For 20% of B2B marketers, social media is one of the top three sources for qualified leads, according to the Chief Marketer B2B Lead Gen Outlook report.
The role of social media in demand generation has evolved to encompass targeted lead generation, influencer outreach, lead nurturing, social listening and research. B2B marketers who want to successfully build an engaged following on social media must master new skills as well as embrace the uniqueness of social media marketing.
When it comes to social media success, it’s important to remember the first part of the phrase “social media.” It’s social. B2B marketers must approach their strategy with relationships in mind. It’s a matter of give-and-take, not a one-way broadcast.
15 B2B Social Media Marketing Tactics
One of the common themes you will see in the tactics listed below is that successful social media marketing takes manual labor. If you think there’s a possibility of automating your blog posts to go out at the optimal time of day with some trendy hashtags and expecting magic to happen, think again. You have to make a regular investment out of your schedule.
1. Budget your time
Regardless of whether you’re in a full-time social media or content marketing role, it’s important to budget your time for social media. Every B2B marketer needs a mastery of social media for personal branding, relationships and influencer outreach. Devote a block your calendar to ensure your time spent on social is productive.
Cal Newport, author and associate professor of computer science at Georgetown University, says time-blocking is a high-powered productivity tip,
“Giving every hour a job typically lets you make much more efficient use of your time…it allows you to schedule work for the time where it makes the most sense.”
2. Consider a boost
Allocate demand generation budget to amplify the reach of posts. Paid post promotion with targeting parameters increases viewers, allowing B2B marketing organizations to engage with qualified leads and promote content resources. Boosting posts on social media can offer many marketing benefits, including:
- Increasing your exposure and engagement
- Growing your following
- Building a list to remarket to site visitors
3. Splinter your content
B2B decision-makers are sometimes overwhelmed by the amount of digital content on social media. Avoid getting lost in the crowd by splintering your content. In other words, break off salient information into more bite-sized chunks, rather than asking the reader to consume an entire 2,000 post to get anything out of it.
Pull out quotes, stats or graphics when you share links to content resources on social media. Don’t forget to splinter content from your organization’s main website pages, not just your blog and other content resources.
4. Create educational, entertaining content
High-quality education that entertains and engages is among the most effective B2B marketing strategies for social media in 2018. Dawn Papandrea, writer, editor and brand storyteller, says,
“Few would argue about the power and value of educational content – whether a blog, an e-newsletter, a white paper, or a how-to video. However, some brands have taken this concept further by developing full-fledged classes and curricula for their audiences.”
While e-Courses aren’t a necessity or the right fit for every organization, brands should take inspiration from B2B organizations who produce high-quality, educational content.
5. Make your content actionable
Your social media strategy and content should focus on offering prescriptive guidance to audience members. Not only will this deliver value, but it can also position your brand and employees as thought leaders.
One B2B brand that excels at offering prescriptive guidance and a broad library of expertise is Deloitte Insights. Meghan Keaney Anderson, Vice President of Marketing at HubSpot, says,
“Much like some of the other remarkable B2B content we’ve come across, [Deloitte Inights] curates not only different pieces of highly helpful content – but also a variety of content formats. From blog posts to webcasts, to podcasts, [it] has a bit of everything.”
6. Be real
86% of modern consumers say authenticity is essential in deciding which brands to support. However, just 57% believe brands succeed at creating authentic content.
Being authentic can build trust in a B2B audience. Write in your own voice, but stand behind your brand, product and company values. Listen to others and engage consistently. Focus on your audience above self-promotion to develop a real, likable presence.
7. Be genuinely helpful
The focus of B2B social media marketing should be to solve your audience’s pain points and problems. Your content should be relevant and provide value in formats that are easy-to-consume.
One marketer who succeeds in creating genuinely helpful content for social media is Neil Patel. He writes that the focus of his video content is:
“Great, helpful content that solves a user problem. For example, ‘how to do on-page SEO in 5 minutes.’ ”
8. Stay on the platform
Post your content on the social media platform itself, as opposed to posting links to other sites or platforms. Each social media post should provide stand-alone value without an audience member needing to click-through to your company website. Social media platforms gear news feed algorithms toward native content, so this is an important factor in maximizing the reach of your posts.
9. Share others’ content
Sharing content authored by industry influencers is a powerful way to provide high-quality, curated resources to your audience. Scratch the back of an influencer and make sure they know you shared it.
Every day, subject matter experts and prospective customers are having conversations about your industry or product category. To join these conversations, B2B marketers need to know where to find them and actively listen:
- Use keywords for social listening
- Develop a list of influencers to follow
- Join industry-relevant groups
To maximize your conversations, adopt the right technologies for social listening and emulate the culture of the groups and social media network you’re engaging on.
11. Show appreciation
When influencers and other brands share your content, it’s important to be appreciative. Say “thank you,” and when possible, reciprocate with shares.
12. Plan it out
Using an editorial calendar to plan content marketing and social media efforts can offer a host of benefits to B2B marketing organizations. The advantages of using a social media calendar for planning include:
- A roadmap to consistent, varied posting
- A big picture view to map posts to campaign themes and strategy
- The ability to pivot and refine strategy based on campaign results
- The opportunity to align social media messaging with multi-channel marketing campaigns
In addition to these high-level benefits, an editorial calendar can enable B2B marketing organizations to link improvements in social media marketing metrics to specific posting actions.
13. Use your camera
Visual content, including videos and imagery, can be highly engaging formats for social media posts. Plan to shoot video and take pictures at brand or industry events. Providing a behind-the-scenes peek of employees at work or engaged in office outings to your audience can humanize your brand.
14. Leave recommendations
When you’re blocking time each week for social media marketing, allot an hour for writing sincere recommendations for colleagues, peers and customers on LinkedIn. While individuals who receive a recommendation may reciprocate, this is a strong way to build and maintain existing professional relationships in a way that reflects well on your brand.
15. Get the team on board
Turning employees into content advocates can benefit both the organization’s and employee’s (personal) brands. Jason Miller, Head of Content and Social Media Marketing at LinkedIn Sales & Marketing Solutions EMEA, says,
Despite the fact that only 3% of employees share content, they generate 30% of all content engagement for a typical business.”
Some platforms give you the ability to share posts automatically on everyone on your team’s accounts. While this can conveniently expand content exposure and reach, make sure to balance automated posting with manual team member posts.
Succeeding at B2B Social Media Marketing
There’s more to successful B2B social media marketing than social selling or growing a following. One often overlooked component of effective B2B social media marketing is building authentic relationships. By creating a human, helpful presence, B2B organizations can use social media to connect with customers, prospects and influencers.
For more actionable tips for social media, content and software from leading B2B marketers, download the free Secrets and Strategies of Marketing Ops Game Changers eBook.