The emergence of social media has changed how brands do marketing and press & media operate in today’s world.
Social media has the power to put anyone on a pedestal.
Let’s put it this way: whoever figures out how to gain the audience’s attention gets to dominate the space for a while or unless something else pops up.
This arbitrage of attention provides the oxygen to social media growth, and social media influencers understand this better than an average social media consumer.
However, social media influencers’ social media strategy is essentially different from brands’ social media strategy. Influencers focus on showcasing lifestyle, fashion, travel, food, hustle, and work-life balance. On the other hand, brands emphasize portraying that customers, team members, culture, ideas, and values matter to them.
Since I’m here to help you create your B2B social media strategy, so I’ll discuss how your brand can develop relevance and trustworthiness on social media.
Have you ever wondered how some brands are being able to outsmart their competitors on social media?
The answer is that some brands are better than competitors at creating a social media strategy. It’s not as simple as it looks.
The dominance over competition encompasses three key factors that come in handy in establishing a successful social media campaign.
3 Key Factors of a Social Media Strategy
Building a Brand Persona
It’s essential to have a clear brand persona in mind. It includes but is not limited to being aware of the company’s targets, standards, and mission.
The social media team must be crystal clear on what businesses need to reach out to through social media content. It’ll help them immensely in creating targeted content for the right audience.
Engaging the Audience
Engagement is the key to starting conversations, which creates opportunities for lead generation and social media attention.
Hone in on the art of engaging the audience through your content. If you show up to paste your blog post links on social media and walk away, it won’t make a difference.
Instead, ask questions on social media, answer through fresh content, encourage followers to comment on your content, and establish a Facebook group for community building.
The strategies mentioned above would ignite the engagement process.
Making an Impact
If your social media existence and all types of content aren’t making an impact, meaning, it’s not helping the audience, then it requires some tweaks, for sure. To fix this problem, you must engage the audience and try to find their pain points.
Content marketing isn’t about creating content just because you could sell your product. Instead, one of the pillars of content marketing is being helpful to the audience.
So keep these key factors in mind while hopping on social media networks from a business standpoint.
I’m sure that the next section of this article would unravel the mystery of how B2B companies can design a social media strategy that bypasses the undesired audience and hits the target.
Let’s take a look at the steps involved in creating a B2B social media strategy.
Steps to create B2B Social media strategy:
1. Point out a population segment to tap on
Let me spill the beans.
To create a B2B social media strategy, you must first create a clear distinction between a B2B business and a B2C business.
A B2B business is essentially a company that serves other businesses, whereas a B2C business sells to the end-consumer.
Once it’s been identified that social media strategy is being designed for a B2B business, the next up is identifying your population segment that could be potential customers.
Since a B2B business eyes other businesses to solve a specific problem, so it’d reflect on its overall social media marketing campaign.
Let’s don’t make it over-complex.
Pay close attention to the following points:
- Comprehend what type of businesses need your product
- Understand their pain-points to solve through your product
- Identify the keywords to capitalize on
- Pick the right topics to create content
- Write the perfect website copy
Now, it’s pretty clear that nobody can tell you who your target audience is. It’s quite an essential thing to figure out on your own.
Most businesses don’t have this problem whatsoever.
DesignCap is an online graphics designing tool.
Take a look at the screenshot from their website:
You can look at the line that reads, “make striking graphic designs for your business, event, social media, and more.”
It shows that they’re telling business owners, event organizers, and social media users to use this tool to design their graphics using this online tool.
Here’s another example:
If you’re into SEO or content marketing, you’d surely know about Ahrefs.
It’s a complete SEO suite for website traffic, organic reach, keywords research, and SERP analysis.
I’ve noticed that they have mentioned keywords such as “junior marketer,” “SEO expert,” “blogger,” and “multinational brands,” along with “website,” “rank higher,” and “search traffic” on the home page.
