Top Ten Tips For B2B marketing on Social Media
Business to Business marketing is just not quite as easy as marketing to consumers – that much is true. But does that mean that social media marketing doesn’t work for B2B? Not even a bit. In fact, if anything, it’s more important for B2B marketers to be even more focused on using every available technology and tactic to reach the right people to grow their business.
I speak to B2B business owners and marketers all the time, who ask “Is Social Media really an option for B2B?” And the answer is “Yes, you just need to adopt the tactics to suit your business and your customers.”
So let’s be a bit more specific about that:
- Start with your marketing objectives – what exactly are you trying to drive for your business:
- Email addresses?
- Build credibility/trust?
And if it’s more than one of these, then have specific campaigns for each objective. Without this identified, it’s pretty difficult to know if you’ve been successful.
- Who are your best customers or prospects? You know your customers best, be specific about who they are, what have the key decision makers got in common – age, gender, education, interests. Remember you can target Small Business owners specifically on Facebook, and consider what hashtags they might be following on Twitter.
- Consider what social networks are right for your business? I’d suggest Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn are pretty good bets for B2B, as they’ve got good reach, with LinkedIn having the edge with the ability to target by company, sector & job title, but at a premium. Focus on 2 or 3 social networks max to get started. You can always add later when you’ve cracked the code.
- Set up a Facebook Page/Twitter Profile/LinkedIn Company Page that showcases your proposition – what makes you unique, is it specific expertise, is it access to particular technology, is it high quality services? When communicating that unique selling proposition, don’t forget to be clear about what the benefits are for your customers or prospects – how can you make their life better? What’s in it for them?
- Plan your publishing – This is the same for any business (B2B or B2C), but will become a huge advantage to help remove the burden of publishing. Set aside time each week for your publishing & scheduling, and plan as far in advance as feasible (up to 1 month out).
- Create high quality content – For B2B, the content needs to be of real value to the people who like or follow you. In Step 2, you identified your audience, now what would they appreciate as updates from you? Some ideas to get started:
Blog posts to showcase your expertise:
- Success Stories
- Behind the scenes peaks – in the office, at events, at expo’s or conferences
- Customer feedback/input
- Evangelise & Educate
- Use different formats – infographics, videos, imagery
- Shared content from other trusted sources in the industry
- Use Inbound Marketing principles, to distribute your valuable content (lead magnets) to the right audience, thereby generating business leads. On Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn you can create Lead Gen ads, which allow you to target your ideal prospects, prompt them to download your lead magnet (report, white paper, guide etc), and capture their data directly in the ad. This is an extremely effective ways to drive your Inbound Marketing strategy, and ultimately grow your lead pipeline.
- Test targeting features, for example try Facebook’s business status targeting features, when you go to fb.com/ads/create. Test hashtag & keyword targeting on Twitter. LinkedIn’s advertising is more expensive, but you can target by role and seniority. Keep a really close eye on your budget with these ones, but if done well, these ads can help you reach key business decision makers.
Consider using sophisticated targeting such as custom audiences on Facebook & tailored audiences on Twitter, both of which allow you to leverage the data you have about your most valued customers.
- Measure – Track the impact of your campaign. Check your reporting on Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn to understand what content is resonating best, and what audiences are being most responsive.
- Iterate on your activities – Make changes to your publishing & advertising based on the results you’re seeing. Refine your targeting & your messaging to reach the right people with the right message, and of course to ensure you’re investing time and money well.
Now it’s your turn. Have I missed something? I’d love to hear your thoughts on tactics or tools you’re finding that work well for your B2B marketing.