Everyone has heard of videos going viral, and every marketer wants to be the mind behind content that goes viral. But the reality of successful content marketing - especially in B2B - is more mundane than the excitement of a video that skyrockets in popularity quickly.
The truth is that the vast majority of content does not go viral. For small to medium sized B2B organizations, it’s far more important to have quality leads rather than quantity. The same applies to social followers. B2B companies should use social media as part of their marketing so they can grow their follower base strategically - which means that going viral isn't necessary.
Being successful and strategic in social media is still a challenge. In this post we'll cover the background on social media for B2B companies, and how to do it right.
The 4 Strategic Reasons To Use Social Media in B2B
1. Educate the marketSocial media is a great tool to get your message out there. In B2B you want to position yourself as an expert and you want your company to be known as the industry leader. It’s important to create high-quality thought leadership and educate your prospects.
2. Generate leads
Promoting webinars, events, whitepapers and other great content can be a great way to help generate leads. In exchange for great insights, prospects will often provide their contact information. While they may not be ready to buy at the time of their first download, you can add them to a nurture campaign, to keep your brand top of mind and have them reach out to you when they are ready to buy.
3. Increase brand awareness
While most companies don’t identify brand awareness as a top priority, it is a critical part to your company’s success. If others don’t know about you then it will be difficult to grow your customer base. You don’t want to be the best kept secret.
4. Increase engagementOne of the biggest advantages of social media is the ability to interact with your prospects and customers in real-time. To have a good social media presence in B2B you need great content. And if content is king, amplification is queen.
How To Amplify To The Right Audience
The two most successful ways for a B2B company to grow its reach through social media is through sponsored posts (pay to play) and employee amplification. When these are done properly and consistently, B2B companies see an increase in followers and engagement.
- Invest in promotion. With the sophisticated targeting capabilities of social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook, you are guaranteed to get noticed by the right people when you sponsor your content.
- Leverage your team to amplify. Many of your employees have a network of professionals in your industry or in related industries. Because the employees have a relationship with their connections, they are more likely to get their attention when sharing great content. Just think about the power of amplification. Let’s say you have 50 followers on your company page, but you have 10 employees and each employee averages 300 connections. That means when they share out the content you could reach 3000 people instead of 50. That’s 60X the reach (and you didn’t have to spend a penny)!!!!
8 Other Essentials For B2B Social Media Success
- Have a fully customized and optimized profile. Add a branded background, customize your links and ensure that your profile is complete. Remember, first impressions count, and you want your company and your personal profiles to make a great impression.
- Deliver great content in different formats. Remember, everyone does not consume content the same way. Your study may be better delivered to some in a long whitepaper with stats and quotes while others will prefer a visually-appealing infographic. Mix it up to attract a variety of people.
- Be creative with your content. There is a lot of content out there competing for your prospects’ attention so make yours memorable while still providing value.
- Humanize your brand. Give your brand a personality and let it shine through your content. Keep it professional but add a human touch to make it more relatable and more engaging.
- Follow others. Many people will at least look at the profile of those who follow them, if not follow them back. So, if you want to get noticed, start following.
- Don’t go MIA. You need to be consistent with your social posts. You want people to be expecting to hear from you so share with a consistent and regular cadence.
- Make following you easy. Be sure to add Follow Me buttons to your blogs, emails and landing pages so people can easily join your network.
- Be authentic. You want people to trust you and your company so be true to yourself and your company’s brand personality.
Following these tips may not turn you into an overnight sensation. Grow your follower base steadily and consistently while delivering great content and you will develop a great relationship with your audience which will help grow your business. Getting the right people to join your social network is more important in B2B marketing than going viral.
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