When a person outside of our social bubble contacts us, the first thing we do is check their social media pages. We want to learn who they are acquainted with, what they do, and whether we can trust them. The same thing happens with commercial social media — your B2B company needs them because your target audience needs them.
But what should your business be posting about? What tone of voice is appropriate and what kind of content can help you find more prospects? Which social media platforms are worth a shot? Let’s find out what makes B2B social media marketing authentic, sustainable, and effective and why businesses can’t afford to ignore social media anymore.
What is B2B social media marketing?
B2B social media marketing is how you market your company on social media to attract and retain the attention of your existing customer base as well as potential decision-makers and industry experts. Social media marketing for B2B doesn’t automatically imply that you have to talk about your business nonstop or make every post sell.
Learn more about B2B marketing from our glossary!
Some SaaS companies even make fun of the fact that most B2B social media communications are awkwardly salesy:
But yours don’t have to be this way. As you’ll learn from this post, valuable and authentic social media content can help your B2B brand organically build authority, increase its following, discover new talent to hire, broadcast company culture, and more.
A popular misconception is that you really have to pump money into producing content for social media because you’ll need a ton of it. Unlike personal blogs, B2B channels are more forgiving. Your busy audience won’t expect you to publish ten Stories a day, but you do need to remember that by embarking on this journey you commit to delivering high-quality content somewhat consistently.
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Benefits of having a sound B2B social media strategy
We’ve already mentioned that your social media accounts significantly contribute to the first impression your brand creates. This is your chance to introduce your B2B brand to a new, yet unknown audience of potential decision-makers, customers, and partners and come into contact with them.
But it’s not just that. Having a clear brand voice and expressed brand personality on social media pays off in many ways.
This is also an opportunity for you to show that your company is way more than a static website, that it’s not locked in an echo chamber. A social media presence gives your brand a new depth: you share insights, react to industry events, and comment on emerging trends, in other words, you cement your authority and build trust while staying receptive to outside opinions.
Here are eight more reasons social media is a key B2B marketing tool worth mastering:
- Your product launches and PR campaigns get more traction.
- You organically spread awareness and improve your online reputation.
- Your website gets more traffic from additional platforms.
- You get to share your company values using your unique brand voice.
- Your target audience gradually learns more about your products or services.
- You strengthen your HR brand to attract the best talent.
- Your company appears more approachable and relatable.
- You instantly register customer feedback and react to it.
Prospecting can also be on your list of goals, but it shouldn’t be your primary goal. Users get on social media to communicate and decompress. The last thing they want to see in their feeds is another salesy account. With LinkedIn and other networking platforms, of course, it’s a different story — but even there you are expected to deliver value before making a sales pitch.
The trend of building lasting and authentic connections with customers is here to stay. Only half of the B2B content marketers use content mainly for lead generation and driving sales. Others prefer to focus on growing and nurturing meaningful relationships with their existing and potential customers — and that’s exactly what social media channels are for.
Not sure if your company is ready to adopt a long-term approach and post consistently? Keep reading — we’ll show you how B2B companies can relatively easily produce different types of shareable social media content that is neither repetitive nor superficial.
B2B social media marketing channels and how to use them
83% of top-performing B2B marketers attribute their success to the value their content provides. But truly valuable content is harder and more expensive to produce.
Discover how to create value for customers with marketing activities and relevant content.
That’s why it is always better to have two thriving channels than five sloppy, barely alive profiles — so, being everywhere certainly isn’t the best strategy for the B2B segment. Thankfully, there are not that many platforms to choose from:
- LinkedIn. Successful LinkedIn B2B marketing isn’t just about networking. Distribute in-depth articles, publish polls, create groups around your brand, collaborate with niche experts, and try different types of ads using the Campaign Manager.
- Facebook. Aside from targeted ads, you can use FB to build an active community around your brand, announce new features, share downloadable content assets and blog posts, and receive instant feedback from your customers.
- Instagram. Use this platform for distributing visual content such as infographics, fun facts, social proof, or short explainer videos. Reels and Stories are great for promoting positive company culture and building a strong and reputable employer brand.
