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The cat’s out of the bag! Social media marketing is becoming a must-do for B2B businesses.
Why? Well, that’s the ultimate question that this article will address.
Basically, if B2B content marketing was a cocktail party, social media marketing would be the equivalent of working the room. It gives businesses the opportunity to schmooze potential prospects and create a memorable impression.
Today, more and more B2B buyers are using social media (particularly LinkedIn) to make purchasing decisions both consciously and subconsciously.
- Consciously, buyers may look up your business on social media platforms to determine if your business is reputable and active before they take the next step of filling out a lead generation form and getting in touch.
- Unconsciously, a buyer’s connection may have engaged with your post, exposing that buyer to your brand in their feed.
So, if you’re not taking advantage of social media platforms to market your B2B business yet, you’re basically leaving opportunities on the table.
If you still need some convincing that social media marketing is worth the investment (or need help getting executive buy-in for social media), we’re covering 8 irrefutable B2B social media marketing benefits below!
The Importance of Social Media in B2B Marketing
Ultimately, the not-so-secret secret to a successful business in today’s economy is its ability to be found online.
Your prospective customers and clients don’t know what they don’t know—meaning, if you don’t make yourself known and accessible across the internet, your marketing funnel may not be as full as those of your competitors that have more well-rounded digital marketing strategies.
Just like it’s important for your business to leverage SEO to ensure your brand is visible on all the search engine results pages for the search queries that your target audiences are using, it’s important for your brand to have a strong and consistent social media presence on the social platforms where your target audiences are active.
Growing your business is all about making your brand’s presence known and social media marketing is a key strategy for increasing your brand’s share-of-voice, influence, and ultimately—sales.
Today, online marketing specialists are one of the primary drivers of a successful company. While face-to-face communications with other firms may have been the norm in the past, more and more B2B businesses are now establishing their social media presence and using social media as an essential aspect of their overall marketing strategies.
The Benefits of Social Media Marketing for B2B Businesses
Now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for… Time to dive into the benefits!
1. Build Ultra-Strong Brand Awareness
The first (and arguably the most important) benefit of social media marketing is that it is the ideal tool for boosting brand awareness.
Different social media platforms function a bit differently, but let’s focus on LinkedIn as it is often the most lucrative social media platform for B2B businesses.
On LinkedIn, there are a number of ways that new users can be exposed to your brand and your social media posts even if they don’t follow you:
- They follow a hashtag that you used in your post.
- One of their connections engages with or shares your post.
- You comment on a post from someone they follow.
In all of the examples above, your brand could appear in the feed of potential customers who may have never heard of your business before.
In order to make the most of this social media benefit, there are a few different strategies you can implement:
- Perform thorough hashtag research to determine highly followed and relevant hashtags that you can include in your posts.
- Focus on creating high-value content that your followers will be eager to share with their connections.
- Engage with posts from thought leaders in your industry and provide your own unique perspective on the topics that they discuss.
As we discussed above, prospective customers and clients will never purchase from your business if they’re not aware of it. Even if your social media efforts don’t result in many direct or immediate conversions, social media plays a key role in widening your funnel and exposing more prospects to your business so you can then work on guiding them through your sales funnel.
2. Show Up Where Your Audience Is Already Active
Did you know that there are 65+ million business decision-makers on LinkedIn?
And, depending on your industry, there may be a sizeable number of key decision-makers on other social media platforms as well.
When you post content on social media platforms, particularly on LinkedIn, you’re not just shouting out into the void. You’re speaking to hundreds or even thousands of key decision-makers in your industry who may be looking for the exact solutions that you provide.
The key, though, is using the platform strategically to make your brand a valuable resource for your target audience. You’ll find the most success from your social media marketing efforts when your brand appears as a natural extension of the other organic posts on the platform.
In other words, avoid making all of your posts seem overly self-promotional or ad-like.
For example, people are active on LinkedIn because they want to get ahead in their careers. So, consider ways that your brand can leverage the platform to deliver value to your audience by helping them get ahead at work. Help them stay up to date on industry news and updates, provide a unique perspective on an industry trend, or explain how your product or service can help them save their company time or money so they look like a rockstar when they present the solution to their boss.
3. Establish Your Brand as a Thought Leader
What B2B brand doesn’t want to be recognized as a trusted authority in their industry?
When your services or products cost a pretty penny, decision-makers aren’t willing to dish out their dough to just any average joe they come across.
Before making a purchase or even filling out a lead gen form, your prospects want to be sure that you really know your stuff.
One of the best ways to demonstrate your expertise to your prospects is to become an active participant in the most important conversations happening in your industry. And, what better place to do that than on social media?
Social media marketing allows you to produce timely and relevant content based on your business’ unique expertise, insights and experience.
Then, when prospects look up your brand on social media, they’ll have a wealth of proof that your business has the expertise required to support them with the solutions they need.
