More than 79% of people claim that user-generated content on social networks significantly impacts their purchasing decisions, while 54% of social media users leverage social platforms to research products.
As a result, companies with no B2B social media strategy in place (or even an organic social presence) are missing out on a lot more than likes and retweets.
Organic social media deserves to be treated as more than a side project or something outsourced to an intern. A solid strategy, with business-focused objectives and plans for measuring success, is critical because you need a method to help your team stay on track.
In this post, we’ll go over five questions to ask yourself to help you create a more effective organic B2B social media strategy.
What Is a B2B Social Media Strategy?
Business-to-business brands are using social platforms as yet another channel for their marketing efforts. Considering that almost half of social users make use of this channel to research products and brands, it’s wise to have a tactical approach, rather than just share a bunch of memes and retweet other companies’ thoughtful posts.
So a social strategy that is specific to a B2B company is a carefully planned blueprint that lays out the kind of original and curated content your brand will post, the most relevant social media platforms on which to post, and the appropriate analytics to study for insights into improving it.
Which Social Media Is Best for B2B?
For your social media marketing to really be effective, it’s important to post content on the right networks, such as:
- LinkedIn: With 740 million members and about 55 million registered companies, LinkedIn is the most obvious platform for B2B marketers. For this reason, LinkedIn is 277% more effective at generating leads than Facebook and Twitter.
- Twitter: With over 396.5 million monthly active users, Twitter is another great place for social media engagement with potential buyers for B2B brands. This network is particularly good for brand awareness, community building and lead generation.
- Facebook: Naturally, Facebook is on this list, being the most popular social platform with 2.8 billion monthly active users. This network is especially efficient for reaching business decision makers who spend 74% more time here than other people.
B2B marketers also have a great social media presence on YouTube, Instagram and TikTok, but success on these may depend more on your demographic audience or content type.
Now, on to the five questions to ask yourself to help you put together (or refine) your organic B2B social media strategy.
Question 1: What Goal(s) Do I Want to Achieve?
Before your team even gets started creating a social strategy, you need to determine why you’re building it.
Many businesses launch social channels to simply check off a box on the marketing plan without putting any real intention into their efforts or desired outcome. By clearly defining your purpose for a social strategy and the specific goals you want to achieve as a result, you can more confidently develop a strategic plan. One component of this is also determining how your team can keep their social efforts consistent.
Without defining specific goals, it can be easy to get sidetracked and put social media on the back burner. Or worse, you may write it off as an ineffective channel when you never really gave it a shot at success.
So start by figuring out what specifically you want to get out of your social media marketing, and be realistic about whether it’s possible.
Examples of high-level goals for your social media strategy:
- Raise brand awareness
- Provide quality and timely customer service
- Position your brand as an industry thought leader
- Build an audience to improve paid social performance
- Increase employee engagement
- Reach [1,000] new customers this month
- Drive [10X] more website traffic this quarter
- Elevate recruiting efforts and fill  positions
Remember, your strategy can have multiple objectives. But knowing upfront specifically what you want to accomplish — in what time frame — will give your strategy that true north and help you clarify your tactics and plan your social content content.
For example, if one of your objectives is to raise brand awareness, you could post blogs or videos of customer stories to hone in on your brand’s unique voice and showcase how your product or service helps customers.
This requires focusing on developing interesting, thoughtful and consistent content that others will want to share. Using videos and visuals in your posts will help garner attention.
Question 2: Which Departments Need to Be Involved?
Part of ensuring that you are getting and keeping the attention of your desired social audience is making sure you have the right people involved on your end. Depending on your social media marketing goals, several departments and roles may need to be involved, including:
- Customer Success
With the potential for so many cooks in the kitchen, you need to find simple ways to keep the right people in the loop at the correct level. This often comes down to simplification and automation. Rather than expecting (or granting permissions for) every single team member to log in to your social channels regularly, look for ways to best use your teams to ensure that the right social audience gets the right messages at the right time.
For example, customer service reps could be kept in the loop on any inquiries coming through your social platforms with a dedicated social media Slack channel. To learn how to integrate Twitter into a Slack channel, check out this article from the Slack help center.
We use this integration at Megawatt! Every social post our marketing team sends out gets reposted to our #general channel so the whole team can see what we’re working on and share with their networks if they choose to. This is what our Tweets look like in Slack:
It’s especially important (and impactful) to loop the sales team into your social media marketing efforts. In fact, 78% of sales reps engaged in social media consistently outsell their peers who have no presence. Taking social seriously as a sales organization (and as individual reps) is a must.
Here are a couple good ways to ensure that your sales team is consistently interacting on social platforms:
- Set them up with a CRM (customer relationship manager) tool like Copper, Pipedrive, or Salesforce.
- Use an employee advocacy tool, like PostBeyond. Employee advocacy tools assist organizations in easily enabling their employees to share branded content through their personal social accounts.
- Integrate social alerts into Slack as we mentioned above.
Question 3: Who Will Lead the Strategy Execution?
Now that you have determined what goal to set and which teams need to be involved in reaching it, it’s time to decide who will lead the team to successful strategy execution.
A successful social media plan requires dedication and resources, so to define responsibilities, it’s helpful to answer a few questions:
- How do you plan on defining the leadership roles needed to execute this strategy?
- Do you plan on adding the responsibility to an existing role?
- Are you going to hire a full-time person to create content and manage your accounts?