- Twitter. Engage in conversations with thought leaders, give updates, make announcements, react to breaking news and industry events, answer questions, start informative threads, etc.
- YouTube. Showcase your expertise through Q&A sessions, explainers, customer testimonials, “deep dives,” interviews with industry experts, and podcasts.
As more social media platforms switch to the “pay to be seen” model and decrease organic reach, it makes sense to consider future advertising costs even before you start working on your social media presence.
Don’t miss a single opinion! Use social listening tools to monitor what experts and consumers are saying about your company on Twitter or other platforms right now.
It takes a lot of experimenting to find a viable channel for a specific business, especially if it’s B2B. All the more reason you should rely on professional social media analytics tools that don’t just show you what works and what doesn’t but also give you recommendations on how to improve your performance.
What do the best B2B social media strategies have in common?
We’ve gone through dozens of B2B social media profiles, mostly for SaaS companies, and picked out some of the best practices you can apply to your own B2B social media strategy:
- instantly recognizable visual style;
- charismatic brand personality and tone of voice;
- diverse content formats every week;
- cohesive content plan behind every social media account;
- informal or semi-informal language, sometimes sprinkled with emoji;
- various content for each stage of the customer journey.
To master the latter, use a content matrix — a structure that helps you pinpoint customer needs and address them with curated content assets. Social media platforms usually serve as top-of-the-funnel marketing channels, but you can also introduce more advanced types of content for those who are moving down the funnel, meaning, they’re already familiar with your offer but haven’t made a final decision yet.
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Examples of engaging content for B2B marketing on social media
Many companies still treat their socials like a newsfeed. But 82% of B2B buyers want to see more creativity when it comes to ads and content for B2B business products and services they come across. This fact puts another nail in the coffin for “typical” B2B social media content as well — users have had enough of dull, cliché, and purposeless salesy posts, and that’s actually good news for marketers.
You get a chance to see better ROI through creating unique, valuable, and fitting content for each social media platform. Let’s see how other B2B companies achieve that and manage to keep their communications real, one example at a time.
Share freebies and downloadables
To retain your subscribers’ attention, make sure you share enough knowledge and expertise in a neatly packed form. Checklists, eBooks, playbooks, case studies, guides, reports — don’t reserve them just for your blog. Always share them on LinkedIn and Facebook briefly describing what’s inside and why it’s click-worthy.
The most important thing is to add compelling and relatable copy so that your potential prospects instantly recognize that you’re on the same wavelength and speak the same language.
You can leave your content assets up for grabs or, alternatively, make them gated and collect contact data from your subscribers to send them lead-nurturing emails.
Show your founders or spokespersons
As we’ve said earlier, it’s all about building trust. Use your social media presence to show who’s behind your company and who your potential prospects are going to be speaking with. Visual content with faces is 38% more likely to receive likes and 32% more likely to receive comments.
You can also take this one step further and announce a live stream or webinar with a group of your experts. It’s a great chance to introduce your whole team and demonstrate your thought leadership.
This way, even the most cautious users will see that your B2B brand is absolutely trustworthy and deserves a place on their radar. Face-to-face communication will create an initial emotional connection, which is crucial for future sales.
If your company takes part in an industry event, make sure to publish the evidence of that on your socials as well.
The more informal those photos are, the more authenticity and openness they’ll add to your company’s profile.
Document what you’re working on and share your updates
This is especially relevant for emerging B2B businesses that don’t have a lot of exciting news yet but want to start building a community on social media. It’s important to share your company’s progress and every milestone you’ve achieved.
And if there are some temporary problems, use your socials to instantly notify your customers about them and explain how you’re working on solving them — a quick tweet is the best way to do that.
Of course, Twitter shouldn’t fully replace your email notifications, but it’s a faster way to get noticed and share short updates.
Introduce new features, products, or services and get feedback
For B2B SaaS companies, this means describing every little button or function you’ve added and explaining how it’ll affect the user experience.
You’ll be able to see what your audience thinks about the changes without having to send yet another survey. For smaller announcements, use tweets.
