Social media is obviously a viable digital marketing strategy for B2C businesses, where engagement with customers can easily convert to leads and real sales. However, the same thing cannot be said for B2B businesses.
Even to this day, a lot of B2B businesses are still skeptical about the benefits of social media marketing. One of the most common reasons is that it is harder to measure the effectiveness of social media campaigns for B2B businesses.
Yet, just because the benefits are hard to see, doesn’t mean they are not there. In this article, we will discuss the steps to create a winning social media strategy for B2B companies, as well as the benefits.
- Social Media Marketing B2B VS B2C: Three Major Differences
- 5 Steps to a Winning B2B Social Media Strategy
Social Media Marketing B2B VS B2C: Three Major Differences
Let us begin by discussing the significant differences between social media marketing for B2B and B2C.
#1. The Channel
B2C businesses can benefit from channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. On the other hand, there are only social media channels B2B businesses should focus on: LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.
In general, B2B businesses can also benefit from discussion groups and should be leveraged as much as possible for content distribution and engagement. Soft-selling instead of hard-selling is very important when distributing content in groups.
#2. Setting and Measuring Goals
In B2C marketing, the main focuses are generally engagement and creating awareness. For example, the most popular way is to generate viral content.
In B2B marketing, however, the main goal should be lead generation. The thing about lead generation is that it is hard to measure. So, the best, although not ideal way to measure your goal is monitoring your web traffic.
There are, however, other measurement options available for B2B social media marketing, such as Oktopost.
#3. Types of Content
Regarding content, we should say that the options are more varied in B2C marketing.
B2B businesses generally need to be more professional with their content instead of casual, and here are some content types you can try:
B2B businesses can use their data and analytics in graphical form. Infographics can be really effective for B2B marketing when done correctly.
Webinars can be really effective and are relatively easy to measure. There are many webinar tools available with various price tags and features.
White papers require a lot of time and effort to make. However, they are one of the most effective tools for lead generation.
5 Steps to a Winning B2B Social Media Strategy
Now that we’ve understood the basic concepts of B2B social media marketing and its differences from B2C business, here are the essential steps to a winning B2B social media strategy:
#1. Follow and Engage
Many B2B practitioners thought that sending follow-up emails was the best, most professional way to establish new connections and prospects. While there is truth in that conception, you can also benefit from following potential clients on social media.
After all, every other competitor will most likely send off an email. So, by engaging with your prospects on social media, you are one step ahead.
See which channel the prospect is most engaged with. If it’s LinkedIn, for example, don’t only follow, but also engage with their content.
Most B2B businesses have a small social media following, so they will value your engagement and are likely to follow you back. Also, follow some of the best B2B influencers, depending on your niche.
#2. Direct Message to Cold Call
Although often despised, we all know cold calling and door-to-door sales are still some of the most effective marketing methods. Now that everyone is on mobile and their social media channels, cold calls are where they focus their attention.
LinkedIn InMail is one of the best ways to reach prospects through direct messages, considering it is the most popular social media for B2B businesses.
To maximize the InMail feature, however, you will need to sign up for LinkedIn Premium. It will unlock the ability to send InMails to members you are not connected to, as well as other features.
Sponsored InMail is also a great way to generate leads and is certainly worth considering.
For cheaper alternatives, you can send direct messages via Facebook, Twitter, and to a lesser extent for B2B marketing, Instagram.
With Twitter, you can use the search feature to find trending topics based on hashtags and keywords. With the right timing, you can get engagement and new leads.
#3. Focus on Promoting Your Blog
We all know how important content is nowadays, and many B2B businesses have spent their time and resources creating great content. However, having a great blog with George R.R. Martin’s level of writing will be useless if no one reads it.
Many businesses, B2B and B2C alike, simply don’t have any strategy to distribute their content. As a general rule of thumb, you should spend at least $20 for every piece of content.
There are many working content distribution strategies, and this is a very detailed guide to help you start.
#4. Create a Personality
Influencer personality might be a strategy more often associated with B2C marketing. However, that’s not to say B2B businesses can’t benefit from it.
Many B2B businesses fear being too ‘controversial’ or casual and avoid being more creative with their content. Yet, we should remember that we can stay professional and classy while having fun at the same time.
#5. Create a More Fun Email Signature
B2B companies tend to have dull and boring email signatures. Again, you can always be more creative. Try to have a conversational message on your email signature like: ‘Have you checked out our new blog on (your niche)’.
Depending on your industry or niche, you can always be more creative with your email signature to generate more leads and engagements. Check out these tips from Yesware.
Just because social media marketing for B2B businesses seems intangible and hard to measure, doesn’t mean the benefits are not there.
With the correct approaches and strategies, social media marketing can be a powerful lead generation in B2B businesses, as well as help you maintain relationships with existing clients.
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- 10-Step LinkedIn Strategy for Lead Generation with LinkedIn
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