Social media continues to grow at an exponential rate across most channels, becoming an increasingly important and viable method of connecting with potential clients.
The below tips will help you create and establish an effective social media strategy to facilitate your business growth in the coming year.
1. Businesses are Made of People
Even if you're primarily in the business of working with other businesses, it's still important to make the human connection an integral part of the social media strategy.
2. Consider Instagram
B2B companies can, and should, consider the viability of an Instagram account primarily because of the ability to craft a story.
Instagram may not be a traditional social media resource for B2B brands, but it does offer the unique opportunity to connect with the individuals who'll benefit from the services sold from one business to another.
3. Prove ROI with Data
Cultivating a social media presence on one or more platforms takes consistency. This translates into an investment of time and money which needs to be justified.
The best way to do this is with hard data, and there are numerous tools that can be implemented based on the platforms used.
4. Location Based Sharing
If you're selling to companies in other time zones it's important that the times you choose to share are when the individuals in those companies are most likely to view your posts. This may mean finding ways to curate, automate and schedule what you post.
5. Power of Pinterest
Pinterest users actively engage with the information they pin.
There are several ways to utilize this engagement - make sure pins are visually appealing and informative and use the description to provide more in-depth information and SEO so that it can easily be found by search engines.
Finally, realize that Pinterest is a long-term platform. It can take months for maximum results to show up.
6. Engaging Social Profiles
The social media profile of a company may be the first interaction a potential customer has with the brand, and as such, it's imperative to ensure profiles on all social media platforms are created with optimization in mind.
Use the profile image for the logo and be thorough in filling out all sections available.
7. Collaborate with Other Teams
Collaboration with other teams within the company is essential in creating content that's both timely and consistent to the brand's image and purpose. This means social media should coordinate with sales and marketing to ensure everyone is on the same page and creating content with a cohesive purpose.
8. Content Calendar
Content calendars should be integrated between all teams involved in advertising the company.
This will make it easier to coordinate throughout all channels when something needs to change quickly or a message needs to be immediately pushed out to clients.
9. Content Sharing Optimization
Companies have multiple opportunities to encourage those who read their content to share - and these are often overlooked.
Shared Content Optimization (SCO) can include the careful use of hashtags, social media sharing buttons on blog posts, a call to action, and mesmerizing photos or videos.
10. The Effective Call to Action
Creating an effective call to action is not something that happens once and can then be implemented equally on all social media channels. Each one should be specific to the platform it will target.
11. Opt-In Opportunities
In order to get individuals in your field to opt-in to your email list, you need to offer them something of value.
A free webinar, report, class, or discount - offer something to those who are willing to provide your company with their contact information.
12. Community Involvement
Show company involvement in the field you wish to serve.
If your company makes widgets for the Florgalin industry, then make appearances at trade shows, conferences, and seminars to connect with influencers in the Florgalin industry. You can then promote those events, and subsequent ones, on your social media channels.
13. Be a Cheerleader
Everyone appreciates when their efforts are being recognized, and this includes the social media experts and individuals of the companies.
When something relevant and interesting shows up in your feed; like it, love it, and share it.
14. Humanize Your Business
Putting a human face on social media campaigns can help individuals within other companies make an emotional connection that will lead to greater levels of engagement and lead generation.
15. Survey and Adapt
If the ROI data seems to be indicating a lack of substantive return, take the time to ask followers what they want.
Create surveys about what services and content they would like to have provided and then adapt the marketing strategy to accommodate those requests.
16. Perfect Pictures
To ensure your pictures are always perfect, work with the same elements on each one; fonts, style, borders, and colors should be consisting with brand design principles.
17. Interesting Infographics
Infographics are wildly popular with people in all industries. They are a quick and visually appealing way to share an overview of large quantities of information.
18. Viral Videos
The power of video is not limited to companies who are looking to reach out to individual customers - when done properly, B2B videos can be a driving force on social media.
Businesses are ultimately still dealing with individuals and those individuals connect with their emotional centers. Make them feel inspired, amused, valuable, or educated to create a viral sensation.
19. Offer Answers
Help the businesses you wish to engage with by answering some of their most pressing questions. Have those in the industry, current clients, and even people within your own workforce fill out surveys about the questions they have or are asked most frequently. You can then use that to drive content creation; a blog, white paper, webinar, then, offer it for free on social media channels.
20. Network with LinkedIn
LinkedIn is one of the most popular social media platforms for businesses that want to recruit new talent and interact with other companies. With more than 467 million users, it's considered one of the best ways to network and meet marketing goals.
21. Conference Connections
Send employees to conferences, host in-person or online events, staff a booth, or have experts attend as key-note speakers.
