Figuring out a business-to-business social media strategy can be a bit more tricky than its counterpart, business-to-consumer. First off, finding a professional tone that works for social platforms is tricky. Not to mention one that works for the niche audience that is the B2B community. There’s also more pressure to prove your ROI on social–– whether that’s growing contacts, sales, etc. Here are four tips to help you get started:
1. Have a clear objective.
B2B social media is only as effective as your strategic goals and measurement methods. B2C brands on social can get away with trying to accomplish multiple objectives, like raising awareness, growing engagement and sales all at once. B2B brands need to be more specific in their strategy.
For example, are you trying to generate more leads? Then share more gated resources like whitepapers and webinars. After, report on new contacts created. Are you on social to raise awareness? Then make engagement your focus and work on creating new relationships with targeted businesses and report on engagement levels. This isn’t to say you can only do one or the other, but you should define an overarching goal and let that guide you.
2. Get on LinkedIn.
The right social platform is a huge consideration for B2B brands, and LinkedIn has proved to be the platform of choice. Businesses can connect with job seekers, establish thought leadership via educational content, empower brand advocates and connect with targeted companies. LinkedIn favors professional content, including expert advice, business trend pieces, news and helpful tips and tricks in the form of white papers and webinars.
Companies like Hubspot have successfully taken advantage of LinkedIn’s lead generation opportunities via paid advertisements and native posting.
3. Harness the power of your own employees.
Never underestimate the power of a peer recommendation. Afterall, business is about people, and there’s no better advocate than your own employees. Having social advocates online can complement your B2B strategy by establishing trust between your product and key contacts. It also helps humanize your brand. IBM got more than 1,000 staffers to connect with customers and potential customers because of their social advocacy program. They’re not the only ones who have invested in such initiatives. Intel’s social media advocacy boasts an entire social media training program for building better relationships on behalf of the company.
4. It’s OK to steal from B2C.
You may think Pinterest and Instagram are inappropriate platforms for B2B. However, sometimes the best B2B strategies take cues from the B2C world and add their own innovative flair. At 206K followers, General Electric proves B2B brands can be successful on Instagram by dipping into the stories behind their products.
Similarly, semiconductor company Atmel’s Pinterest account is an engineer’s heaven. Its pins not only show what’s possible to create with their technology, but also how to make it. At 2.3K followers, they’re keeping up with the B2C brands.
Figuring out what works for B2B on social can be a puzzle. But once you do, you will enjoy deeper relationships with your customers and the global digital world.