In general, you will get the impression that the majority of brands killing it on social media are probably Business to Consumer B2C. In a normal scenario, you wouldn’t find many cases like an IT management company dominating on Instagram or a granite manufacturer crushing it on Twitter. But with the millennials taking over the business world, not much of the same logic is applied today. With around 30% of the millennials engaging with a brand on any social medium at least once in a month, these B2B companies also have countless possibilities in social media management and marketing.
Many B2B companies are still relying on traditional tactics which can be effective to a certain limit but they can’t beat social media. To effectively manage social media marketing it’s not only about existence but the engagement. Many B2B brands are left in the dust because they fail to invest in social media marketing strategies that mainly focus on engagement and generating leads to grow the potential customers.
B2B companies who are shying away from Facebook, Twitter or Instagram thinking that it wouldn’t go with the nature of their business are missing out on a huge opportunity. By integrating social media into your B2B here is a step-by-step winning marketing strategy to grow your brand and earn leads:
Step #1: Defining Your Marketing Objectives to solve challenges
Your company’s ROI is dependent on how you set your marketing goals for overall growth and for that you need to define the right objectives. The first step in building any strategy is understanding what you want from your efforts.
Social media marketing and strategic planning are not as simple as flipping a switch and getting it done. In fact, it is like cooking your favorite dish in someone else kitchen, where you have your ingredients and recipe but don’t know if more than expected guests arrive or if anyone is allergic to some ingredient you used. Your goal can shift from just making the dish to ensuring it will be enough for everyone and edible by all. That’s why setting up a goal and taking every decision in the right direction to accomplish it is the most essential factor.
After setting up measurable goals which are relevant to your business it is important that every decision you make and how you plan to make in getting more prospective customers reflect these goals. To be precise here is all you need in the beginning.
- Start with attainable goals that are not unrealistic to achieve.
- Taking every possible social media channel in your current marketing strategy is not a good idea.
- Select the most important channels with keeping your brand’s goal in mind
- Try to stick on to the original plan, too many targets and objectives can complicate the strategy.
- Document your goals and social network management to improve the chances of achieving them.
According to researchers and marketers, some of the social media marketing goals in 2018 should be
- Increasing Brand Awareness
- Increasing Customer Engagement
- Lead Generation
- Improving ROI
- Customer Retention
- User Registration
- Driving In-Person Sales
- Creating A Loyal Fan-Base
- Having Better Pulse On The Industry
STEP#2: Identifying Your Target Audience
More than 70% adults are using Facebook these days on a regular basis but the question is, is your brand actively engaging the customers there? Knowing and understanding your audience is necessary before starting any successful marketing campaign for your brand. You need to research proper things like
- Who are your potential buyers?
- What do they like the most about your products?
- What age group do they belong? And which age group is toughest of all to convert?
- What are the income levels that make up the most of returning customers?
- What elements your competitors are offering?
- What is the nature of the content you would be sharing with the audience and how does it relates to the nature of your brand?
- What are the demographic factors of the social channel you’re selecting for your brand?
Answering all these questions will help you focus on your targeted audience as well as the suitable social media channel for your brand’s growth. It is important for B2B marketers to find out the best social media platform for business’s success by testing and analyzing them. For instance, many B2B industrial companies and manufacturers who utilize videos to reach their marketing goal focus on social media networks like YouTube to prompt themselves.
Every social media platform is different and has a certain set of users with different interest and priorities. While selecting a platform for your brand the question should be “Which channel supports company’s marketing objectives the best?” rather than “What is the best channel?”
Step#3 Establishing the most essential metrics
The next most important step of a strategy is your targeted social media metrics like a number of followers and likes. But metrics like these can’t always tell the whole measure of the brand. To think of the number of followers or likes as the truth of the campaign would give you a better picture of engagement metrics. You should take a step back to your overall goals and evaluate the social metrics associated with them.
A huge fan following and likable content is not doubted great, but to build a long-lasting relationship on social in 2018, here are the few other things you should also consider:
- Post Reach: How far your content is spreading across social media and how many unique users saw your post? Is it reaching the user’s newsfeed?
- Number of Clicks: This will help you appreciate the movement of users through your marketing funnel. By tracking clicks per campaign you can cognize what encourages people to purchase.
- Performance of Hashtag: What are your most used hashtags? Do they represent your brand’s image? Which were the hashtags that created most user engagement?
- The ratio of Engagement: Dividing the total numbers of social interactions by impressions will give you the ratio of your fruitful engagement. This shows your users willingness to interact and how well your audience notices you.
- Organic & Paid Likes: For many channels like Facebook or Instagram, organic engagement rarely gives conversions for which many brands run paid campaigns like Facebook Ads. These organic and paid conversions will help you measure the user reactions.
Dig a little deeper to find out why and what are people’s sentiments about your posted content and brand’s profile. There are many social media publishing tools that can help you around with this.
Step#4 Investigating your social competitive landscape thoroughly
Investigating your competitors before the content creation process doesn’t mean to steal their ideas but to learn from their mistakes and growth. Find out who are your real competitors by simply searching your most valuable industry terms, phrases or keywords and see who shows up in search engine results. These results about their offerings and products will help you comprehend what kind of market you’re going to deal with and how can you be better than your competitors. Digging deeper with competitive analysis will help you know your potential customers.
Step#5 Building & Crafting Engaging Social Media Content
After following all the previous steps, here comes the most important part of your social marketing strategy: Planning and Building Effective Content. Start with the content that grabs your brand’s identity and avoid reaching out unpopular demographics without having a complete strategy ready. Try to create the perfect balance between the targeted and overly promotional content.
Around 80% – 90% of online users and shoppers make their decision of buying by trusting the product videos. Placing video-based content of your brand’s product or service will make around 40% of the online users to watch it. These stats show that by investing in highly visual social media content like Instagram Stories or Facebook live sessions brands can reach to their users more influentially.
Step#6 Engaging with the audience and not overlooking them
Online presence of your brand on social networks doesn’t guarantee conversations unless you keep in touch with your customers. The engagement opportunities are left unattended if you don’t respond to your audience’s’ reaction. Your brand will gain respect and a loyal customer base once you start being present and addressing your audiences. It will not only increase the audience awareness but the users will feel connected to the brand. Listen to them!
It’s all about how you engage
Finding the customer-base who is genuinely looking for answers and giving them timely, meaningful and helpful replies will benefit your marketing campaign. Listen and replying doesn’t mean that you should start talking to the people directly but to be responsive when required.
step#7 Using a social media management tool
How well are your social media management and marketing strategy going so far? Keeping the track of your progress aids putting things in clear perspective. Each social media channel has its own limitation and requires much time to listen and engage alone. Your social media manager can be more productive and well-organized part of each community by using a social media management tool which allows working on multiple streams at once.
To keep a bird’s eye view of your media activities, and analyzing your efforts we recommend SocialChamp.
SocialChamp is an effective and smart social media management tool that allows you to be productive with your social occurrence and helps you to make the right decisions.
Many B2B marketers are still not sure that by using social strategy they can generate revenue for their brand. But the fact is, if you are living in 2018 without a social presence and marketing strategy and hoping to build a lasting relationship with customers, you would stand long.