B2B companies can use their social presence to create brand awareness, develop trust with their audience, and even generate leads. In fact, 92% of B2B customers said they would reply to a sales rep they consider as an industry leader and 76% of buyers are willing to have sales conversations through social media.
Despite the obvious advantages of a social media presence, many companies in the B2B space let their channels lie dormant. This is a huge opportunity in your marketing strategy and wielded correctly, social use can build trust, visibility, and increase your conversions.
So how do you direct your social channels for real results? You start with an effective strategy. But before you begin, don’t forget these crucial pieces to developing a social media campaign.
Not all Metrics are Created Equally
"Anything that is measured and watched, improves." - Bob Parsons
As Bob Parson so accurately articulated, you grow what you measure….don’t let vanity metrics become a distraction. Followers and likes may be a nice bump to your ego, but mean nothing if they aren’t leading to qualified prospects and conversions.
To begin, establish and quantify the most important goals of your campaign. Using SMART goals, create benchmarks of the kind of results you’d like to see and work backwards from there. For instance, maybe you want to identify 10 marketing qualified leads through Instagram per month and of those, you anticipate 15% to convert. You can see why this plan would deliver more tangible results than “grow to over 1000 followers”. When it comes to social media, quality always trumps quantity.
Social Media is....Social
Social media is intended to be, well, social. Quick replies and regular engagement help to create a positive experience for your prospective buyers. For instance, 83% of the people who sent a Tweet to a company and received a response, felt better about the company and were more likely to do business with them.
Get the conversation started by posting prompts, questions, and polls directed to your target audience. Don’t forget to react and respond! There’s nothing worse than for a community member to feel like their engagement is falling on deaf ears.
This is also your opportunity to lead a conversation. With social, you can keep a pulse on the trends and innovations within your industry. Rather than using your channels solely for self-promotion, embrace the opportunity to be a thought leader. Your knowledge on your consumer and industry are valuable. You can not only provide commentary on industry news but also solve problems through informative content. This will help to ensure your content stays relevant and establishes your company as an industry leader.
With regular content across multiple channels, managing a social media campaign can be all-consuming. The logistics alone can end up out-prioritizing content. Optimize your results and streamline your processes with the help of technology. From expanding content to organizing a schedule, technology can let your team focus on creative instead of logistics.
Once you have your copy written, your images selected, and your CTAs established, you can load everything into a scheduling software. This simplifies the day to day and allows you to get ahead of schedule days, even weeks, in advance. Software like Hubspot allows you to schedule the same post to multiple channels and offers intricate tracking.
Thought leadership is one of the most prominent ways to utilize social media, but you don’t need to rely exclusively on original content to make that happen. Consistently reposting and engaging with posts relevant to your industry can help to bridge the gap. At Sapper, we utilize Thought Horizon to post regularly across our sales team’s social accounts. You can view more content curation softwares here.
Quantifying ROI with social can be nebulous, which makes it even more important to track your results. Using software like Hubspot, you can track engagement, page views and form fills that originated from your social shares.
You can also gather data on what kind of posts work better for your audience. From content type and channel to posting times you can iterate your process to create the most effective content for your buyer.
Social could be the missing ingredient from your B2B marketing strategy and you don’t need to go viral to make an impact. By implementing these 3 tips, social media can become a pillar in growing your business.
For more on utilizing social in B2B sales, download our LinkedIn Guide to Grow Your Sales Funnel.