There’s no slowing down the social media trend, and B2B marketing is no exception. According to a new report from Circle Research and B2B Marketing Magazine, social media is gaining popularity as a B2B marketing tool, with 83 percent of B2B marketing strategists posting on social media. B2B marketers have also gotten more sophisticated in their use of social media, paying attention to analytics and tracking performance.
The most popular platforms for B2B marketing: Twitter and LinkedIn, by leaps and bounds. More than 90 percent of the organizations surveyed use these networks, regularly update them and plan to use them even more in the next 12 months. The report also shows more B2B marketers are using YouTube.
Of course, if other platforms such as Facebook or Google+ are working for your B2B business, don’t abandon them. Whatever channels you use, keep these 6 tips in mind as you plan your social media strategy:
- Get personal: Private groups and messaging apps are gaining in popularity. If your customers want an easy way to contact your business for answers, offering personal messaging might just be the feature that convinces a business to do business with you.
- Pay to play: Although the draw for customers using social media is free access to information, for businesses the trend is paying for visibility. To really reach your target market these days, you’ll need to start budgeting to pay for sponsored posts.
- Watch the competition: Make sure you keep tabs on what your competitors are doing on social media and what seems to be working for them. Then tailor your posts and tweets accordingly. Join industry groups on LinkedIn so you’re always part of the conversation. Use a social media management dashboard (such as Hootsuite or TweetDeck) to set up search streams so you can monitor all of your competitors’ social accounts in one place.
- Lights, camera, action: As YouTube increases in popularity for B2B marketers, it’s important to carefully plan your video strategy to get the most out of your efforts. Think product demonstrations, expert advice, case studies and events. Always include SEO-rich descriptions. Once you’ve posted a video, your work is not done. Embed the video on your website, tweet about it with graphics and share a tip from the video on Instagram. Finally, track and analyze results so you can improve the content in your videos.
- Link back: To drive traffic to your website, make sure most of your posts and tweets link directly to content on your website, and remember to include your website URL in your social media profile.
- One-stop socializing: Social media channels are working to keep viewers on their social media platforms instead of guiding them to your website. Features such as instant articles (where users never have to leave the social media platform to view content) and “Buy Now” buttons save viewers from having to open another window. Testing these tools may be worth the effort, but watch your analytics to see if they truly attract customers.