Once primarily regarded as a B2C stomping ground, social media marketing (SMM) is increasingly important for B2B businesses to reach millions of customers across the globe. However, the largest challenge SSM faces is convincing B2B businesses that there is a place for them in the playground.
Is social media really viable for a B2B marketing campaign?
The difference between B2C and B2B social media marketing is that rather than using social media to create an immediate sale, B2B SMM is all about providing the customer with knowledge and content to create a long-standing relationship that will eventually convert into a sale.
What they do have in common is that social media is a fantastic way to increase brand awareness, engage and convert leads, and to reach an entirely new customer base. With over 3.4 million people worldwide using social media actively (45% of the world’s population) can your business really afford not to explore it?
All that said, the most important part of embracing social media is to accept that not all media platforms will be right for you. Rather than wasting precious time trying to create a presence on each platform, your time would be better spent researching which would work best for your business.
We’ve devised a handy social media guide to help you along the way…
Twitter is the place to reach the largest audience in the quickest space of time, but you’ll need to be prepared to find a way to stand out in the crowd. The latest figures from Internet Live Stats indicate that there are 500 million tweets a day.
Nevertheless, it is the perfect place to connect with your audience and so it’s often worth the leg work. Make time to engage, retweet and post news relevant to your industry: this is an interactive platform after all, with a mission to ‘give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly.’ And, a whopping 77% of Twitter users feel more confident in a company if their Tweet has been replied to, so make the time and engage with your customers.
Facebook tends to be the go-to channel when you think about social media. But is it the place for B2B marketing?
Perhaps surprisingly, in 2018 Facebook slipped below Twitter to become the third most used social media platform, with LinkedIn in at the top spot. In a surprising twist, while 86% of B2B marketers say they use Facebook for content marketing, it appears that not everyone is entirely convinced of its worth, with the same survey suggesting that only 38% of B2B marketers think Facebook is effective.
If your existing customers and prospects are using Facebook, it could be worth considering. Just don’t post on a Tuesday – apparently, it’s the worse day for engagement.
Or ‘Insta’ if you were born after 2001, is the baby of the group but also the fastest growing social media network in the world.
It’s a refreshing and punchy way to create brand awareness and engagement, with tools such as Instagram Stories allowing B2B businesses to reach wide audiences. Personalised hashtags can attract a real buzz, while also keeping those already invested up to date on the business.
As Instagram is such a visual experience, the quality of your images and videos should be as good as you can get them. In other words no blurry, grainy shots and no random pictures of your child on their first day of school. Your grid and your stories should look professional, in keeping with your brand and so well mapped out that you become someone to follow.
Undoubtedly the dominant social media platform for B2B, LinkedIn has 660 million members, and 92% of B2B marketers use it. In addition, 80% of leads are secured via the platform, compared with 13% from Twitter and 7% from Facebook. Therefore, the time you spend on LinkedIn should also perhaps outweigh the time spent on other channels.
On average, buyers will read ten pieces of good content before they make a decision, so make it consistent and make it add value every time you post something.
Can you help us decide the best strategy?
At Sugar Marketing, we get to know your customers and where they have an online presence. That way, we can tell you which social platform is the best for your business. We will help you ensure that investing in a social media strategy is going to enhance your business, without diluting your worth: and we can prepare all the content required. Get in touch to find out more.