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5 Steps to Develop a B2B Social Media Marketing Strategy

Social media is an integral part of any modern business’s marketing, but it’s an especially important thing to consider for brands in the B2B niche. 

B2B customers tend to be a lot more discerning compared to B2C customers. There’s no chance for impulse-buying here, and your target market is going to value independent research across any channel they can get access to as they move through the phases of your sales funnel.

If you’re just getting started with thinking about B2B social media, or you’re revisiting old campaigns and want to make sure you’re on the right track, here’s five crucial steps to developing a B2B social media marketing strategy for your brand.

1. Set Social Media Goals That Align With Business Objectives

When B2B marketers are getting started with social media, it can be easy to focus on a surface-level view of your marketing metrics, and set goals that begin and end on social media, such as increasing followers, improving engagement rate on posts, etc. 

While these can be serviceable if you’re a B2C start-up simply looking to get your products seen by the right audience, B2B social media should be more closely-aligned with your overarching business objectives.

Some important things to consider when you’re setting goals for your B2B social media marketing strategy include:

  • What are our key business objectives and which target audience do they depend on?
  • Do our social media goals focus on the right platforms to reach our target audience?
  • Do we have the right analytics tools to accurately measure the impact of our social media marketing?
  • What social media activities are most likely to serve our broader business objectives?
  • How can we integrate social media activities with our other marketing channels?

By thoroughly considering the relationship between your aims on social media and the broader objectives guiding your business strategy, you’ll give yourself a solid foundation for creating a social media strategy that contributes to the overall success of your business.

2. Get to Know Your Competitors

Before you launch a B2B social media marketing strategy, it’s important to carry out a thorough competitor analysis within the context of social media marketing. 

This means looking at the platforms where your key competitors are most active, the kinds of content their audience engages with the most, as well as their weaker content or topics and media forms they’re neglecting.

When you’re studying the competition on social media, using a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) framework to analyze different aspects can make it easier to determine the assets you should leverage, the competitor shortcomings you can target, and many more useful data points.

Carrying out this analysis will give you a solid reference point for creating content that’s proven to resonate with particular audience segments. Furthermore, it can be a big help with making sure there isn’t too much overlap between your campaigns and your competitors’, and making it easier to exploit gaps in your competitors’ strategy.

3. Choose the Right Platform Mix

One of the most crucial steps in developing a B2B social media marketing strategy is choosing the social media platforms where you’re going to invest your time and resources. The core audience varies greatly from one platform to another, as well as the kinds of content that get the most engagement.

While the obvious target for a B2B social media marketing strategy is going to be LinkedIn, there are many more channels you can use to engage your audience and encourage a healthy flow from social media into your sales pipeline.

These include:

  • X/Twitter for succinct takes on developing industry news.
  • Instagram for short, informative interviews, behind-the-scenes content, and interesting data visualizations.
  • YouTube for more in-depth tutorials or exploring customer success stories involving your product or service.

These kinds of patterns, as well as the general demographic trends tied to each platform, will give you a good starting point for working out the platform mix that’s right for your brand. 

Having said this, it’s important to note that your audience isn’t the platform’s audience. 

To maximize your audience engagement through resource distribution across platforms, it’s important to use all the original data you have available to understand your audience’s habits according to platform and content type, and develop a strategy tailored to the people already in your brand’s orbit.

4. Define Your Brand Tone of Voice

Social media has had a range of effects on B2B marketing, but one of the most prevalent is the way it’s shifted best practices when defining a brand tone of voice. 

Business-to-business companies don’t need to stay restricted to the realm of dry whitepapers anymore. Instead, major B2B brands are posting social media content exhibiting a brand personality that’s unique, fun, and approachable, helping to infuse the serious nature of inter-industry content with the more conversational world of social media marketing.

Defining your brand tone of voice involves thinking about your business’s values and personality in the context of resonating with your audience, then deciding how you’ll exhibit this in your content through things like:

  • Your level of formality.
  • Your brand personality and how you’ll communicate its distinct traits.
  • The emotions you’re trying to invoke in your target audience.
  • Sentence structure (e.g short and punchy vs longer and more descriptive).
  • Your brand’s vocabulary and the words you’ll try to avoid.

Setting out this kind of information as a guide for your content strategy will help distinguish your content feeds from your competitors’, and maximize your chances of building campaigns that resonate with your audience.

Bear in mind that while it’s important to have a unique tone of voice, you’ll also need to think about adapting this to the nuances of different platforms, e.g post length, the ratio of visual to text-based content, etc. 

For more support in this area, be sure to check out our suite of free AI-powered content creation tools, which are purpose-built for adapting different topics to popular social media platforms.

5. Create Customer-Centric Content Policies

Social media content creation is tough, but setting out policies for ideation, drafts, and amends that are informed by your target market will greatly improve the chances of engagement, click-through, and ultimately conversion.

Some things you might want to include in your content planning and creation process include:

  • Considering the audience segment you’re hoping to reach with your content and how detailed your buyer persona is.
  • The steps you’ll take to ensure your tone of voice is tailored to this audience segment, and framing a feature or benefit that’s most likely to spark interest.
  • Whether your content displays an understanding of the main pain points and speaks to the reader as an individual.

Fine-tuning your content to your market as effectively as possible will take time as you build data on your audience interactions and attune content to your unique relationship. 

However, by starting with a customer-centric approach to content creation, you can increase your odds of engagement from day one and avoid pouring resources into campaigns that are less likely to convert.

Building Your B2B Social Media Marketing Strategy

B2B social media marketing is fiercely competitive, but we hope following this framework serves you well as you establish a place in your industry and drive more contacts into your pipeline.

For more support with analytics, content creation, scheduling, and other aspects of your B2B social media marketing, sign up to Highperformr for free today!

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