Three Reasons You Can’t Ignore Social Media

October 16, 2017

Social Media Marketing

The social media landscape can be a tricky one for B2B marketers to navigate. On one side: cat videos and political memes. On the other: announcements of major life events and live streams from a parked car.

Where exactly does professionally-oriented content fit in?

When brands fail to get it right, these kinds of social posts can be glossed over with minimal engagement, or worse yet, reported as spam.

But there are plenty of ways to hit the sweet spot with B2B social media marketing, and we’ll share some pointers here.

Three Reasons You Can’t Ignore Social Media

Because of the seemingly odd fit, it can be tempting for marketers in the B2B space to eschew social media and focus their attention elsewhere. However, doing so can be an inhibiting and costly error, cutting you off from critical opportunities. These three facts are important to keep in mind:

B2B Buyers Increasingly Conduct Research on Social Networks

As inbound marketing becomes a more ubiquitous strategy, we’re all working to become part of the purchasing research process. Social media is an integral piece of the puzzle. More than half of B2B buyers say they use social media to inform their decisions, and that percentage is on the rise.

Millennials are Social Media Power Users

Whereas social networks can feel foreign to generations who grew up without them, the practice of signing on and scrolling through feeds is second-nature for millennials, who make up a growing portion of the professional workforce. Research from Pew shows that 86% of adults age 18-29 are active on social media.

Maintaining a Presence is Relatively Easy and Inexpensive

Writing a quality blog post, whitepaper or video can require significant time and resources. But you can easily take pieces from those larger content campaigns and turn them into bite-sized social media posts. Quick-hitting stats and factoids also work well on social feeds. Plus, automated scheduling tools and alert notifications enable you to stay be consistent in your output and responsiveness without requiring constant attention.

Five Tactics for Effective B2B Social Media Marketing

1) Know Your Platform

LinkedIn is far-and-away the most effective social platform for B2B purposes, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore the others. It might simply take a little extra creativity and color to stand out on channels designed with leisure surfing in mind. In addition to its more natural business context, LinkedIn’s professional targeting parameters make it an excellent bet for reaching relevant audiences.

2) Stay on Target

Following up on that last point, refining your audience scope is vital to an efficient and effective social media marketing approach. Particularly with B2B campaigns, it’s extremely important to ensure your content is being served to the right people. Taking the time to learn how to properly target on the channel you’re using is well worth it. You can become an expert at finding your audience on LinkedIn with our first Sophisticated Session.

3) Dare to be Adventurous

Even on LinkedIn, where the majority of content is business-related, you’ll be wise to think outside the box to get noticed. For example, one company created an IT-themed board game and raised awareness of it on the platform, scoring huge engagement. Campaigns like this should remind us that while B2B and many of its fields are considered dry, there’s always plenty of room to spice things up.]

4) Drop the Dull and Drab Aesthetics

People largely peruse social media for entertainment. Those same old bland stock photos aren’t likely to catch their attention or interest. Aim for bold and striking imagery that causes someone to stop and look twice as they scroll along. Recognizable faces and locations tend to get more clicks.

5) Measure Everything

Each major social network is continually making efforts to beef up its analytical chops these days. What happens after you click “Post” is no longer a mystery, as it’s easier than ever to gain insight on who is interacting with your social content and how. Track the results of your activities, then use that information to inform your next round. Rinse, repeat.

Dig in Deeper

Want to learn more about the best ways to maximize your impact with B2B social media marketing? Then tune into the next episode of Live with Marketers: Driving Business with Social Media, coming up on October 19th.