It may seem ordinary to a rookie content marketer, but if you look through my lens, Ahrefs are good at this.
Remember that we aren’t discussing the SEO here, but instead, we’re looking at identifying the population segment.
Some brands are extremely good at this, while others are not so much.
It would be best if you took away from the examples mentioned above that a clear picture of the population segment to target goes a long way.
Related Read: Social Media Marketing for Restaurants
#2. Figure out where the target audience exists on social media
A B2B social media strategy can’t be created on a whim. Therefore, it’s vital to identify the population segment, which we did discuss in step #1.
Once you’ve recognized the population segment to reach out to, the next up is locating the social media platforms where you could find the target audience.
The purpose is to look out for the right social media platforms to focus on. There is no secret formula to hunt down the target audience on social media platforms. The truth is that you only need some due diligence to find out.
Understanding where your potential audience likes to hang out may need some groundwork.
To pull this off, we need to go through some significant social media platforms with a pair of detective glasses.
Trendsmap is a Twitter trending tool that showcases top trending hashtags on Twitter globally.
Keep an eye on every social media platform where the audience puts out content, meaning user-generated content is being posted.
Medium is a popular publishing platform; it also has a popular articles section that showcases top trending articles.
Similarly, we can’t ignore the second most used search engine on the internet: it’s YouTube.
YouTube has a search suggestion feature that gives autocomplete recommendations based on various factors.
Since YouTube keeps track of our search history and content consumption to facilitate us with the right content recommendations, ignoring YouTube won’t be wise.
I’ll shed some more light on YouTube later on.
Go through the following areas/features of the social media networks and look out for the target audience:
Start exploring Facebook groups related to your industry and see what people are discussing. It’ll give you a hint about whether or not Facebook is a great fit for your social media marketing. Don’t stop there, but instead, create your company’s Facebook group too. Invite your customers, email list subscribers, and social media followers to form an online community.
LinkedIn Company Pages
LinkedIn has a page feature for companies. Don’t hesitate to follow a bunch of industry-related company pages on LinkedIn. Ultimately, you’d need to build one for your company as well to see how it works out for your social media campaign.
Twitter hashtags are relatively underutilized as far as finding the target audience on social media just like Twitter header size which can actually help you win a huge amount of followers. Use the Twitter search with your industry-specific hashtags and see what people are saying. Don’t restrain yourself from hopping on Twitter and tweeting a few replies to the relevant tweets. Social media is all about helping the community, anyway.
YouTube is the second most popular search engine on the internet. You should search for the keywords and topics related to your industry and see what competitors are doing. It’ll also help you identify under-served areas that you can fill in. Furthermore, you can go through the comments on competitors’ content to see what people want to know or struggling with. It’ll give you a perspective on what your audience wants. Using Youtube to grow your brand is a great idea to look for.
Instagram search is another forum to look out for the target audience. Use the industry-related hashtags to explore the Instagram search page. Try landing on the relevant accounts through useful posts, and take inspiration from others’ Instagram posts. However, the goal is to understand what people are liking; don’t overlook the audience’s behavior on this very platform.
Quora is a fantastic avenue to find a niche audience. Since it’s the number one site for asking questions, try searching for the items/topics that could help you understand the population segment’s pain points.
The above-mentioned social media features would help you get one step closer to figuring out where your target audience exists. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’d find the right audience everywhere you hunt on social media, which is why I highlighted a bunch of social media platforms to check out.
The frequency of conversations, quality of engagement, and the number of users would tell the story. It shouldn’t be challenging anymore to comprehend where you should focus while drafting a social media strategy for 2021.
#3. Choose the right types of content to put out
I have been babbling about how to do content marketing on this very blog for a long time.
Don’t worry if you haven’t had a chance to come across any of those articles.
Simply put, content marketing is a method of using content to market your product with helpful content. The purpose of putting out content is to attract, engage, and convert the audience.
