The Elements of a B2B Social Media Marketing Strategy

Social media on phone and laptop

Social media is a big part of our daily lives. It connects us to the world. Informs us. Entertains us.

Consumer adoption of mobile technology has swung the door open for B2B digital marketing services to play a critical role in reaching buyers wherever and whenever they’re connected. An optimized B2B social media strategy is a straightforward way to showcase messaging and products for a broader audience in real-time.

Social media users are adept at changing lenses to consume diverse messaging too. B2B decision-makers are the same consumers being targeted with social media posts to buy clothes, cars and cappuccinos. And with the number of people involved in B2B solutions purchases up to 6.8 on average, the extra lift in impressions from social media is much needed. (Harvard Business Review, 2017)

Does Social Media Marketing Work for B2B?

Yes! 75% of B2B buyers use social media to support their purchase decision. (HubSpot, 2017)

There are many strategies, best practices and tools that make social media marketing beneficial for B2B organizations. Unlike most B2C social media marketing, there is a limited mass-market appeal for a B2B organization so implementing a social media strategy designed around your industry is critical. Not everyone is in the market for a high-quality atomizing spray head for a medical lab, a GE9X jet engine afterburner or even a destination website that invites the whole world to a nation.

But if you can create content and generate leads from the few people who want these products, then that’s a win.

Embracing this differentiation is key to generating sales through a well-crafted B2B social media strategy. Understanding the limits and role of digital marketing in B2B creates a focus on being influential for a small group of buyers with particular needs and finite purchasing power.

An optimal social media strategy lets your business be everything to all of the RIGHT people.

Core Elements of a B2B Social Media Marketing Strategy

To start, B2B marketers must consider multiple angles when laying a solid B2B social media foundation.

  • Social media listening
  • Integrating social media and digital performance marketing
  • Connecting marketing messaging and social media messaging
  • Leveraging paid B2B social media ads
  • Audience segmentation
  • Account-based marketing
  • Remarketing social media ads

The more effort that goes into each component, the more likely your business will engage relevant audiences and produce high-quality leads.

Social Media Listening Yields the Greatest Results

We think it’s crazy that nearly every other article on the topic of B2B social media marketing glosses over the aspect that makes social media unique: listening and being social. We’ve all been to a social gathering and met business owners that just won’t stop talking about how great their product is. Spoiler: no one likes that person.

The person who listens and responds is way more interesting. The person who creates a relevant dialogue and displays empathy towards others is the one we want to be friends with.

And do business with.

A Cog in the Creative Digital Performance Marketing Machine

B2B marketers face the ongoing challenge of aligning marketing and sales. Integrating SEO, paid media, website, content marketing, social media channels, marketing automation and online media messaging with the steps of the buyer’s journey is at the heart of creative digital performance marketing.

Social media content uniquely fills in the gaps by offering a variety of content for wherever a buyer may fall in the sales journey.

Top of Funnel Prospects: B2B companies can add value to these buyers by sharing easily digestible tips and tricks that put the buyer first. A sentence or two to accompany an eye-catching graphic that encapsulates a key concept related to the niche.

Middle of Funnel Prospects: Introduce products and share why they would benefit the buyer and their company. Testimonial videos that showcase how a product works and how users benefit from using it.

Bottom of Funnel: Focus on messaging that helps customers make the buying decision. Personalized reports and how-to guides can help buyers visualize the purchase.

Let the Marketing Strategy Inform the Social Media Messaging

A compelling content marketing strategy that resonates with a defined audience is critical. It starts with customizing the messaging strategy to the social media platforms. Channel specific quirks like searchable hashtags on Instagram and a more professional atmosphere on LinkedIn create opportunities to tailor brand messaging in unique ways.

Social media messaging is effective when it makes life better for the audience. Whether that means they can buy with confidence, are a little wiser about the industry or understand the intricacies of products; these are all messaging opportunities that B2B social media can address.

When creating content, keep in mind:

  • Being consistent in voice, tone and post frequency
  • Putting value for followers first
  • Content that is useful, interesting and unique
  • Providing aspirational and actionable content
  • Developing a unique point of view

But B2B social media marketing offers other opportunities and risks, too:

  • Content accuracy and depth need to be first-rate. Information discrepancies and points of view that are too strong can alienate buyers in ways that are not easily overcome in the sale process.
  • Training as entertainment. Investing in the buyer’s personal professional development creates and ingratiates the brand to the buyer. Plus, passing a test for a product-related skill can positively shape a buyer’s product expectations.
  • Embrace a limited audience. B2B organizations are inherently limited in appeal compared to B2C companies, and that’s ok! Focusing on growth and engagement with a limited community is crucial for becoming influential with buyers.

