you can post customized content (preferably 140-200 characters) and try driving users to your website. In addition to this, you’ll also need to ensure that every social media is correctly linked to the pages.
Since the core idea is to drive users to your website, you’ll have to make sure that your website is user-friendly. Learn the importance of UI/UX in lead generation. Therefore, you have to select the platforms that have a higher number of active users who are continuously searching for information.
LinkedIn is considered to be the goldmine for B2B. And, Twitter is the next big platform for B2B marketers. However, there are some other platforms that you can use to drive a constant stream of referral traffic to your website.
To sum it up, social media platforms can be used in two ways. B2B can use it for increasing their reach or generating leads (we’ll discuss the KPIs for each below).
B2B can use Facebook to serve 3 unique purposes – building engagement, generating leads, and providing customer service. Before you even think of creating posts on Facebook, make sure you use it wisely. The content for FB should never be overly promotional or sales-y. This is not where you would want to post Bottom-of-Funnel (BoFu) content. For instance, check out how Hiscox Insurance uses their FB page.
Below is a list of things you should keep in mind-
- Consider FB as a platform to build awareness about your brand.
- Build a Company page by adding all important details.
- Make use of Stories and Interactive Posts (polls, quizzes, etc.)
- Post regularly but don’t spam.
- Make effective use of Messenger (learn about Messenger Marketing)
- Engage with the audience.
Instagram is a platform for visual communication. Brands use it to show off their personal side (and, it works like a charm). For instance, Novartis has aced the art of brand-centric communication using Instagram. You can refer to their official page and see how they have built a brand identity without posting hundreds of selfies and/or office get-together photos. Similar to FB, Instagram can also be effectively used to attract new audience.
If you intend to use Instagram, make a note of the below –
- Switch from Personal to Business profile
- Post quality content over quantity.
- Use a unique brand voice.
- Make use of relevant hashtags.
- Don’t educate, tell a story instead (use IGTV and Stories)
- Limit yourself from adding paid promotions.
As mentioned earlier, LinkedIn is where B2B marketers prosper. It is filled with thought-leaders, businesses, and consumers. You can place your brand as an expert using LinkedIn. Not only does it help you generate leads, it will also help you build an extensive network.
Here are some important things that you need to take care of to get the most out of LinkedIn –
- Build a detailed company page.
- Use a conversational tone.
- Create content for 2 segments of audience – the decision makers and the influencers.
- Follow a conversational tone.
- Join relevant groups and be active.
- Try different forms of content like presentations, webinars, videos, articles, case studies, etc.
This is another go-to platform for B2B marketers. A great platform to stay abreast (and create) trends. Short and quirky headlines within 140 characters allow brands to unleash their creative potential on this platform. A lot of big names like HubSpot, IBM, etc. use Twitter to increase reach and engagement while generating leads.
Here’s how you can benefit from Twitter –
- Understand your audience.
- Post relevant content.
- Ensure that you time your tweets correctly.
- Use well-researched hashtags.
- Follow industry leaders and share content (retweet).
- Be a part of the conversation rather than tweeting once and coming back the next day.
This is one platform that doesn’t directly play a major role in marketing. However, it supports your overall SEO efforts. B2B can use this platform to pin blogs and images. These pins will be linked to the original post, and interested readers will follow them to your website or social media profiles. It is a good way to build an additional referral traffic.
And, if you will be using it, follow these simple tips –
- Link your website and social media (Pinterest will ask you to claim each)
- Create boards
- Pin your blogs and social media posts on each board (also pin other user’s content)
- Join Pinterest groups
- Most importantly, make it a daily habit.
Well, these are some of the most important platforms for B2B social media marketing. We hope that this will help you choose the platforms that best suits your needs. In the next section, let’s tell you the core KPIs to measure.
KPIs to Track
Key performance indicators vary based on the final goals and objectives of a company. However, we will be telling you about the different KPIs you should track based on two major objectives.
KPIs to Track Brand Reach
- Number of Organic Followers
- Likes, Comments, and Shares
- Organic & Paid Reach
KPIs to Track for Lead Generation
- Link Clicks
- Referral Traffic
Make sure you get a social media analytics platform to help you track it all, once you know your goals and how you’re going to measure them. The last thing you want is to rely on manual tracking and spreadsheets.
To summarize, B2B social media marketing is focused on driving traffic to the website. The final goal is lead generation. All these platforms work in unison to fuel the online marketing strategy.
If you are ready to use social media for your business, make sure that you stick to a conversational tone. You should also engage with other users and their content rather than just publishing your content. Help users understand the benefits they can get by opting for your product/service. And, most of all, keep a consistent brand identity (Name, Address, Phone Number, and Branding).
Still need help figuring out which platforms will work best for you? Feel free to drop us a line with your problem and we’ll be happy to take a look at it on your behalf.