Now, content marketing doesn’t necessarily mean you need to create every type of content, such as articles, videos, podcasts, and images.
What “choose the right types of content to put out” is essential means everyone shouldn’t create all types of content.
For example, if you’re a music studio that provides song recording and post-production services to the play-back singers and bands. The ideal form of content for you is video; you can hire a cameraman who can edit videos too and make him shoot behind the scenes of the office work.
Furthermore, it’d be strange if you create images for Pinterest to market your music studio. You need to use the video content for marketing instead.
You might wonder how you’d know what type of content is the right fit for your business.
Here are four factors in deciding the right type of content to put out:
i. Content Demand
It’s essential to do a little bit of digging to determine the demand for different content types. If you’re a social media geek, you’d know video is hot these days. People love live streams, stories, and other videos on every social media platform.
Similarly, people might love 5-minute funny dog compilation videos, but won’t be interested in an hour-long rice crop-harvesting audio podcast. So try to sort out the type of content that suits the best for your social media strategy.
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ii. Capability to Create
The content demand alone won’t solve the problem. If you choose the type of content you can’t create, then it’d be another problem. For instance, if you don’t know how to drive a car, don’t project yourself as a driving expert. You won’t be able to create “how to drive a car” videos that way.
Don’t get discouraged with not being able to create a specific type of content. Instead, try to choose you can create, and people would still find it helpful. Remember that self-awareness is a huge advantage.
iii. Audience Attention
Audience attention is a massive signal to what they want to consume. If your specific content type is getting a lot of traction, it shows that it’s getting the audience’s attention. Suppose you’re a web design agency, and you’re only focusing on the articles in your content marketing strategy.
On the other hand, your competitors are using articles and video tutorials on Facebook and YouTube. You’re noticing that they’re getting views on YouTube and Facebook, then it shows that they have the audience’s attention.
You don’t have to copy your competitors blindly, but instead, do your testing and see what’s working for you. Maybe, you could leverage Instagram better than YouTube video for attracting and engaging more website designing prospects.
iv. Product Placement
Great content is a fundamental content marketing ingredient, but remember that it takes money, sweat, and energy to put out great content. Don’t ever compromise on the quality of your content. All you need to do is plug your product or service naturally into the content so that you could make the most of your content marketing.
These factors would help you decide the right type of content to focus on.
There are influencers out there who’re good at this, meaning they’re crushing it with the specific type of content on social media.
John Lee Dumas knows about this.
He has established his brand, EOFire, around podcasting. His podcast is among the top podcasts in the entrepreneurship and business genre.
Here’s another example:
Patrick bet-David is a serial entrepreneur, speaker, and author.
He has gotten a lot of attention on his YouTube channel called Valuetainment; it exploded on the internet a few years ago. Most of this content on social media platforms is video-based.
The purpose of sharing these examples is that a B2B social media strategy isn’t complete without figuring out what type of content suits you.
It’s okay if putting out videos on the internet isn’t your cup of tea; you could try podcasting or images or articles.
Pay close attention to the right type of content that helps you reach prospective clients and loyal fans. However, the content quality doesn’t matter if the content isn’t delivered to the right audience. Therefore, choose the right type of content to get going.
I’m sure you’d be able to craft a suitable B2B social media strategy after choosing the best content types for your social media marketing.
#4. Analyze your content and social media strategies
Analytics play a vital role in shaping our social media and content strategies. Therefore, ignoring the statistics won’t be a wise thing to do. You should neither take analytics for granted, nor fixate on the numbers too much; try to create a balance in between.
If you haven’t had a chance to analyze your social media strategy before, then it may seem a little daunting at first.
Let’s not over-complicate this content and social media analysis process.
Going through your social media analytics helps you understand what type of content is getting attention on the specific platform.
For example, I recently learned that my blogging-related tweets are getting more traction as compared to others:
Every social media platform has a different statistics model.