B2B Social Media Ads for the Win

As Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram came of age, so did their need for ad revenue. Organic social media impressions and reach have dwindled for years on all social media platforms. Paid social media advertising provides a way to get the requisite brand awareness for B2B content to be seen by fans.

What’s been lost in organic reach and impressions has been made up for in innovative and engaging ad products. Photo carousels allow unique selling propositions to shine. Lead ads let users submit their personal information without ever leaving the platform. Video ads let advertisers demonstrate their thought leadership in compelling ways.

Slice and Dice with Audience Segmentation

Defining an audience is critically important for large B2B companies, as well as small businesses since the number of potential buyers may number in the thousands, hundreds or even dozens.

Reaching these buyers depends on understanding their demographic, behavior and intent. Traditional market research, buyer personas, customer lists and paid social media advertising are valuable tools to honing an audience. A well-defined audience might have limited reach but can maximize results.

Two ways to get the most from audience segmentation come from pairing it with a paid strategy.

Account-Based Social Media Marketing

Account-Based Marketing (ABM) social media campaigns leverage sales and marketing teams to tailor outreach to a specific account’s pain points, objectives and motivations. This approach puts more of an emphasis on quality than quantity and can be very profitable if done correctly. Paid social media, particularly lead focused ad types, are very useful in targeting audiences on a company level.

Taking the ABM strategy one step further is to target by titles or roles. Both LinkedIn and Facebook advertising offer advertisers this ability which creates a unique messaging opportunity to demonstrate empathy on a human level towards a job’s specific function.

Remarketing

Once people gain familiarity with your brand, take them further down the sales journey through remarketing. There are many effective ways to build off of an intent-based audience. From retargeting email lists to site visitors to people who have interacted with a social media post, each offers a unique messaging opportunity on social media for B2B companies.
 

How Do You Create a Successful B2B Social Media Strategy?

Whether your B2B business is just getting started in social media, or is a top-ranked influencer, pushing the envelope of performance is necessary to keep an audience engaged. Below are a few tactics that can quickly energize any B2B social media strategy:

  • Leverage paid social media ads to target buyers
  • Build relationships with social media influencers
  • Set specific and measurable goals
  • Focus on conversions specific to each stage of the buyer’s journey
  • Feature partnerships, employees and user-generated content
  • Regularly incorporate video into blog posts and the overall social media efforts
  • Develop a separate social media account for customer support
  • Analyze content performance by post subject
  • Reassess channels to match buyers and technology shifts
  • Use leveraged content to capitalize on real-time trends

 

Why Should B2B Companies Use Social Media Marketing?

Social media offers B2B marketers unique opportunities. With a complex decision-making process, B2B buyers require a nuanced approach to social media marketing. Differentiating the brand, demonstrating authenticity, building trust, and most importantly, persuading buyers to take the next step in the sales journey is the critical mission of B2B social media marketing.

Further, each step of the journey uncovers metrics and conversion attribution to capture what tactics resonate the most with your audience. These insights serve to develop an overall more effective creative digital performance marketing strategy.

The implications of this for marketers is that it is never too late to improve and master your company’s social media marketing.
 

B2B Social Media Marketing FAQs

 

Why Should B2B Businesses Use Social Media Marketing?

Social media offers B2B marketers unique opportunities. With a complex decision-making process, B2B buyers require a nuanced approach to social media marketing. A strategic B2B social media marketing campaign be successful in:

  • Differentiating the brand
  • Demonstrating authenticity
  • Building trust
  • Persuading buyers to take the next step
  • Learn more about why B2B social media marketing is essential for a successful B2B strategy..

Does Social Media Marketing Work for B2B?

Yes! Unlike most B2C social media marketing, there is a limited mass-market appeal for a B2B organization so implementing a social media strategy designed around your industry is critical. 75% of B2B buyers use social media to support their purchase decision. (HubSpot, 2017)

Learn more about making your B2B social media marketing a success.

How Do You Make a Social Media Strategy for B2B?

  • Leverage paid social media ads
  • Focus on conversions specific to each stage of the buyer’s journey
  • Incorporate more video into blog posts and the overall social media efforts
  • Feature partnerships, employees and user-generated content
  • Use leveraged content to capitalize on trends

Learn more about developing a successful B2B social media strategy.