4. Receive Powerful Social Proof
Humans are predictable creatures and one of our most predictable behaviours is mimicking the actions of others.
Basically— monkey see, monkey do.
In terms of social media marketing, you can see social proof come into action in the comments section of posts. Once a post has a few comments, more users are likely to mimic the behaviour and add comments of their own.
Then, when other people see your posts with lots of comments in their feed, your brand appears more credible and users will be more likely to follow you so they don’t miss out on the action—another psychological phenomenon most commonly referred to as “FOMO” (AKA. “fear of missing out”).
While social media can be a great tool for building social proof, you’ve got to know how to get the conversation going.
First, you need either a thought-provoking, insightful post or one that incites congratulatory messages or praise. For example, share unique thoughts on a trending topic in your industry based on the expertise of one of your team members or share when your company has won an award or reached a new milestone. Both of these examples will be likely to incite comments.
Then, you need to get the ball rolling. Ask your staff members to engage with the post as soon as it goes live. Then, once your followers see the post in their feeds, it will already have a number of engagements that they’ll want to mimic.
5. Push Relevant Traffic to Your Site
Another benefit of social media is that it allows you to drive traffic to different pages on your website. With a strong call to action (CTA) included in your post, you can effectively direct your audience to your landing pages, blog posts, case studies, and more.
Once you get users on your website, it’s easier to encourage them to complete certain actions such as filling out a lead generation form or signing up for your newsletter (depending on where they are in the buyer’s journey).
When adding links to social posts, there are a few important things to keep in mind:
- Certain social media platforms will limit the reach of posts with links because they don’t want social media users to leave their platforms. For example, LinkedIn’s algorithm is particularly link-phobic.
- Posting too many posts with links can turn your audience away. Your followers won’t like it if you only use your account to try to pitch them your products or services.
The key is to use links sparingly and add links after a post has been published, either by adding the link to the comments or by editing the post to add the link. Either method is a decent hack for getting past LinkedIn’s link phobia.
6. Put Friendly Faces to Your Company’s Name
People connect more with people than they do with faceless brands.
It seems like an obvious fact, but many B2B brands forget the power of a real smiling face.
Social media platforms are the ideal place to share the people behind the great work that you do. And, doing so builds stronger and more personal connections with your audience.
Putting your face on social media doesn’t have to be the typical selfie or gratuitous snapshot of your team at dinner. Instead, you can take photos of your teams at work or share professional headshots of your staff members to introduce them to your audience.
Even in B2B industries, posts featuring real people almost always receive more engagement than any other type of image post.
Ultimately, relatability goes a long way. Today’s B2B execs want to see more than your website before they make purchasing decisions. They want to engage with your business on a more personal level, establish a long-term relationship and know that their investment is with a legitimate and honest company.
7. Get to Know Your Audience Inside Out
Want more insights about your audience? Social media is a great place to get them!
LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram all have different social media analytics features that allow you to access information about your audience demographics.
Another way to gain more information about your audience via social media is to use poll features on LinkedIn or Twitter. You can ask your audience how they feel about different trending topics, which pain point they struggle with the most, or what they find most interesting. This information is not only helpful for your social media strategy, but it can also be valuable information for your other marketing efforts as well.
8. Stay Top of Mind for Your Target Audience
When you post on your social media channels consistently, you increase your audience’s familiarity with your brand. And, higher familiarity = higher brand recall (the likelihood of users remembering your brand, products, and services).
In most industries, it’s highly unlikely that B2B buyers will make a decision to purchase your product or hire you for your services after seeing just one social media post. But, if you’re consistently posting across your channels, you can increase the chances of users recalling your brand when they’re in the market for a solution that you provide.
Basically, social media helps you ensure that when your audience is ready to make a purchase, your company is the solution they think of first to solve their problems.
In addition to posting consistently, it’s also important to publish posts that speak to users at different stages of the funnel so you can nurture your prospects no matter where they are in their buying journey and keep them engaged until they are ready to convert.
Let Us Help Your B2B Business Reap All the Benefits of Social Media Marketing
And there you have it. There are so many fantastic benefits your B2B business can experience by leveraging social media campaigns.
But, reaping those benefits isn’t quite so simple.
You need a rock-solid social media strategy and a keen awareness of best practices (which are constantly in flux due to the ever-changing social media landscape!)
If you’re looking for support in creating and executing a social media marketing strategy that will attract new prospects beyond your current reach and keep your potential customers impressed and engaged throughout every stage of your funnel, then look no further!
Our content marketing specialists understand the ins and outs of social media marketing for B2B brands. We guarantee that our social media efforts will boost your brand’s credibility and help you dominate the conversation in your industry. We’ll produce thought-provoking, valuable social content that will not only push buyers along the path toward conversions but will also impress your C-level executive team too.
So, what are you waiting for? Contact us today!