More than half the world’s population now uses social media; a figure which has experienced a 13% year-on-year growth rate over the past decade. Developed to facilitate the networking of social groups, social media sites have expanded their origins to become content-driven hubs of information and entertainment. With users spending a daily average of two hours and 27 minutes on their favourite platforms – a figure which is higher than ever – businesses need to ensure they are harnessing social media channels to share meaningful content and engage with audiences.
“If you don’t have a social media plan for your B2B business, you’re missing out.”Hootsuite
What is B2B social media?
Social media is a ‘no brainer’ for B2C (business-to-consumer) businesses as it helps brands directly engage with audiences at all stages of the marketing funnel. However, the purpose and value of social media for B2B (business-to-business) organisations should not be overlooked.
B2B social media supports the objectives of the overall marketing strategy as it helps a business build relationships with its target audience, generates traffic to the website, and boosts brand awareness. Research shows that 79% of B2B marketers rated social media as the most effective marketing channel, with one third planning to invest more into this area if the budget is available.
10 benefits of B2B social media for businesses
B2B social media provides a long list of benefits when implemented effectively. Not only is it great for promoting products and services but it’s a fantastic way to share company news and celebrate the people behind the brand. With more and more users logging on to social network sites to consume content, B2B social media provides additional channels for companies to showcase website content such as blogs, e-books, infographics, and other valuable resources.
Here are 10 ways your business can take advantage of B2B social media:
- Use your brand voice to attract and retain potential customers
- Build brand loyalty by monitoring audience feedback
- Directly interact and engage with your followers
- Become a thought leader by commentating on industry issues
- Share useful and educational content
- Drive traffic to the website to help generate leads
- Keep followers updated on your business, its people, and any new products or services
- Partner with influencers
- Use analytics to help inform decisions
- Improve brand awareness through regular social media activity
And, this is just the tip of the iceberg! B2B social media can help increase reach, reduce marketing costs, and boost revenue through building customer networks and targeted advertising.
How to kick start your B2B social media programme
With so many different platforms to choose from, it can be a little overwhelming thinking about how to start your B2B social media programme. Not to mention trying to gain an understanding of how each social networking site works and what content to post – it’s likely you will spend countless hours researching into the abyss. To save you time and to give you a helping hand, here’s the stuff you need to know to successfully start your B2B social media journey.
- Step 1: Audit your current social media usage and compare this to your competitors.
- Step 2: Assess your current content. Do you have enough content to repurpose for social media in the beginning stages? (Remember – content creation for social media is ongoing).
- Step 3: Create a B2B social media strategy. This will help you pick which social media platforms your business should use, tone of voice, messaging, and objectives etc.
- Step 4: Sign up to a scheduling platform. There are many options on the market so it’s important to do your research here.
- Step 5: Create a social media content calendar. This can be done on a weekly or monthly basis depending on what suits your business. Forward planning can save time, streamline any review processes that may be in place, and enable you to mark important dates and milestones.
- Step 6: Get posting! Use the posts you have created to share with followers and to give your business a voice. Make use of the reshare and comments buttons to interact with users and capture feedback.
- Step 7: Don’t forget to take advantage of analytics. Most social networking sites and scheduling platforms have this functionality. Monitor what’s working and what’s not to create interesting content for your audience.
Finally…have fun! Don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of posts, images, video, polls, slide shares, and everything in between. Getting other people within the business to contribute ideas and reshare company posts not only maximises the benefits but also improves brand advocacy.
If you’re looking for support with B2B social media, please get in touch with us!