Most B2C (business to consumer) companies are killing it on social media. We’re taking a look at how, as a B2B company, you can do the same!
B2B is now recognising the importance of integral social media marketing but is still facing the struggle to compete with recognition B2C gets.
If you’ve been shying away from LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram because you think it won’t work for companies that serve other businesses, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity!
The difference between B2B and B2C
Understanding the difference between B2B and B2C social media will allow you to strategically make the shift from one to another and successfully implement a campaign.
B2B brands focus on conversions, website traffic, and leads. B2C focus on audience growth, engagement and brand health.
B2B invest time in analytics and niche audiences. B2C invests in brand loyalty, customer service and engaging with the larger community.
B2B content is prominently towards a company’s social audience only, whereas B2C also considers the brand’s social community.
It’s Not Too Late
Although 80% of B2B marketers have a social media strategy, only 32% have it written down. Documenting your B2B social media plan allows you to set goals and paint a clear roadmap of how you’re going to reach them. Your strategy should answer important questions such as:
What’s going to determine success for your brand on social media?
Do you want to increase reach?
Get more leads?
Generate more traffic to your blog?
Once you’re armed with the tactics, you can begin implementing your social media takeover. Hence, businesses need to integrate these platforms from the get-go. If you need help deciphering which platforms provide optimal results - that’s something we can help with.
Bust the Myth!
For years B2B companies have undervalued their potential on social media and have branded themselves “boring” – but this is far from true and in order to succeed, B2B companies need to kick this myth.
The Reign of LinkedIn in B2B
For most businesses LinkedIn is a lifeline. Why? Because it’s user-specific.
It provides professionals with an opportunity to connect with other professionals to network and grow together. With features allowing users to share content and engage with audiences, as well as recruit talent, it’s proven a pivotal platform for B2B companies.
Two professionals join LinkedIn every second! That’s an extremely impressive growth rate. From 467 million users in 2016 to 590 million by the end of 2018 - that’s 123 million users in two years. Mic drop indeed.
Adding to the fact, 57% of LinkedIn users are active on mobile, which means a constant flow of content - is now more crucial than ever.
If you’re inspired, here’s a guide on how to set up a B2B LinkedIn
Quick Stats – According to the CMI (Content Marketing Institute) Report
· 80% of B2B leads generated on social media come from LinkedIn
· 91% of executives’ rate LinkedIn as their first choice for professionally relevant content (largely due to an offering of quality over quantity)
· 45% of LinkedIn users are in upper management
· 2 million posts, articles and videos are published daily
LinkedIn and Relationship Building
LinkedIn is a crucial platform allowing you to interact with other proficient professionals. It triggers reactions from audiences and is a great way to kick-start a professional network/relationship.
With B2B sales much more complex than B2C - they usually involve multiple stakeholders and decision makers. LinkedIn provides an easy way of connecting with these individuals directly. So, if you can engage them effectively, your job becomes a lot easier!
Twitter is rapidly becoming another marketing tool for B2B, with more than 300 million active users monthly, the platform is the place for instant responses and real-time news. According to the CMI report, 87% use Twitter for this very purpose.
Unlike LinkedIn, Twitter still faces the challenge of marketing to the right audience. However, users are combatting this by using savvy hashtags and responding to real-time comments. #socialmarketing #b2b
It’s simple: Frequent (relevant) tweets, increase your brand’s visibility.
Humanising Your Brand
Tweets generate emotional responses. When done efficiently this can make you stand out against your competitors. B2B users are also engaging with methods such as REPOSTING that attract wider audiences - by reposting at the right time or whilst a story is still relevant, can prove beneficial in introducing significant B2B leads.
The CMI queried B2B organisations on which social media platform they found to be the most effective for achieving specific objectives: 67% answered Twitter. Their response stated the platform allowed them to connect with audiences, gain insightful feedback, and learn more about their buyer persona.
Another element that makes Twitter a useful platform is link clicks – which accounts for 92% of all user interaction (with tweets), which means this is an excellent way for brands to get users to their websites.
B2B companies that invest in a solid Twitter strategy, will find a way to talk to users and increase their leads, leadership, and industry awareness.
With recent changes to its algorithm, the social media giant now favours friend and family content over brand content, posing the question: Is Facebook worth using in as a B2B social platform?
Firstly, CEOs and Founders can leverage personal Facebook profiles.
Second, there are ‘Groups’ for organisations.
Third, there are specific ‘Pages’ for brands, companies, and notable people.
Facebook is the hub of all social media - the most iconic if you will. Dominating the social spectrum for years, Facebook has always provided opportunities for marketeers.
Moreover, Facebook is the most cost-effective social platform for B2B companies and is especially beneficial for small businesses or start-ups. A free Facebook page can help you promote your business and interact with your potential customers, you can run ads and promote your posts for a budget – decided by you.
Since the inception of YouTube in 2005, it’s rapidly become the most popular video sharing platform. As well as it’s one of the most popular websites on the internet (it’s the third most visited site after Google & Facebook).
Over a billion hours of content is viewed daily
400 hours of video are uploaded every minute
6 out of 10 people prefer online video content to live television
The best and most obvious way to utilise YouTube as a social platform for B2B is to produce engaging video-content.
Here some good news; there’s no shortage of ways to leverage video to create unique B2B content. Here are a few examples:
Vlogs: Blog posts should already be a staple of your B2B content strategy– but you can also package similar content into digestible, visually appealing vlogs. Much like a blog post, a vlog can educate your audience on a specific topic in a casual, conversational tone.
Brand story: Brand storytelling has become increasingly important in the B2B space. In creating short these types of videos - you can showcase who you are and what you do. Try to include interviews with your employees and clients, - this adds a human element to your brand.
Product/Service demos: Let’s face it- product/service demos in written form are often boring. Instead, showcase your products or services using video. A short video can explain the value of your product/ service in a much more engaging format.
43% of B2B buyers use online video to research products or services for their business.
So Which Works Best?
The stats and general consensus confirm, that the lead platform for B2B social media marketing is LinkedIn, prominently because of its niche benefits. Closely followed by Facebook.
Over time LinkedIn has become considered a benchmark for professionals looking to network. It can perform miracles for career development, benefiting both recruiters and employers.
BUT to be a significant leader in your field - implementing a few of these platforms will gradually increase your position. It’s crucial to use this leverage with your strategy for longevity.
LinkedIn accounts for: 97%
Twitter accounts for: 87%
Facebook accounts for: 86%
YouTube accounts for: 60%
Instagram accounts for: 30%
Google+ accounts for: 28%
In short, having a profile is a good idea. Even if you are not actively searching for employment, you can use LinkedIn to connect with former colleagues and link to people you meet at networking events, conferences, and so on. To engage even more with the site, join LinkedIn Groups.
Get in touch today to see how we can help.