It was immediately obvious how B2C businesses could use social media to their advantage – fun, relatable and informal content that was well, social in tone. It took a while for the B2B world to find their niche, but boy, has that changed.
B2B social media strategists have more than come to the party with campaigns that use a mix of channels and content to build brand awareness, showcase expertise and attract sales leads. LinkedIn is far and away the most important channel for B2B, closely followed by Twitter, Google+ and Facebook, and to a lesser extent YouTube.
Before we go any further, make no mistake the fundamentals of content marketing for B2B and B2C businesses are the same. Never post content that’s overtly promotional. Remember no one cares about your business; they care about content that shows “WIIFM” (What’s In It For Me?).
While B2C businesses can create content that is designed to be more ‘social’ for a consumer based audience, B2B has a vast array of content that sits within a more professional context – blogs, white papers, webinars, industry reports, case studies, infographics, podcasts and instructional videos or expert interviews, to name only a few.
Speaking of blogs, check out this one from B2B Software Specialists Oktopost that walks you through some basic differences between B2B and B2C, including B2B content types, here.
B2B businesses that are successful social media marketers post valuable content (words, images, video or audio) that demonstrates their knowledge and experience in their field/industry. It’s not a promotional message, but instead a way to position their brand as the go-to provider when users, in this case businesses, are ready to make a purchasing decision.
Sounds easy, right? Here are my top 5 tips for how to get started or build on your existing B2B social media presence.
- What are your goals, who is your audience and what are they interested in?
Brand awareness? Sales leads? Thought leadership? What do you want to achieve via social media? This determines how you engage with your target audience…Who is? Write this down. Remember your target audience on social is different to your general target audience. Next, what do they want to hear about and how does this align to your goal/s?
- Get involved in conversations that are already happening
Join conversations that are relevant to your business or industry via Twitter Chats and LinkedIn discussion groups where you can offer advice and insights to demonstrate your expertise. Check out this how-to on Twitter Chats from Sprout Social, here.
- Do your research
Everyone has a wish-list of potential business clients. Check out their social media pages, particularly on LinkedIn. What are they posting? What are they currently promoting or interested in? Can you join the conversation?
- Promote and share content from other popular sources in your industry/field
This shows your online community that you’re aware of the key players and keep abreast of the latest developments. Also, helps to balance the mix of content you post and it opens the door for other sites to promote your content in the future.
- Invest in social media listening
What are your competitors talking about? Who’s talking about your company, product or service? Similar to media monitoring, come up with a list of key words and phrases to track what your audience is saying about your business, product or brand. This helps you stay on top of any potential issues and most importantly, helps you create better B2B content.
Want more tips? We’ve got a ton. Give our team a call and we can walk you through a range of other things to consider in the exciting world of B2B social media marketing.