“Social networks are for entertainment and B2C promotions. It’s not for B2B relations and high-ticket transactions.” This is the biggest misconception that holds some B2B companies back from being active on social media.
Those who support this statement probably aren’t aware that social networking is the most popular way of spending time online, leaving behind internet searches, reading content, and emailing.
The recent study from the 2020 Social Media Marketing Industry Report shows which social networks B2B companies prefer. According to the report, 91% of them use Facebook, 81% use LinkedIn, and 71% use Instagram.
It’s interesting to notice that B2B companies started paying more attention to Instagram and less to Twitter. Youtube is the 5th most popular social network and the usage percentage drastically drops when it comes to Pinterest, Snapchat, and TikTok.
So now the question is where actually to be active and how to get maximum results from your social presence. Keep reading to find answers to these questions many B2B companies are so confused about.
Social media for B2B: 7 ways social networks can support your goals
#1 Brand awareness
Social media is one of the cheapest ways to ensure brand awareness and you can achieve it even through organic growth tactics. Gary Vee’s $1.80 strategy is one of the free options you can implement to reach new relevant people. LinkedIn and Instagram are the top platforms to turn this strategy into reality.
#2 Company culture
You have probably seen tens of businesses showcasing their office life, team members, team activities on their social profiles. It’s one of the best ways to share authentic images and videos, show behind-the-scenes activities, and look trustworthy. New talents will know what it means to be part of your team and be more confident about joining it.
Imagine that someone found your website via a Google search. The next step will probably be finding you on popular social networks and checking whether you are an active business or not. Your potential customer would like to whether you are social and how you engage with users at this level.
#4 Paid ads
According to SproutSocial, 65% of B2B companies have used LinkedIn paid ads to acquire customers.
24% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn advertising on a regular basis and 35% plan to increase their LinkedIn advertising budget (source).
65% of B2B marketers regularly advertise on Facebook and 68% want to learn more about advertising through the platform (source).
If your goal is direct sales and you want quicker results, you should be ready to pay for social media advertising. It will work better when you retarget your website visitors (Facebook) and use new retargeting features LinkedIn shared in June 2020 (Video & Lead Gen Forms).
Analyzing the websites of your competitors isn’t the only way to evaluate their online performance. If you don’t check out their social media profiles, your competitor analysis report won’t be complete.
Running a business isn’t only about making money, it’s also about having conversations, engaging people, and teaching them something. And driving social engagement helps you go beyond selling and build a community of loyal followers.
Remember that even behind large companies real humans are standing who have emotions and want to be social.
So when we say social media engagement, we don’t mean ensuring likes and comments or thinking of them as main social media metrics. Here are a few ways you can entertain and engage your followers:
- Post stories on Facebook/Instagram with polls, questions, and quizzes
- Create a private Facebook group where your team members and customers can come together and help each other on that specific product/service you provide.
- Join already existing Facebook groups and try to find like-minded people and even turn them into leads. Join conversations and share links to your website when appropriate.
Don’t be surprised but you can use social media for finding ideal prospects, talking to them, and moving them through your funnel.
There is even a separate service many marketing agencies (including Andava) offer – LinkedIn outreach service.
You filter potential customers by job title, location, seniority level, and other parameters and connect with them.
3 social media B2B best practices
#1 See what your competitors already do
If you think that your industry is boring or you don’t know where to start, check out what your competitors are doing. There are also tons of tools that allow you to evaluate your competitors’ social media success (e.g. what percentage of their website traffic comes from social networks, which types of posts drive most engagement).
#2 Set goals and choose the best platforms to support them
We mentioned 7 goals you can pursue on social networks – from increasing brand awareness to showing your office life and finding prospects.
You don’t have to pursue all of them and you don’t need to be on every social network out there. Simply ask yourself one question: “What do I want social media to do for my business?”.
If your goal is to show your office life and do employee branding, the best platforms are Facebook and Instagram.
If your goal is to drive traffic to your website, Facebook is your way to go. According to SEJ, 62% of respondents said Facebook brings in the most traffic to their website.
If your goal is social prospecting, the best platforms are Facebook groups and LinkedIn.
By the way, did you that there’s the German alternative to LinkedIn? It’s Xing, a platform for business networking that is popular in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. So if your target audience is based in these European countries, you should definitely consider this platform.
#3 Set KPIs and measure
Choosing this or that social media metric again depends on what goals you pursue.
To measure brand awareness, you should pay attention to metrics like Reach, Impressions, Profile visits.
To measure how well your social prospecting campaigns work, you should check out the number of generated leads and conversions. Create tracking URLs for free and measure your success.
Grow your business on social with Andava
Don’t let social media myths and misconceptions cost you reach, visitors, and customers. We are working with companies in various niches, keeping up with recent social media trends, and know what will best work for your company.
Contact the Andava team for a free social media audit and let’s discuss how social media can serve your long-term marketing goals.