Non-SaaS B2B companies, in turn, can use social media to introduce new products and services in a more concise and informal way than they do on their website.
Create videos to address various customer pain points
Any B2B company can benefit from having a solid video marketing strategy. Insightful interviews, explainers, tutorials, podcasts, and webinars can be produced in-house or even within the four walls of a pandemic home office. In fact, a simple setup only boosts the authenticity of the content, and big B2B brands are starting to recognize that.
When it comes to YouTube, your company’s experts can channel their efforts towards educating first-time visitors and guiding prospects through the steps of their buying journey. BigCommerce, for example, achieves that by sharing growth strategies, product tutorials, conference recordings, podcasts, customer success stories, Q&A videos, and more.
And here’s another example of an engaging B2B YouTube channel. Quantis helps businesses develop and implement intelligent environmental sustainability solutions, and they break down such a complex topic into digestible two-minute videos as well as compelling lectures and interviews.
The latter example also illustrates how a unified visual style immediately gives a B2B social media account a tidy, put-together look.
Grow your employer brand and showcase your company culture
You can spark employee advocacy on LinkedIn by inviting the members of your team to share their inspiring career stories and give tips to wannabe professionals. It’ll help you build a more attractive, open employer brand.
Instagram is also the right platform for your employees to share their values, describe what moves them, and show what their day-to-day life looks like.
And don’t forget to show how your team grows over time.
This type of content translates absolute openness and transparency that many B2B companies lack, so don’t miss this chance to stand out.
Share inspiring customer success stories
Social media is all about storytelling and human contact. That’s why it’s important to go beyond generic “the product is cool, I’m giving it 5 stars” reviews and turn your customer testimonials into thrilling stories.
Also, why not split wordy testimonials into snap quotes and feature them on your FB or in your Instagram posts?
What makes these stories work is the fact that they’re also fully provable. They include names, job titles, real screen captures, and so on.
Give tips and hacks on how to use your product or service
Sure, you have sales reps, customer service, how-tos, and guides for educating your customers, but once in a while, some small details tend to slip away. Besides, not everyone makes it to your FAQ page or support center. So, it makes sense to share little tips or hacks on how to get the most value out of your product or service.
It’s crucial to respond to the users’ comments under your social media publications, otherwise, your B2B social media strategy will come across as one-sided. Be sure to address a specific set of problems but at the same time remain open to other suggestions and questions from your audience.
Start and facilitate discussions
On LinkedIn, you can create polls and invite other users to express their opinion on the topic at hand. Here is a good example:
This industry event invitation is nicely wrapped into a meaningful text, and that’s why it has higher chances of attracting its target audience’s attention.
Create shareable infographics
Fun facts, stats, wrap-ups, forecasts, trends, you name it. All of these things are the most captivating when they’re presented as professionally-looking visuals. Plain text is rarely effective on social media — recognizable colors and popping illustrations are necessary to catch the user’s eye.
This example proves that it’s possible for B2B companies to keep their communication style somewhat colorful yet tasteful.
Take a break from being serious
Even Atlassian uses playful GIFs in its tweets — why shouldn’t your company try that too? Publishing surprisingly informal content from time to time will help you break the mold and make your brand more distinguishable.
One thing to remember about entertaining content is that it should still be on-brand. Ideally, you should use a recognizable color scheme and the same tone of voice to keep your B2B social media strategy consistent.
Repost insightful niche content
Prevent month-long gaps between your posts by occasionally reposting expert content from outside sources. It could be a report, a survey, or an interview on a topic that your target audience is interested in.
What we especially like about this example is that it gives its readers a sneak peek at what they’ll actually see in that Twitter thread.
Ready to take the next step?
Hopefully, this post has convinced you that there is no such thing as “nothing to post about” in the B2B segment. Now, it’s time to prepare for the next step. You can automate your communications on Instagram, Facebook, or WhatsApp starting today — just create a chatbot in our code-free builder. It’ll allow you to free up more time and make sure no customer inquiry is left unanswered. Couldn’t be easier!