When social media platforms emerged in the marketing arena, B2B companies were initially sceptical about using them as a content marketing tool. While their B2C counterparts largely explored the power of social media, B2B companies thought that social media posts are too informal.
However, things are changing now. With the power of social media growing so rapidly, businesses of all shapes and sizes and in all sectors are getting on board. In fact, as per a survey conducted last year, 94% B2B companies said they use social media for content marketing purposes. As many as 92% said they use these channels to distribute other pieces of content.
This post shares the most important steps you as a B2B company will have to focus upon if you want to get the most out of social media and leverage their power.
1. Define your objectives
You will naturally have to identify the right objectives to make your B2B social media marketing campaign profitable. After all, your return on investment depends on the marketing goals that will contribute to the overall growth of your company. In general, the objectives of a company depend on the nature of its business and what it aims to achieve. But they can be looked at from 3 perspectives:
Generating targeted leads:
If you want a proper, strong ROI through social media, your main aim should be generating new, quality leads. Each lead that you generate via social media will also go a long way in enhancing your confidence to gain more leads in the future.
Building your own brand:
As a company, you have to take every effort to ensure that you are protecting your reputation and value. Even if you take a single wrong step on social media, it can diminish your brand’s value. It’s good to create an online brand persona which will take you a long way. You can also have a Crisis Management Plan ready. When you have such a plan ready, you will be in the position to deal with a problem when it arises. As a B2B company, you also need to connect with other media like bloggers and journalists who are writing or creating content in your niche.
Offering better customer service:
You can make the most of social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to improve your customer service and give better value to your B2B customers. Social media provides you with the chance to see how your customers are interacting with your content and what they are saying about your brand.
2. Narrow down your target audience
There are so many people on social media and not everybody will be interested in your content. Therefore, you need to identify the specific audience that you want to reach out to. You have to look at businesses that pay attention to you and listen to your advice. You will be able to share relevant information only once you identify your target audience. You can identify your target audience through these ways:
Setting your priority:
You need to think of your goals and priorities to shape up your marketing. Before you use social media, you need to think of things like what you are aiming for, how you want to accomplish that, what you want to get out of your B2B social media marketing, how you will increase your business etc
Looking at your competitors:
You are naturally going to have a lot of healthy competition in your business. You need to analyse their social behaviour. You have to see how they are interacting with their customers, how they are utilizing social networking platforms, what kind of content they are generating etc.
Identifying your content:
Once you have looked at competitors and you have a content marketing strategy, you have to decide on the type of content you want to put out. You need to identify platforms that will be receptive to your content.
3. Pick the right social media platform
There are so many social media platforms and each of them is different. You have to decide on what platform you want to use based on your interests, requirement, and priorities. It is very important to select the right social media platform if you want to reach out to the right people. Your choice of social media platform is a crucial part of your B2B social media marketing strategy.
Once a B2B company has achieved success with its social media marketing campaign, the focus will always be on how amazing the results have been. However, the actual focus should be on what kind of planning and steps went into designing that successful strategy.
Atul is Founder & CEO at Xenia Consulting. He has over 22 years of experience in marketing, across corporates as well as SME,start-ups. Over the last 5 years, he has gained significant expertise and has helped several companies drive growth leveraging digital marketing