B2B Social Media Marketing
What is B2B social media marketing?
B2B social media marketing allows business-to-business organizations to amplify their message, build an audience and engage with that audience. Social media marketing in the B2B landscape isn’t just limited to LinkedIn. The key to success in B2B social media marketing is knowing where your audience is and going there to engage with them. Your audience could be visiting mainstream social platform like LinkedIn or, a niche forum where your target audience has an established community.
Does social media work in business-to-business (B2B) markets?
Many marketers question if B2B social media marketing works, the answer is a resounding yes, but with any tactic success is predicated on strategy and execution. B2B buyers are information seekers who are influenced by the views of others. Social media gives your prospects a platform to see existing customers advocate for your product, watch how you solve customer issues, see you demonstrate thought leadership and monitor what peers are saying about your product. The transparency social media brings to communication means that social media marketing aligns well with the goal of the B2B marketer which is to influence the purchasing journey.
First steps in preparing a B2B digital marketing strategy
1) Do you have clear objectives?
The first step to creating any strategy is having clear and measurable objectives, and a B2B digital marketing strategy is no different. A typical objective for a business-to-business company is to generate more leads from digital channels, however increasingly many B2B businesses are seeking to complete the entire transaction online through an e-commerce channel.
2) Who is your target audience?
When developing a strategy, it’s important to know who your target audience is and potentially to build a detailed persona around them. A B2B digital marketing strategy that targets C- level decision-makers will be different to one that targets developers.
3) Do you know how you can reach your audience?
Personas will help you to think about the best tactics to deploy within your B2B digital marketing strategy to reach your audience. For example, to target a developer audience, a good tactic might be to run ads on developer forums. A persona will help you to start thinking about who your audience is, what engages them and how you can reach them.
4) Can you measure success?
The long-standing advantage of digital over any other channel is measurability. In defining a digital strategy, you must have clear objectives, and when executing on that strategy, you must be able to measure your progress.
B2B social media marketing best practice tips
Know your target audience and where they are
A B2B audience is hugely varied. C-level decision makers could be on LinkedIn, but developers who might instigate the need and undertake the research might be on Slashdot. Start by understanding who your audience is and where they ‘hang out’.
Focus on a few social media platforms and do it well
There are many social platforms, but having a presence on each is likely to stretch most businesses too thin. Put your efforts behind one or two so that you have time to build genuine relationships.
Mix first party and third party content shares
Social media involves having conversations and sharing content your audience will value. You need to share a mix of content. Share both your first party content and third party content.
B2B Social media should be part of a marketing strategy
Businesses can’t see social media as an isolated tactic. Social media marketing should be a core part of the B2B marketing strategy.
B2B social media marketing is measurable
A common criticism of social media marketing is the challenge of measuring success. Social media marketing is as measurable as any other digital channel; you just need to know what to measure and what makes an impact.
B2B social media marketing is about quality, not quantity
The number of followers a business has is a vanity metric that may matter to a few senior leaders, but the reality is that it’s the quality of relationships that matters not the quantity. Having five engaged followers who will influence the decision-making process is far better than having 5000 followers who will never buy your product.
Businesses need to accept they can’t control social
It’s not possible to have a highly controlled social media presence and be able to build genuine relationships. Social media isn’t the same as PR where you have tight control over messaging. Social media requires timely responses, getting involved in conversations, expecting people to ask questions and dealing with public criticism.