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B2B, Social, social media marketing

How Your B2B Company Can Use Social Media to Drive Engagement

b2bsocialmedia

 

Over 52% of companies struggle with generating engagement through social media marketing on a daily basis. Companies often get  the impression that B2B companies can’t effectively marketing on social media. In fact, according to a Social Media Examiner study, only 32% B2B peers confirm to be effective on their Facebook campaigns. However, in today’s social media-saturated environment, companies can’t afford to waste any engagement opportunities.

Today, we are here to show you how to change the B2B social media game with some innovative social strategies that will help your organization engage with your current and potential customers and to build a relationship with them.

  1. Change The Perception of Your Product: We get it; there are products or services that are not easy to promote on social media. Changing the perception of that product and turning it into something more exciting would probably “click” better with your consumers. And for that, you need to get creative and tell a creative story about your brand.
     
    Let’s say that your company sells single-board computers. Well, even though this product might not seem very exciting at first sight, by telling the story behind the unique applications this particular product offers, you’ll have more people interested. Single-board computers serve military applications on a daily basis and are the brain of most high-powered systems, so imagine all the remarkable stories you can tell to present the product from this powerful perspective. Know that you have a lot of military, tech, and engineering people in your target audience that are interested in your product, and engage with them through your social channels. This is more interesting than just posting pictures of your product and its specifications.
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  3. Humanize Your Brand: B2B doesn’t mean that you are talking to bionic robots or to the dirty wall of a big old factory through social media. There are people behind these organizations, and connecting with them in the most human way possible will be the key to engaging with them. B2B companies may seem distant and cold and that is why no one is ever interesting in connecting with them. Here is how you can change this perception:
     

    • Speak in first person when creating content to post on social media.
    • Use real people’s names in customer service.
    • Assign a brand ambassador that can represent your social media channels and start the conversation as a real person on social media platforms.
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  5. Put Someone with Experience in Charge of Your Social Media Channels: This complements the previous strategy. You need to think of social media as a way to build awareness and exposure for your brand but also as a tool for customer service. Because of this reason, it’s important this person has a  good balance of being a social media expert and who understands the industry. While it takes time to unleash the power of social media, hiring a social media guru that doesn’t understand your business or speak its language will take you nowhere.
     
    At the same time, hiring a social media agency, and not just an individual, is recommended. Agencies have more resources available and will help you to create a wider variety of content and strategies other than posting blogs.
     
    In addition, social media marketing consists of much more than scheduling posts throughout the different platforms and changing your profile picture. Social media requires a well-planned strategy behind it and daily tribe building actions. Tribe building, a concept  created by Seth Godin, addressing  creating a movement that will be followed by an audience moved by passion, instead of just spreading posts here and there. In other words, interact with other users, by retweeting, commenting, sharing, or liking others’ posts.
     
    When it comes to who to follow, B2Bs need to stop only following other industries within their niche. Getting back to our previous example, by focusing only on single-board computer companies, it will lead us to only a few new connections within that same industry, but then what? By developing the different perspectives that we mentioned at the beginning, we’ll be able to connect with more industries and people on platforms like Twitter, for instance.
  6. Create Great Content and Share it: B2B Content is what drives social media. An unsuccessful content marketing strategy will create an unsuccessful social media campaign. Nurture your readers with the content that is valuable to them to help your company retain and attract current and potential customers. Sharing content through social media increases the chance to be seen as a leader in your industry.
     
    According to Content Marketing Institute, 88% of B2Bs are using content marketing, however, just 30% admit they are effective at it.
    B2B Content Marketing
     
    Creating quality content will increase the quality of your social media activity. Delivering great stories that connect will bring engaged followers that are ready to interact with your social media posts, and, more importantly, with your organization.
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  8. Start Expanding Your Connections:  Although the main goal of social media is not to generate leads but to build awareness, LinkedIn has a reputation to be the best at B2B lead generation. LinkedIn is used by 94% of B2B marketers, which makes this channel a great environment with its built-in audience of professionals who make purchasing decisions for their organization.
     
    For the single-board computer company that we were talking about, one strategy to better engage with their community would be to find technology conferences that they attend. After that, connect with the people going to those conferences on LinkedIn which will allow you to join and interact with their groups or to share posts with them on a daily basis.

 
How Do B2B Industries Stack Up on Social Media?

Now that we have some strategies to start taking your B2B social media to the next level, let’s add some context. As important as it is to have a well-planned social media marketing campaign in place, it’s important to have benchmarks that help you compare and set up goals for your campaigns.
 
Trackmaven, a competitive intelligence company, recently put together a report that analyzes how 316 leading B2B brands perform on different social media channels over twelve months of social media content. Here are some of the main insights based on two different parameters: audience size and engagement ratio.

The median social media AUDIENCE SIZE for B2B brands are:

  • 109,000 followers on LinkedIn
  • 34,000 followers on Facebook
  • 18,000 followers on Twitter
  • 3,000 followers on Instagram
  • 420 followers on Pinterest

The average ENGAGEMENT RATIO for B2B brands are:

  • 22.53 on Instagram
  • 15.88 on Pinterest
  • 5.99 on Facebook
  • 1.09 on LinkedIn
  • 0.86 on Twitter

In a nutshell, B2B brands have the largest audience on LinkedIn but a higher engagement on Instagram. But how are industries performing based on these two metrics? The following graph shows, at a glance, the follower growth vs the engagement ratio for B2B industries.

Courtesy of: TrackMaven

So, where is the sweetest spot for industries with a successful social media performance? Scoring high on the y-axis (up) and high on the x-axis (right) would be the perfect combination for an industry that’s growing in size in followers and in engagement rate. In this case, the biotech, engineering, and financial industries have a smaller audience size but a great balance of followers growth and engagement.

Here are some social media benchmarks from the best performing companies in each industry:

Largest Average Social Media Audience:
LinkedIn
Largest Average Social Media Engagement Rate: InstagramSector with Highest Engagement Rate on:
Wholesalers25,000 Followers21.38Electronics & Office Equipment 33.56
Medical203,00021.47Medtronic – 27.98
Software284,00013.39IBM – 12.67
Motor Vehicles & Parts148,00025.44Ford
Pharmaceuticals464,00020.70Bayer – 32.59

 

How does your brand measures up against industry-specific benchmarks? If you can’t find your industry, download the report for more information.

Remember to aim for social media presence, and leads will follow. Do you think your team is doing a good job on social media? Analytics is your best ally here to answer this question as it determines the type of content and social media platforms that work best in building brand awareness and exposure for your organization. If you are ready to take your B2B social media marketing strategy to the next level, don’t hesitate to reach us out. See how we increased the social media traffic by 189.68% for this B2B company here.

Thanks for reading!
Lydia

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