When it comes to social marketing, some brands simply have an intern who supports all their accounts. But if your interns aren’t well-trained on the strategy and tactics of social in general or other employees who are tasked with social marketing get bogged down with “more important” work, your organic social media presence can suffer.
While many of us use social networks in our personal lives and may equate it to a hobby, it is a legitimate channel for amplifying your sales, marketing, recruiting and employee engagement efforts. That is, when it’s done well. It’s critical to note that having a successful strategy will take more time than you may think — almost 12 hours a week, in fact.
If you don’t have the necessary expertise, a great option is to outsource your social strategy to a third-party vendor that specializes in social marketing.
Question 4: Do I Need a Social Media Content Calendar?
With your social captain and soldiers in place, it’s time for the most fun part: creating content! One of the best ways to ensure that your social strategy is aligned with your goals is to have a content calendar.
A content calendar that you’ve created ahead of time allows your entire team to get organized regarding content types and posting schedule. It also allows the team to more clearly identify key themes you want to address on your social channels in parallel with broader B2B company initiatives. This can be done monthly or quarterly to make sure your social media calendar is truly strategic and in lockstep with your goals.
To help align your social strategy and goals, start by creating posts that promote:
- Upcoming company-sponsored events
- Funding milestones
- Product launches
- New content (white papers, e-books, webinars, etc.)
- Employee-focused events (holiday parties, birthdays, work anniversaries)
But remember: each of your planned content posts should be aligned with the goal(s) you identified at the start of this process.
What Should B2B Brands Post on Social Media?
The type of content you post will depend on each social platform to a large degree.
- LinkedIn: Since around 46% of social traffic to B2B sites comes from LinkedIn, you should be posting content about job openings at your company, SlideShare presentations for easy viewing, and long-form, informative articles.
- Twitter: For the short-post format on this platform, your content can include quick updates, recent news pieces, quizzes/polls, podcasts, and anything else that might be a conversation starter.
- Facebook: On your company’s Facebook page, you should post Stories for behind-the-scenes or company culture content, videos (explainer, demos, how-to’s) and curated content that provides value to your followers.
When you have an idea of what type of content you will be posting, it’s time to decide whether to develop a proactive or reactive strategy. (Spoiler: you need both.)
A proactive social media strategy is the act of planning content for your social platforms. Keeping your social channels consistent with new content will keep your followers interested and encourage new users to follow and stay updated. This is where a content calendar comes in handy, allowing you to make sure that all the content you want your followers to see will be published in a timely, effective manner.
A reactive social media strategy, on the other hand, involves reaching out to followers and reminding them that there is an actual human behind your brand’s account. Implementing a reactive strategy is a great way to show your followers that your brand is interested in communicating with them. This requires that whoever is running the account be quick on their feet. They need to respond to questions, comments, and concerns targeted at your brand.
Reacting to pop-culture trends is also a great way to boost awareness. For example, the TikTok of a man named Nathan Apodaca skateboarding and drinking Ocean Spray cranberry juice to a Fleetwood Mac tune went viral (currently at 81.3 million views):
When Ocean Spray saw the video’s popularity, they gave Apodaca a brand new truck. This public display of generosity gave Ocean Spray a huge boost in sales and PR buzz.
Though not all of us can purchase a new truck for social engagement, it does illustrate the benefit of mixing proactive and reactive social engagement. Yes, you can and should have a calendar, but if you plan too much, you’ll miss out on the real-time value of social networking.
Related Content: 5 Tips to Write B2B Content Faster —Without Sacrificing Quality
Question 5: How Do I Measure the Success of My Strategy?
Measuring the success of your organic B2B social media strategy over time can prove to be tricky, what with all the different metrics provided. How you measure success will truly depend on what your goals are.
For every goal you have, there is a metric to help you understand whether or not you’re reaching it. On Twitter, you can see your metrics in the Twitter Analytics section. For LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook, you will need to create your account as a business page. From there, you will be able to see your metrics.
The most crucial social media metrics you should be looking at when measuring success are:
- Engagement = likes, comments and shares
- Awareness = impressions and reach
- Follower growth = number of new followers each week
If you want to drive website traffic, you should look at your engagement metrics to see how many people are clicking on the links in your posts. You can also see how many visitors are being driven to your website through social channels on your Google Analytics page.
If one of your main goals is to reach new customers, you should keep an eye on your awareness metrics to see how many new users are viewing your posts.
If one of your goals is to raise brand awareness, you should look at your follower growth to keep track of how many unique users are interested in your social content and want to see more.
Tracking your social metrics can be time-consuming and complex, especially if you have a lot of accounts and different goals you want to achieve. But not taking the necessary amount of time to track your metrics could cause your team to lose track of your goals, resulting in a failed social strategy.
Pro Tip: When you outsource your social media marketing, your new external team will track all the metrics for you!
What’s my next step?
Social media for business-to-business brands can be tricky to navigate. But when you’re clear on your goals from the start, you can more purposefully create a successful social strategy for your brand.
In addition, you’ll need to decide which departments should be involved (Marketing, Sales, Customer Success, C-Suite, HR, IT?), figure out who will lead the strategy and engage regularly, build a social content calendar for consistency, and measure and fine tune it often.
At Megawatt, we are passionate about the role social media plays in amplifying content strategies for B2B tech companies.
We hope you learned how to improve your B2B social media strategy! But if you just want an expert B2B content marketing agency to do it for you 👇