You can then have those representatives share updates from those events to your company's social media channels.
22. Facebook Live
Facebook Live has quickly begun to dominate everyone's feed. With a little creativity there are opportunities for all industries to utilize the power of this new tool for B2B.
23. Utilize Hashtags
Hashtags are used on several platforms to help people locate material they are interested in - they're most prevalent on Instagram and Twitter, but other platforms also utilize the methodology.
The best way to effectively utilize hashtags is to identify what's already being used within your target market, then adapt that to your content.
24. The Scientific Method
The scientific method can and should be applied to a B2B social media strategy.
Take the time to observe the industry and competition, formulate questions about behavior and preferences, hypothesize about ways to offer valuable content, test the efficacy of the hypothesis, record the resulting data, and then go back to the hypothesis to expand or rework it.
25. Facebook Ads
Many people think of Facebook ads as a tool for reaching individual customers, however, Facebook ads can be created to help businesses reach other businesses.
They can effectively be used to introduce services to new companies or go directly for a sale.
26. Time to Tweet
Twitter is obviously a great way to send out short bursts of information and to engage in an immediate way with individuals from other companies. However, the profile section of a Twitter account offers even more opportunities to convert casual browsers into interested prospects.
27. Facebook Fundamentals
Of course you want to create engaging posts, but Facebook offers so much more potential.
It's important to optimize every square inch provided in a Facebook Page, including the about section, profile picture, cover image, photos, videos, and links.
28. Leverage Landing Pages
Once a link has been clicked from a social media share, it will inevitably lead the viewer to a new page. This all important landing page should be carefully and deliberately designed to capture leads.
Offer visitors an immediate reason to stay and share their information.
29. Judicial Use of Automation
Using an automated posting service has many benefits and it can be tempting to set up the process and walk away. But doing so can lead to missed opportunities.
If there's no one dedicated to responding and engaging with the people who read, like, and share information distributed by the company then no authentic connections are being made. This invalidates much of what is so valuable about social media in the first place.
30. Leverage Your Team
It isn't always necessary, or even beneficial, to focus on products and services all the time on social media.
Many of the most popular companies use their social media presence to showcase their talented team members.
31. Go for the Connection, Not the Sale
Social media works for B2B marketing for the same reason it works for B2C marketers - the social and emotional connections that are being made.
This means taking the time to get to know what the people following on each platform value and making an effort to give it to them.
Your Facebook audience may want live videos, while Instagram followers may want to be wowed with the dynamic images of life inside the company.
Working with a specific social media platform may be intuitively easier for some businesses, but that doesn't mean only one or two should be utilized.
Learning a new platform is possible with help from experts. The first step is locating where your consumer base is active and building an authentic and engaged group of followers.
33. Blogging Still Matters
Blogging is one of the best ways to drive engagement on social media.
Industry experts are looking to the companies they work with to provide reliable insights on a regular basis. It's also a way to show expertise and offer value to those your company wants to attract as clients.
34. Make Your Blog Social
A company that takes the time to curate valuable blog content is significantly limiting the effectiveness of that effort if it's not easy for readers to share.
Sharing icons with counters should be on every page, calls to tweeting for quotable tidbits, and inclusion in company emails are all ways to increase the level to which content is shared.
35. Competitive Analysis
It isn't enough to track the data on your own social media accounts - it's also important to gather relevant and available data on the competition.
This provides additional insight into what's working and where others' strategies can be improved upon.
36. Know Your Market
Creating buyer personas is not an activity which is limited to companies attempting to attract individual clients. B2B marketing can effectively create and utilize the same method to ensure they are connecting effectively with those individuals in the position of negotiating a sale.
It can also be an effective method of cultivating social media accounts that will attract the attention of relevant businesses.
37. Profile Partners
Within any business there are companies that work together. These are not customers or clients but those who offer complimentary services. Alternatively, they can be companies which offer support integral to the success of your business.
Cross promotion is an excellent way to reach potential customers - but more importantly it builds the social connections that have helped propel a business forward.
38. Promote Customers
Create social media posts strictly for the purpose of showing off the talents and offerings of the businesses you work with. This promotion offers the client additional value and shows potential partners that you truly appreciate the business of those you work with.
39. Superior Support
Customer service support is essential to creating a thriving business. If your customers are on hold for long periods of time to solve simple problems, they'll become frustrated and begin to look elsewhere.
Several social media platforms provide an opportunity to offer quick resolution to issues. Because the customer base is typically smaller in a B2B model this can be a manageable task.
Take the time to find out what social media platforms current and target customers are engaging with and then develop a carefully thought out presence in those spheres. Be willing to think outside the box and watch your sales increase.
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