Social media is not just for consumer-oriented companies targeting millennial customers. As a B2B company, you can use social media marketing to position your company as a thought leader, generate leads, and attract high-quality talent.
In fact, according to research, 79% of B2B marketing specialists rated social media as their most effective marketing channel, while 38% said that if they had extra budget for next year, they would spend it on social media.
If you think that your industry isn’t suited to social media marketing, then take a look at pharmaceutical company Novartis. Instagram might not seem like a natural channel for this type of business, but the company has built up a large following by sharing pictures of the humane side of their work.
In this article, we discuss the key ways that social media marketing benefits B2B companies and best practices for creating a strategy that wins customers.
Think quality, not quantity
If you have 10,000 followers on Twitter, you may think you’re doing social media marketing right, but who are those followers and how much are they interacting with your company? It’s important to build a following of potential customers, as well as attract attention from your customers’ customers. From there, you can start to build relationships with these companies by engaging with them in a more direct way. The more useful and relevant content they see, the more likely they are to reach out to you, or visit your website, and the better you’ll be able to generate leads.
Share content your customers care about
What works for B2C companies, and across social media in general, won’t necessarily work for your B2B organization. That’s why you need to work out exactly what your followers are looking for, and what matters to them. If you share content that isn’t relevant to your customers and followers then they will either unfollow or just not engage with your content. When you’re starting out, you may not know what kind of content this is, which is why you need to test posts, and measure your success. Make sure you’re tracking metrics beyond simple likes; it’s also important to track click through rate, shares, and engagement.
Pick the right platform
Before you rule out Instagram and solely concentrate on LinkedIn, it’s important to take into account social media usage at a local, rather than global, level. For example, while most US B2B companies focus their marketing efforts on LinkedIn and Twitter, and leave Facebook for B2C companies, Facebook and YouTube are used professionally in countries such as India. Then take China, where Facebook and Twitter are blocked or use is limited but WeChat dominates. Make sure you research your markets first to ensure you’re using the right channel for your customer base.
Position yourself as a thought leader
Your company is unique, so you have unique and useful insight to share with your followers. Through social media marketing, you can harness this insight to position yourself as a thought leader. By posting on LinkedIn, you can give your customers actionable insight and information that helps them improve their business while showing off your expertise in your industry.
Attract high quality talent
If you want to attract and recruit the best possible applicants, then it’s important to create a social media presence that portrays a positive company culture. To do this, you need to be sharing content that represents who you are, what your values are, and how this impacts your workers.
Let’s take the example of Novartis again. The company shares photos of the core values of its company, and the kind of activities their employees–who share these values–do. This makes it easier to attract the kind of people who would work best in their business.
Do you need help creating a social media strategy? Get in touch with us, and we can help tailor a plan for your business.