“Although 95% of B2B marketers have created corporate social media accounts, half still are not active on social media on a regular basis–and just 10% feel they are able to articulate the business value of social media efforts.” (Source: Meltwater)
Social media marketing should be a solid part of your B2B digital advertising efforts. In general, B2B marketers should consistently update their social channels and regularly check for visitor posts and relevant engagement opportunities. Besides maintaining a steady content schedule, creating and launching a B2B social media marketing campaign can be a great way to expand your social reach and get more business value from your social media efforts.
Here are five steps B2B marketers can follow when designing their social media campaigns.
1. Set B2B social media goals and metrics to track
Setting up your social media goals will guide the other components of your campaign. Once you know your goals, choose metrics to track during and after the campaign that will indicate whether those goals were reached. Some examples of goals and related metrics include:
- Increasing brand awareness – get more leads recognizing your brand image, services, and value. Track your mentions, follower growth, and website traffic to measure the success of your campaign.
- Increasing community engagement – encourage conversations around your brand, ask users to share their experiences and hopefully spread positive sentiment. Track mentions, brand sentiment, and user engagement (posts, likes, and shares) to measure your social buzz.
- Product launch – create curiosity and interest for your new solutions. This type of campaign should be linked to a landing page where users can sign up for more alerts once the product launches. Measure post shares, click-throughs, and landing page sign-ups.
- Driving traffic to your website – make sure you have a great landing page to lead people to explore your site and offerings. Measure link clicks, website traffic, and other website session metrics.
Of course, the final and most desired metric to follow in any campaign are your sales numbers. Be mindful that some social campaigns will not lead to an immediate increase in sales, but may build your brand and following to increase lead generation instead. Make sure that you have the right tools to track those metrics and evaluate your social ROI.
2. Know your audience and where you can find them
You should already know who your target audience is. But perhaps for this particular campaign, you’ll want to focus on a new audience or zoom in on a niche audience within your target market. Once you select your target audience, find the best social media channels to reach them. Think of how those channels work. For instance, LinkedIn is used for more formal communications than Facebook. Understanding how the networks function will help you devise the right message and CTAs for that audience in those channels. Learn more about the best social network websites, apps, and tools for different audiences here.
3. Create content your audience will value
What is your campaign’s message? What actions do you want users to take? And most importantly, how does this content humanize your brand? One of the biggest B2B marketing stigmas is that B2B companies are boring. But some B2B brands have proven that there are ways to have successful social media channels. Their secret for success? Finding ways to humanize their brand by either highlighting their brilliant workforce, showing how their products affect people in relatable and simple ways, and/or creating very interactive content.
Depending on your campaign timeline and budget, create enough content to keep your posts fresh. Come up with a campaign title and related hashtags so your audience knows how they can follow and join the conversation. Be sure to take advantage of different marketing channels. Your social media marketing campaign doesn’t need to be separated from the communications on your website and emails. An integrated mix of marketing activities will drive even more traction for your campaign. Create a good mix of media – photos, GIFs, videos, live videos. And if you have enough budget, consider taking advantage of your chosen social networks’ advertising options.
— Cisco (@Cisco) July 12, 2016
Cisco shows how its technology helps everyday people (and animals) with a powerful message – “There’s never been a better time to change the world.”
4. Prepare for engagement
Before you launch, prepare your staff to follow social conversations and respond. Predict how users will react to your posts and create a set of rules/guidelines that match your creative style guide for your social team. Keep a handy record of the resources and links related to the campaign that you can use to direct users.
5. Launch, track, and assess your campaign
Once you launch, track your brand sentiment and be flexible to change or pause your campaign if needed. Once the campaign is over, look at your overall analytics again and assess whether your B2B social media marketing goals were reached. You can take it a step further and look for opportunities to repurpose the content that you and your audience generated (be sure to get those users’ permission before reposting them).
B2B marketers shouldn’t ignore their social media channels. If you plan ahead, create an authentic and relatable message paired with great visuals, you can get your social audience to interact with your brand. Use the steps mentioned in this article to guide your campaign and give your brand a social boost.