Social media can be an ideal way for companies to reach B2B audiences, but if you don’t have strategic goals and a content plan, and aren’t measuring the effectiveness of your approach, it could be a waste of time and money.
Sales representatives are not the only way for consumers to learn about your product or service – digital research plays a crucial role. IDG, a media research company, found that 55% of B2B buyers look for information on social media before they buy.
To make sure your social media platforms are working as hard as possible for you and your company, take a look at these five potential problem areas:
- No set strategy: Each social media platform is unique in its own way, with a distinctive voice and specific audience, which means the content for each platform needs to be different as well. An informational thought leadership post might be good for LinkedIn, but that does not mean it will be successful on TikTok, a platform where 7 second humorous video clips have the greatest chance of success, or the visually powerful Instagram.
Conduct an audit to find out if your platforms reflect the language and interests of your key audiences. The audit will tell you which platforms are the most active, who is interacting with the content, and which content audiences engage with the most. Once you learn which audiences are active on each platform, tailor your content to fit their needs.
- Keeping zombie accounts alive: If you haven’t posted on a platform for a couple of years or more … congrats — you have a zombie account! These accounts are a bad look, as it makes it seem like you don’t want to – or can’t – interact with your audiences.
The best way to solve this problem is to make sure the social media audit reviews which platforms are worth keeping … and which ones aren’t worth the investment. It’s OK to delete a Twitter or Facebook account that hasn’t had any posts since 2014. No one will miss it.
- Not adding value: B2B social media platforms are ideal for building awareness, generating leads, nurturing leads and highlighting your products and services. But if you’re too self-promotional, that’s a major turnoff, sort of like the person who always dominates a conversation to talk about himself.
Instead, make sure to provide something of value as much as possible. Think about what your customers’ challenges are. How you can help them sell more? Or, just give them something that’s kind of new and quirky that sparks their imagination. For example, Cornerstone Building Brands shared an article on Instagram that featured the trendy “barndominium” concept, which inspired its audiences to think about its products in a new way.
- Not being a student of the platform: Social media platforms are constantly changing, and it’s not enough to attend a seminar every year or so to get the latest updates and trends.
Subscribe to newsletters and watch others’ platforms so you can be among the first to know how these changes might mean to your company, such as an ability to play video or use GIFs in a certain way, or to showcase your company in a newly expanded careers section. For example, Brightcove found that social video generated 1200% more shares than text and images combined. This means you not only need to know what is new and working, but what your competition is doing.
- Ignoring celebrations: B2B-focused social media platforms can have fun, too! There are many random holidays out there, from National Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day to National Dress Your Pet Up Day. Whether it is an excuse to share an adorable picture of a Dachshund in a hard hat, or a tasty chocolate and almond treat, celebrating these fun holidays humanizes the account while still remaining relevant to the brand.
Simply searching “[insert industry here] holidays” before you sit down to produce your brand’s social media calendar gives you a chance to tie your content to a trending hashtag. Also involve your employees in the posts by asking them to post photos of pets and activities. Celebrate their wins, awards and internal events, which can show current/potential customers that you have a strong, positive work culture.
Social media platforms are a vital part of the sales research and engagement process, attracting attention throughout the buyer’s journey and after purchase. If you align content to meet the goals of the brand and consumer, stay up to date with new features, add value, and keep a human connection, you can make your investment in social media pay off.