Social media marketing is for everyone. That’s right, even companies that operate in the business-to-business (B2B) sector.
I know what you’re thinking – social media is all about funny cat videos, aspirational lifestyle photos and customer service.
In many ways, you’re right. A lot of social media is about those things, focused on business-to-consumer (B2C) content and engagement.
But that’s not all that social media is about. Social media marketing is a valuable tool to reach your customers no matter what sector you operate in.
You have to remember that company decision makers and buyers have social media too. Top CEOs from all kinds of businesses are using social media these days. You never know who might see your content while browsing their social platform of choice.
But what steps can you take to make social media marketing work for your B2B company?
Understand your audience
There are 45 million social media users in the UK alone. While you can’t reach all of them – and not all of them would be interested in your product or service – you can guarantee that there will be a segment – even if a small one – that are interested in your industry.
It’s your job to find them.
To do that, you have to start by understanding who your audience is.
If you’re a long-standing business, it’s likely that you already know this. You’ll likely have customer data and insights.
You now have to use those to identify where your customers hang out on social media, what they do, who they follow and what they engage with.
Which platforms do they use? Are they on LinkedIn but not on Instagram? Are there influencers that they are likely to follow? Are there industry hashtags that they’re likely to engage with?
Understanding these things and anticipating how your audience operates on social media will help your social media marketing efforts.
Define your goals
Let’s get one thing out of the way – there’s no point using social media for the sake of it.
Everything you do in marketing should come back to your business objectives – whatever they may be. Want to raise awareness of your brand? Want to increase sales? Want to increase your database?
Whatever your business goals are, the marketing activity you do has to support those goals. I think that a few too many businesses get confused about this when it comes to social media marketing. They think that they have to post – that they have to be active all the time.
If posting a lot on social media doesn’t help you achieve your business goals, there’s probably not much point doing it.
So when you get started with social media marketing, reflect on your business goals and marketing objectives. You have to understand how social media marketing can help you achieve those goals.
Understand how you can add value
There’s a hell of a lot of ‘noise’ on social media (140 million people daily on Facebook alone according to Social Pilot) and whatever you do has to cut through that noise. You may have heard of ‘stopping the scroll’, which is a term a lot of social media marketers use when creating content.
Essentially, social media users are known for endlessly scrolling through the countless posts on their feed every day. You’ve got to make content that stops them from scrolling.
It’s not easy – and a lot of marketers struggle to do this.
A good starting place is to know how you can add value to your audience.
What can you give them that nobody else can?
Is it your expertise? Have you been doing this longer than any of your competitors? Maybe you have a unique approach to your industry?
Whatever it is, you have to harness that in your social media marketing. Produce educational content. Provide a behind-the-scenes look at your unique operations. Let your audience pick the brains of the experts in your company.
All of these things are examples of how you can add value with your social media marketing efforts. It’s this value that will allow you to cut through the noise.
Final Word on Social Media for B2B
Social media marketing is right for every business – even those in the B2B space. Your audience may be more niche and specialised but it’s still there. It’s about finding the right platform, understanding what is valuable to your audience and producing content that will grab their attention.