B2B Social Media Essentials
People who don’t know much about social media tend to think that it:
- is worth nothing, or
- can solve all of their problems.
Spoiler alert! The real answer is:
- somewhere in between!
If you’re a manufacturer or other B2B marketer who’s not sure where to start with social media, or if you’re trying to breathe new life into your company’s social accounts, take heart—there’s a lot you can accomplish. But careful planning is key. Here are a few things to consider (plus a handy worksheet to get you started).
What social media platforms should you use for B2B marketing?
This is one area where it can pay to follow the crowd. Take a look around to see where your clients, prospects, and competitors are active (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, etc). Then build your strategy around the platforms with the strongest audiences. You may be surprised at what you find in this step, so let the data be your guide. We’ve seen that there’s an active community of hauling trailer fans on Instagram, and farmers across the country connect via Twitter with the hashtag #AgTwitter.
But remember: You do NOT need to be active on all platforms (no matter how much your boss’ niece likes TikTok)! The easiest way to be effective on social media is to go to where your people already are.
With that said, it can be a good idea to at least create a dormant account with your brand name on most of the big platforms. This locks it down for you if you want to use it in the future—just don’t lose the login info!
What should you post?
Figuring out what to post to your social channels can be overwhelming. You might be thinking, “I don’t have anything interesting to say.” Or, maybe, “I have way too much content and I have no idea how to pick what to post.”
First and foremost, remember that social media is storytelling. What’s your company’s story? What are the stories of the people who work there? What are the stories within your industry or service? Start with the story, and the content will come much more easily.
To get started, it can be helpful to identify just three buckets or themes in which to group your content. Take a look at what kind of content you tend to generate and pull out some general themes. If your company is big into giving back to the community, one bucket could be Corporate Social Responsibility. If you pride yourself on great customer service, a bucket could be Success Stories. A third bucket could be alerting your clients to industry news.
If a piece of content doesn’t fit into one of your three buckets, you can either try to retrofit it (if it truly seems important) or disregard it because you know it doesn’t fit with your strategy. If you’re not quite sure it’ll work, give it a try. You can always change your buckets as your strategy and content stream evolve. But always keep in mind that your content should be useful and/or interesting to your customers and any other target audiences.
If possible, include a visual element (photo or video) with your post. You know that saying about a picture being worth a thousand words? It’s true in life and true online. People like to associate a visual with text. And social media platforms tend to boost visual content higher in feeds than posts that are only text.
When should you post?
How often should you post for B2B social media? That’s the million-dollar question. Many articles will assert that there is a definite number of posts you have to shoot for in order to gain ground. But the truth is, there is no “right” number of times to post.
Simply put, quality beats quantity. Creating interesting, eye-catching content twice per week that compels your audience to like/share/comment is far better than posting rushed, irrelevant content five times per week. (That said, there are two exceptions: Instagram Stories and Twitter. The informal style of these channels lends itself better to off-the-cuff, less curated information. And since the timeline advances so fast, a higher rate of posting does actually make a difference.)
Decide on your capacity for posting, and then commit to posting regularly in order to stay relevant and increase your chances of getting seen.
Ready to plan out a more concrete strategy for your B2B social media, and make sure it fits with your overall digital strategy? Just contact us—we’d love to help.
Quick Reference Chart for B2B Social Media
Personal: Connect with your community and build brand awareness
Visual: Share your brand’s visual identity, share informal video content on Stories
News: Pursue thought leadership and share news, join current conversations
Career: Establish reputation as a leader in your field and attract employees
Video: Show your products or facility to build your brand’s reputation
How often do I post?
What do I post?
Brand news, events, staff info, product info, awards, blog posts
Product shots, photoshoots, staff member profiles, events
News articles, press releases, product innovations
Blog posts, recent projects, industry news and awards
Short videos highlighting new products, staff interviews, facility tours