If there is one thing that changed for the better in 2014, it was the more open adoption of social media strategies among B2B players. Until a year or two back, B2B social media strategy primarily included only two things - a dedicated effort to grow the fan following and using the ad platform to advertise to targeted groups.
In the past year, this strategy has seen a massive evolution. With Facebook offering little to no incentives to grow your fan base, the focus of businesses has now shifted to using social media as a distribution platform for content marketing as well as for behavioral advertising. This change is universal across the multiple social media channels and is not restricted to Facebook. So how are things likely to change for B2B players over the next year? Here are a few tips on what your strategy should consider:
Mobile Social Media
Marketers have been looking at the mobile platform for quite a while now; but not necessarily when it comes to their social media strategy. Over the next year, B2B players will need to get a firmer grasp on the mobile medium for their social media strategy. What does this entail? It includes creating content that is more shareable and readable from a mobile device. A recent study by ShareThis found that the mobile web is twice as social as the desktop. This means that a business that focuses on making content consumable from the mobile platform is likely to see greater dividends on their social media strategy. Time to make your website design responsive, to begin with.
Looking Beyond Facebook & Twitter
A predominantly significant number of B2B players have still not looked beyond Facebook and Twitter on the social platform. This might possibly change over the next year as B2B players will feel the need to be ubiquitous in order to be seen and gain leads. Businesses have already realized the importance of visuals for their content marketing strategy. Platforms like Pinterest will help further the reach of your content via these visuals which could enable extended virality of your content and thus help generate a larger number of leads.
It is important to understand that social media is merely a distribution and discovery platform and the success of it depends on the quality of the product being distributed; content in this case. Take the example of a core B2B product like CRM. Tools like Net Suite software or Salesforce may not seem to have too many things to talk about for a social media audience. But not all content is the same. Customer relationship based survey reports are published as a way to gather email leads. Infographics based on CRM usage are published to get shared on Facebook and pinned on Pinterest.
These different content formats are not exactly new - however, B2B companies have so far focused on only two content formats - detailed reports and blog posts. The former is used for lead generation and the latter for social media. This year, this format could evolve and bring about a much more enhanced strategy which will see multiple formats of content being generated in order to target specific social media platforms.
Social media as a discovery platform is a huge opportunity for businesses to get inbound leads. Identifying a format that works is a key first step towards an efficient sales cycle that will end with the conversion of a few of these visitors into paying customers. What are some strategies your business will follow through the next year?