B2B Social Media Marketing
The Challenge of B2B Social Media Marketing
While social media has transformed the world of B2C marketing, B2B marketers have been less convinced of the benefits that social media offers businesses. They’re doubtful about their ability to measure the effectiveness of their social efforts, and uncertain how to use the medium to achieve desired results.
The key to B2B social media marketing is to clearly understand the differences between B2C and B2B social initiatives. As a leading digital advertising agency, Overdrive Interactive guides B2B clients in creating complex social campaigns by providing insightful strategy, proven tactics, and accurate reporting to launch and manage successful B2B social media marketing campaigns.
Marketing Minute Video: The Power of the Social Media Share – Going Viral
When it comes to social media marketing, everybody thinks about getting the Like, or how many Facebook Fans they have. But, social media marketing is not about the Like or the Fan, it’s about the SHARE! Watch Harry J. Gold, CEO of Overdrive Interactive, explain the power of the Share!Watch the Video
Differences in B2C vs. B2B Social Media Marketing
B2C and B2B social media marketing differ in five important ways.
- Objectives. While B2C companies usually rely on social media marketing to drive traffic, awareness, and sales, B2B companies tend to focus on building brands, generating leads, growing partnerships, and gaining competitive insight.
- B2C marketers try to drive traffic, sales, and engagement by creating buzz and virality, appealing to an audience’s emotion and focused on strengthening their brand’s awareness. Messaging is typically simple and easy to digest, with lots of visual appeal. B2B social media marketing strategies are highly focused on serving the needs of their audience and positioning a company as a thought leader in their space. Messaging is driven by logic, as companies seek to help audiences solve business problems while saving them time and money.
- Channels. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube are the dominant platforms for B2C marketers. B2B companies rely on some of these platforms as well, but LinkedIn is the overwhelming priority.
- B2C focuses heavily on visual content, with video taking top priority. Tone for B2C is typically more casual with a strong emphasis on humor. B2B social media marketing concentrates on content that benefits business users and helps them stay current with industry trends. Content will be more idea- and text-oriented: blogs, reviews, white papers, case studies, infographics, and data sheets are among the most effective B2B content.
- B2C marketers typically prioritize engagement metrics, likes, comments, shares, retweets, and fans and follower growth. Although B2B marketers are interested in lead generation, many tend to measure the effectiveness of their content by tracking referral traffic, which doesn’t correlate to lead gen. This is why many B2B companies aren’t convinced B2B social media marketing can help them reach their goals.
14 B2B Social Media Marketing Tactics That Work
The guide will help you activate your social community to weave your company’s content into the fabric of the web and your industry.Access Now
The Key to Great B2B Social Media Marketing Content
Many companies make the mistake of thinking that, because their business is not a fun or splashy consumer brand, they don’t have to put much effort into making their B2B social media marketing stimulating and exciting. They are wrong. Business audiences want to be engaged just as much as consumer audiences by content that is interesting and sometimes a little humorous, that shows how a brand can make an impact on people, communities, and the world.
To keep B2B social media marketing content fresh and vibrant, consider these tactics:
- Define a social media personality for your brand. Your social personality doesn’t have to be edgy or over-the-top, but it should have a conversational voice.
- Engage with audiences rather than promoting your company. Social media is an excellent medium for real-life time conversations. Talking with your audience about their needs and interests can help build relationships and trust, while communicating with customers who have a complaint on social media can help to solve customer service issues.
- Try a little personality. B2B social media is consumed by human beings, not by businesses. Everyone appreciates a little humor in content and conversations – just make sure to keep it appropriate and not go over the top.
- Get creative. While the format may be boilerplate – white papers, blogs, infographics, and case studies – the way you approach the content creation should be anything but boring. Always ask yourself: if I were a prospect, would I read this? Would I find value in it? Would it entertain me and keep me engaged?
Social Media Map
The latest Social Media Map from Overdrive Interactive provides a snapshot of the evolving social media marketing landscape. View the map online or download it as a PDF with live links to more than 471 sites, apps, and tools broken down into 25 categories.Access Now
Choosing the Right B2B Social Media Marketing Platforms
While LinkedIn is the overwhelming favorite of B2B marketers, each of the major platforms offer benefits for B2B social media marketing. Knowing how to best take advantage of their features is paramount to success.
- LinkedIn. Due to its professional nature, LinkedIn is ideal for B2B social media marketing. It’s critical to post unique content that is highly relevant and useful on this platform. Educational content is the priority, coupled with features such as Live Video, industry groups, LinkedIn Pages, channel promotion, and ads that are very effective for reaching your target audience. LinkedIn discussion groups can be used to engage prospects and customers in conversation to help build relationships.
- Facebook. While B2C marketing dominates Facebook, B2B marketers can use the platform to show the human side of their brand and to engage with prospects and customers in an informal style.
- Twitter. B2B marketers can easily post content that informs and educates their audience, reusing content they have posted elsewhere and finding curated content to share. In this conversation-based platform, companies can effectively engage and communicate with customers and prospects with direct messages and mentions.
- Instagram. During the longer B2B buying cycle, many marketers successfully use Instagram to help build trust with their target audience. The visual nature of this platform enables B2B marketers to humanize their company with behind-the-scenes images, and to share details of their workforce and culture with more personal content that features events, company outings, or employee victories and milestones, for example. Instagram can also be used for recruiting, by creating a profile that highlights the workplace culture and benefits of working for your company.
- YouTube. Educational videos about products, services, and industry trends are ideal for this platform. How-to videos can be especially helpful for your audience, and video case studies can showcase firsthand the value that a company provides.
- Pinterest. While Pinterest is primarily a B2C platform, its mass shareability and emphasis on vertical images makes it optimal for sharing infographics that can lead back to a blog post on a website.
Overdrive Services for B2B Social Media Marketing
At Overdrive, our B2B social media teams transform standard social profiles and channels into high-impact, immersive brand experiences that build lasting connections with business users. Our comprehensive social media services enable companies to augment their own internal capabilities and to overcome internal bandwidth constraints.
Our B2B social media marketing services include:
- Planning and strategy
- Channel development
- Channel and profile maintenance
- Content development and B2B creative services
- Follower and fan acquisition
- Tracking and reporting
What Is B2B social media marketing?
B2B social media marketing uses social media platforms to communicate with business audiences. In contrast to B2C social media, which is focused on brand awareness and consumer products, B2B social media marketing is more oriented on presenting information that audiences can use and on positioning companies as thought leaders in order to drive awareness and ultimately, leads.
Which social media platforms are best for B2B?
LinkedIn is the overwhelming favorite of B2B marketers as it has a wealth of features that cater to the needs of B2B companies and audiences. Twitter is also essential for industry events, sharing real-time or planned content, and communicating with prospects and customers. Other platforms – Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest – can be used by B2B marketers to connect with audiences on a more personal level and to humanize their company and culture.
How do you promote B2B services on social media?
Promoting B2B services and products on social media is most effectively accomplished through sharing content that shows audiences how products and services can solve their unique problems or save their