For instance, LinkedIn notifies you how many people visited your LinkedIn profile after a week or so.
Similarly, Instagram also has a feature for business accounts called Insights.
It portrays the performance of your recent Instagram posts.
The best part is that it helps you comprehend what kind of Instagram posts are getting more reach and interactions. You can always test out different hashtags and pictures to analyze the outcome.
The following are the metrics that will determine the success or failure of your social media and content strategies:
Most of the brands don’t actively post content on social media. Perhaps, they rarely post on social media because they don’t have a social media strategy in place. As a result of not realizing how often should you post on social media, they don’t delegate social media management to an employee or hire a social media specialist for the job or use social media management tools. What happens when you post less on social media? It massively impacts your engagement; you’d read about this later on.
The content quality has a lot to do with the traction you get on the internet. When you create targeted and useful content and get discovered by the right audience, it could turn things around, for sure. Never compromise on the quality of content. Your B2B social media strategy would fall flat if the content you’re putting out isn’t useful.
The easiest way to analyze how your content and social media strategies are doing is to check up your content’s engagement level. Some brands and bloggers disable comments on their blogs or don’t engage on social media; it’s certainly a pathway to failure. Engagement on your social media and blog is a sign of approval and attention, so pay attention to what the audience is telling you.
When tactics such as content marketing and social media marketing start to work, they reflect on the conversion rate. You’d notice that you’re generating leads and converting visitors into customers. So the conversion rate is an essential metric to consider for analyzing how content and social media strategies are performing.
Therefore, these were four metrics you shouldn’t overlook while analyzing your social media strategy.
Please take a peek at your social media analytics; it would give you a glimpse of what’s happening with your content and social media strategies.
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Here are three signals to analyze the performance of overall content and social media strategies:
I. Social Sharing
Keep an eye on what type of content is being shared by the subscribers and followers. It’s highly unlikely that the low-quality content is being shared on social media. So pay close attention to what content is benefiting the audience, and social sharing is a vital signal to figure that out.
II. Lead Generation
Lead generation has a massive impact on the success of a business or blog. What else it does is that it gives a signal that the audience is liking the content or web property. If you have been ignoring email list building or don’t have a lead magnet in place for lead generation, then you’re missing out on a lot of great things.
III. Brand Mentions
Brand mentions mean your brand is being tagged or discussed on social media. It always gives a good vibe when people are praising your brand on social media. It only happens when you’re offering value upfront.
Once you start to look out for the metrics mentioned above, it’d educate you on what kind of discoverability your brand has gotten or what people think of your company.
Plus, it would help if you also created a check-and-balance on social media performance signals to understand how effective your B2B social media strategy has turned out to be.
Furthermore, if things are going south, you can always make adjustments in your social media strategy.
Are You Ready to Build a B2B Social Media Strategy?
I’ve touched a handful of angles on shaping a B2B social media strategy that any business can pay attention to for capitalizing on social media.
I opened my spiel by discussing the importance of identifying the right audience. Your B2B social media strategy won’t take off if you’re targeting the wrong audience.
You might have noticed that I have continuously been fixating on the “content” throughout the blog post. The reason is that content fuels your social media growth, whether you’re an entrepreneur or a multinational company.
Furthermore, I also emphasized selecting the right type of content and the platforms to put that content out.
When you’re a brand and trying to dominate social media, don’t think like a person, but instead, look through a company’s lens.
I’m confident that going through all these points would give you a perspective on designing your B2B social media strategy.
I have a question for you.
Will this blog post impact your next B2B social media strategy?
Let me know even if it’s moving the needle just a little.
Let’s talk in the comments.
Hassaan Khan is a freelance writer for SAAS companies, e-commerce stores, and niche websites. He has contributed to SEMrush, ThriveGlobal, BloggingCage, AllBloggingTips, and several other publications. He builds niche websites, publishes e-books, and helps website investors with his done-for-you niche site-building service.