In the last five years, the amount of B2B organizations embracing a social media strategy has drastically climbed; however nearly 80% of CMOs have confessed a struggle in properly measuring social media success and ROI, hindering them from building a highly effective strategy. With 83% of B2B decision makers saying social media influences their opinions of a brand and product, there’s never been a more crucial time to build a dominant social media presence, and back it up with an advanced strategy. Here’s how to get started:
1) Choose the right platforms
B2B organizations often feel pressured to be present across every social media platform, spending equal amounts of time curating an effective strategy for each. Whilst we would recommend making your mark on the big four (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram), it’s important to take a measured approach to social media. Trying to manage consistent profiles on every platform will spread your team’s focus and resources too thin, hindering social media success.
Conduct some research into the habits and preferences of your ideal buyers, finding out which social media platforms they regularly engage with. As this is the precise audience you wish to attract and convert, they should be your focus. If none of them use Snapchat, then don’t spend time and resources building a strategy for that platform!
Use this research to focus your efforts, selecting only the most essential social media software platforms to optimize. Once you’ve curated a winning strategy that gains outstanding results, you can then branch out to include additional platforms, but don’t start with all or nothing.
2) Establish and share your brand voice
Before embarking on a social media strategy, it’s important to outline your brand voice and what it means. What’s the key message you want to share with your audience? How do you want them to feel when interacting with your brand? How will you establish a sense of trust and authority? Every brand voice is different, and whilst social media promotes a less corporate feel, encouraging businesses to be more genuine and personable, it’s important to remember who you are, and why people should work with you.
With a clearly distinguished and understood brand voice, your team will find conducting an effective and consistent social media strategy easy. They will have a structure to guide them when writing on-the-spot, topical posts and ensure your target audience don’t receive mixed messages surrounding your brand or product. The struggles faced on social media by many businesses stem from a difficulty in creating a specific voice and personality, instantly distinguishable from all other competitors and businesses.
3) Don’t try to be “trendy”
Though social media is known to be a highly “current” platform, used most often by the younger generation of decision makers, it’s important to remember- you’re a business. Whilst appealing to a younger audience may be important, never forget that reputation on social media can be broken in seconds and take years to rebuild. Recent studies show many buyers find the use of “trendy” language deterring when used by brands and business pages on social media. B2B buyers identified the use of slang and jargon on social media as their second biggest marketing turn-off, closely followed by brands trying (and failing) to be consistently funny on the channel.
71.3% of buyers have unfollowed brands on social media due to their use of unprofessional and “embarrassing” language. Whilst it’s vital to avoid seeming outdated on social media, refrain from relying on trends, and ask what other ways you can appear current. From live interviews with product experts to regular industry news shares, there are plenty of ways your brand can continuously appear modern and on-trend.
4) Get creative with videos
Videos have proven to be a hugely successful method in marketing to millennial buyers, and social media provides the perfect platform to maximize this rich media. Landing pages featuring videos have increased conversion by over 80%, and a majority of millennials have confirmed they would stop all other activities to engage with an online video they find interesting. Video has the power to stop your buyers scrolling, and gain their full attention, so strategize how you’ll use it to boost social media success!
Video is a great way to share your brand, because it’s so flexible. Whether you want to promote customer testimonials, give product advice or training, offer industry expertise or explain your latest offers, video can effectively share all these messages in an impactful and exciting way. When building your social media strategy, ask what videos can boost your message, and how often you’ll need them. Be sure to plan the construction of these videos, factoring in any necessary resources or budget required, so you can better outline overall strategy targets for necessary return.
5) Share more than your product
Whilst your key focus on social media is driving brand engagement and interest, it’s important to remember what social media means to your buyers; hint- it’s in the name! This platform is, undoubtedly, social. The need to connect with people, brands and the happenings of the wider worldis what draws your buyers onto social media, so use this knowledge to create the ultimate strategy. 57.5% of buyers find brands posting too many product offers or promotions off-putting, so be sure to reach out, and share more than just your latest product launch. Help the people following your brand discover the world of business success!
Look to industry thought leaders and share their latest insights. Look to your most valuable clients, or ABM prospects sharing their blogs and content to widen your social media network and improve important relationships. Sharing really is caring, and the more you engage with other brands and decision makers across the ever-expanding networks of social media, the better your results will be.
6) Invest in a social media management solution
Many organizations struggle with social media strategies, as they get bogged down in too many platforms and spend time constantly juggling these varying profiles and micro-strategies. Luckily, the world of marketing software has stepped in to benefit social media strategies. Social media management solutions enable your team to connect all platforms and profiles to one singular software, so your team can schedule and publish posts, manage engagement and action responses without constantly switching between applications.
These solutions are growing in popularity and offer your team the ideal opportunity to take control of social media operations. Providing a springboard to offer a continuously consistent, high-level social media presence, without the need to spend multiple hours updating a collection of individual networks, your team need a social media management software to reach their fullest potential within this channel.
7) Make sure you measure
Social media measurement is difficult; so many marketing teams admit struggles faced during this process. Whilst this may be difficult, completely neglecting to measure social media efforts is dangerous, as it would be for any marketing venture. Without properly measuring your platform engagement and lead results, there’s little point investing resources in a strategy so reliant on consistent attention.
Another reason your team should invest in one of the above-mentioned tools, lies in their ability to record and report vital social media metrics. Tools such as Hootsuite or SproutSocial connect to any necessary social media networks, measuring important figures such as follower volumes, engagement levels and conversions. This in turn, helps your team calculate that all-important ROI, and guides them to discover where improvements can be made. This detailed measurement fuels your team with valuable insight into how your social media strategy can be updated to offer a steady stream of new business opportunities.
8) Consider paid advertizing
Whilst part of social media’s appeal lies in its vastly cost-free nature, to gain exceptional results, you may need to invest. Each platform carries different options for paid advertising, but before taking them up on any offers, it’s important to check a few things first.
Ask how you can use paid social media adverts to drive new business opportunities that fit your ideal audience. It’s pointless paying for a collection of leads you can’t use! Some channels help you advertize to a specific list of businesses, perfect for ABM approaches or client retention. Others allow advert audiences to be segmented by industry, or by specific groups that share an individual interest, helping you ensure money invested in social media offers the best chance of return. Be sure to set up a system easily distinguishing leads gained through paid adverts from leads generated through organic social media, so you can identify when result fluctuations are down to a specific campaign as opposed to a sudden rush of organic activity.
To build the ultimate marketing strategy, use Lead Forensics to identify your business website visitors, gaining contact details for key decision makers and essential website analytics. Understand what impact your social media strategy has on website traffic whilst discovering a bounty of leads you would never have previously found. 50,000 marketers have revolutionized their processes with Lead Forensics, instantly communicating their most valuable online lead source. Find out more- book your free demo today!
Free guide – It’s time to revolutionize your B2B sales with the best tools and tactics for success. Download “Ultimate sales tools and tactics specific to B2B sales“ for free now!