As seen in THE BEAT, December 2019. Subscribe here.

Social media has transformed the way we communicate in the world we live in, and it’s changing the way today’s marketers engage with customers and prospects.

Historically, social media has played a more prominent role in B2C marketing, and many B2B organizations today are still not sure how to make social media work for them. And let’s face it – when it comes to B2B, it’s not always the most “sexy” product and you’re targeting clients and prospects within a professional capacity.

Navigating the world of B2B social media can be challenging, but don’t get discouraged. Follow these key best practices, and you’ll soon see how powerful social media can be – especially for B2B marketing.

5 Essential B2B Social Media Best Practices

1. Create a content strategy to increase your overall brand image and drive more traffic to your pages. When posting content, ask yourself these questions.

  • What’s in it for my audience? Will they be entertained? Informed? Understand how it will benefit your audience.
  • Would I click on this? If the answer is “no,” start over.
  • Is this relevant to my business? If a piece of content isn’t advancing a business goal, share something else.

2. Adjust your content to fit the platform. Remember, each social media platform has a different purpose and communication style.

  • Twitter: short messages and hashtags
  • Facebook: longer messages and hashtags
  • LinkedIn: longer messages, professional topics
  • Instagram: pictures, short messages and hashtags

3. Offer content that’s sharable. Engage users and increase your brand presence on social media with content that users will want to “share” with their friends and followers.

  • Posts that contain videos or pictures are the most likely to be favored and picked up by Facebook and Twitter algorithms, increasing engagement potential.
  • When it comes to social media followers, remember quality over quantity. Having a large following is great, but it’s even better to have engaged followers and brand advocates that like, share and retweet your content.

4. Pay attention to key metrics. Track engagement, reach and click-through to gauge your B2B social media performance.

  • Engagement: This is the number of actions taken by someone who visits or sees your social posts. It varies by platform and could be comments, likes, shares, retweets or “hearts”. It can also include actions taken based on the post, such as liking the page or following your organization.
  • Reach: Reach helps you see how many users your content was distributed to via your social networks. However, it doesn’t mean those users actually saw your content; it only measures the total potential for followers to see the content.
  • Click-throughs: This measures the number of people driven to your website or landing pages from social media and is by far one of the most useful metrics for brands and companies.

5. Leverage the power of social listening. Think of it as “research” for your social media strategy.

  • Use basic social media tools to uncover conversations that are relevant to your brand or company. This includes Facebook or Twitter’s native search functions, or specific tools like Sprout Social, Hootsuite and TweetDeck.
  • Search for your brand and company’s name, product names, key stakeholders and industry-relevant keywords. Look for opportunities to join conversations from users asking about features or specific terms related to your industry.
  • Learn from your competitors. Pay attention to what they’re talking about, who their followers are and how they’re engaging on social media. Use these insights to inform your own social media strategy and differentiate your brand.