If you manage social media for any B2B company, you probably already know you need to approach social media differently than a B2C company.
But do you know the best B2B-specific ways to use social media?
If you aren’t taking full advantage of social media, you’re potentially leaving money on the table. Given that the number of users on social media is projected to reach over 4.4 billion by 2025, and that social media advertising was ranked the 2nd most effective paid content distribution channel by B2B marketers in 2020, you can’t afford to phone in your social media strategy.
Here are three ways to differentiate your B2B company on social media, and maximize your use of it. But first, a bit of background.
B2B vs. B2C – Different Social Media Goals
Social media is inherently informal, casual, and sometimes even unprofessional. It can seem like B2B companies are not suited to platforms like Facebook and Twitter. After all, B2B companies can’t afford to roast competitors like Wendy’s or wax philosophical like Steakums.
B2B brands and B2C brands have different goals for their social media engagement. B2C companies want to generate buzz and attention. The more shares and likes (and even dislikes), the better. Even negative comments are good if they keep the conversation going.
B2B is different. You need to educate your audience, build trust and awareness, and develop a strong reputation. All with the goal of bringing more potential buyers to your website, where the actual sales are made. With that in mind, here are three ways for your B2B brand to stand out on social media.
1. Publish long-form posts.
LinkedIn lends itself the best to long-form posts. And luckily, it’s the most important channel for B2B. 96% of B2B content marketers use LinkedIn. If you’re reading this, chances are, you’re already on LinkedIn.
But did you know that long-form posts – posts with 1900-2000 words – performed better than any other posts on the platform? On average, long posts received tens of thousands more views than short posts.
This is great news for B2B marketers. By providing your audience with in-depth, educational content, you gain their trust. B2B buyers don’t follow you to see humorous tweets. They follow you because they respect you and want to learn from you.
Beyond LinkedIn, you have a couple of options for long-form posts. Facebook is reportedly getting into the newsletter business. And while Twitter may not be conducive to long-form posts, it’s perfect for sharing links, which leads us to the next B2B social strategy.
2. Use links frequently.
As a B2B marketer, you know that you need to bring your prospects from social media to your website to move them along the buyer’s journey. After all, nobody buys a CRM software, or an industrial A/C unit, or shipping containers, because of a funny tweet. B2B buyers want information before they make a purchasing decision.
Fortunately, what your prospects want lines up with what you want. They want to learn about solutions to their problems, and you want to educate them about the solutions you have. Your followers on social media want to see links to your blog, your white papers, and your tutorials. By giving them those links, you gain their trust, bring them to your website, and move them further along the buying process.
As long as your content delivers, linking to it will enhance your reputation on social media.
3. Manage your social strategy with a platform designed for B2B.
Finally, to truly up your social media game, you need to manage your social media with a B2B social media management platform.
Most social media management platforms are built for B2C companies. While B2B businesses use them, these platforms are not optimized for the goals and tactics of business-to-business social media campaigns.
In order to take full advantage of the social media opportunity, you need a platform built for B2B social management. While you can get by on one designed for B2C social management, you will thrive on a platform designed for B2B.
If your B2B brand uses consultants, lawyers, and accountants who understand the nuances of the business-to-business world, you should use a social media management platform built for those nuances, too.
How To Apply All 3
If you needed one more reason to pay attention to your social media management, 71% of consumers report increasing their social media usage in the past year.4 In 2021, you can’t phone in your social media strategy anymore.
To bring your A game to social media, you need to differentiate your brand with long-form, in-depth posts, as well as links to your best articles and e-books. And you need a management platform designed with your goals in mind.
Social media is a powerful tool, if used in the right way. Among other things, it can help connect millions of people to the solutions that will improve their work. But that only happens if the people using social media understand their goals and the best ways to achieve them.
These three tips can ensure you make the most of this powerful tool.