Learn about social media best practices specifically designed for B2B companies, practical advice for getting started and how you can measure social media ROI.
Last Updated:December 12, 2018
Reading Time:10 minutes
When you think about companies using social media successfully, you're probably thinking about big B2C (business-to-consumer) companies like Coca Cola:
Procter & Gamble:
and other international behemoths.
That's easy, because a lot of their content goes viralSomething that “goes viral” is an image, video, or link that spreads rapidly through a population by being frequently shared with a number of individuals. (VerticalRail) simply because the number of followers they have and the amount of resources that they can put into creating incredible posts.
Unfortunately, we think that sets the bar for how our company's social media should be performing.
Problem #1: B2B companies trying to make content that will go viral
Yes, it's usually a good idea to try to emulate the strategy of big companies. After all, they're big for a reason, right? So they must know what they're doing.
But when it comes to social media, your audience isn't likely to be as big and your brand recognition isn't likely to be as mainstream. Because of this, your posts might not have the same effect and you'll find yourself wondering why your social media activities aren't hitting the mark.
After all, according to a Stanford University study:Less than 1 Tweet in a million goes viral
When we get frustrated, we taper back our activities until we finally give up.
Problem #2: B2B companies giving up on social media
Companies that either try and give up or never even start both belong in this category.
Many companies that I work with give me their reasons for not embracing (or even thinking about joining) social media for their company. Here are a few that I've heard:
Sorry, but I don't believe any of that and I'm not even a social media-first marketing consultant. Your audience is on social media (you're on a channel or two aren't ya?), maybe it's not that social media doesn't work for your business but rather you haven't found a good strategy yet, there are a lot of real business metrics that you can use to measure ROI, and your company has plenty of things that you could post.
Unfortunately, for a lot of B2B companies that are active on social media, they're not posting the right things.
Problem #3: B2B companies posting primarily self-serving content
Maybe the challenge here is that you think your company is in a "boring" industry so you default to posting news or updates about your company all of the time.
Consider Hiscox Insurance. According to their Facebook page, they're a B2B company that works with businesses to find competitive health insurance rates.
They have over 35,000 followers and 221 recommendations.
Instead of posting about themselves and trying to sell their business, they post content that resonates with their audience - the struggles that they face regarding health insurance costs and how to get ahead.
Regardless of what industry you're in, you can build brand recognition using social media by making your content about your audience.
In this chapter, chapter 6 of the Practical Digital Marketing Guide for B2B Companies, we're going to get right into some social media best practices specifically designed for B2B companies. Then, we're going to give you some practical advice for getting started - what you should know and how you can measure the ROI of this marketing tactic.
To be sure we have a practical understanding of what social media marketing is and how we can apply it as a useful tactic for our business and marketing, let's summarize what we've learned in this chapter by applying the Think, Do, MeasureThe Think, Do, Measure method is a practical tool that I use with clients to develop a simple strategy, decide exactly what we're going to do to accomplish the strategy, and identify how we're going to measure our success. method of learning to this important marketing concept.
While big brands present the gold standard for social marketing success, there is still plenty of room and opportunity for any B2B company to succeed.
Given that you are a B2B company, you'll need to think outside-the-box to find an interesting angle to feature your company and connect with a broader audience. It's also important to combine social media with a consistent content marketing plan.
Instead of being concerned with "going viral", you should take the time to determine where your target market is (and when), and how you can use social media to increase your brand recognition.
Once you've determined which channel(s) to focus on, you should develop a content calendar which will help with consistency and the following-through of the marketing tactic and get set up with a helpful social media management platform like Buffer.
Measuring your social media activities will help you to truly know whether or not social media is worth it.
For B2B, it's important to know how many clicks and conversions are generated.
Social media is both exciting and daunting. The amount of potential audience reach is enormous and the success achieved by companies like Coca-Cola are inspiring, but you likely don't have the same resource capabilities that Coca-Cola does.
However, there is plenty of success to be had for your B2B company without the need for hundreds of thousands of followers or extravagant social media campaigns. It just requires a shift in focus, consistency, and knowing which metrics to focus on in measuring success.
Now that you understand how to leverage social media to grow your brand recognition and send traffic to your website, you'll need to be ready to measure how well your website performs in turning that traffic into customers. Let's talk about website analytics.
Hey, I'm Tyler
I help businesses use digital marketing to generate leads & sales.
Former Operations Manager at Pepsico, I understand the difficulty and hard work that goes into changing the culture of management teams and business systems that are content with the status quo. Why is that important? Because I'm passionate about empowering individuals and companies to build and consistently manage marketing systems unique to their brands even if it means making radical changes.
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