The Basics Of Social Media Marketing For B2B Companies
While there has been a lot of talk surrounding how businesses should be developing for mobile and adapting to all new mediums, it looks like B2B companies are concentrating on the basics and getting them right first.
According to research from eMarketer, the majority of digital strategies are increasing spending on their websites with 70.1% of respondents saying it was a priority. Email marketing (61.9%) and social media (56%) were placed second and third on the list. When asked what the leading content marketing channels were, websites came out on top with 93% of respondents selecting it while social media came second with 65.4%.
For the most part, this is encouraging news. It shows that companies wish to focus on the basics and get them right first. A good website is still the foundation for a good online presence and having that optimised first is important. It also shows that social media is growing in importance as a way of generating sales.
While B2B marketing on social media doesn’t generate the same conversation rates as B2C – simply because of the high costs involved – that doesn’t mean that it has no use. In fact, the opposite is true, it’s just a matter of finding the right strategy to complement your brand.
Devise A Content Plan
The basics of B2B marketing follows the same principle as any other social media plan. To get ahead and get people visiting your site, you will need a content plan to draw them in. What’s your business’ aims? Will you be posting blog posts, videos, tweets, eBooks, etc.? Will your social media activity tie in with what your company’s message is, or will you mix it up with more lighthearted material?
Ultimately, you’re coming up with ideas that will make people want to subscribe to your updates so identify your audience, and develop your content plan around that. Also, it’s worth putting together a content calendar so that your content is published consistently.
Know How Users Will Get From A To B
Just posting offers and updates for the sake of it isn’t going to get you very far. Instead, you need to know the process that will turn visitors on your Facebook page into paying customers. For one, you will have to ensure that the steps needed are kept to a minimum as making the process too long winded will lead to a much lower conversion rate.
When you choose a social media platform to use, you need to decide how these sections would link up to one another and that there’s a logical process to it. While there will be a few steps required to go from visit to purchase, keep it concise and to the point. If you’re aiming for people to sign up to a newsletter, don’t expect them to fill in a large form, but let them use their email address instead.
Consider the process from the view of the consumer: Would you personally spend this much time or go through so many steps to make a purchase? If not, then lessen the number of steps necessary.
Offer Call To Actions
Now that you have a regular audience reading and interacting with your content, it’s time to convert them from visitors to fans. The best way to do this is to provide a call to action and give visitors something to focus on when they’re visiting the next time. Ask them to sign up to your newsletter, or offer a free trial so that people will try out your product. Whatever it is, give visitors a strong reason to take part and the uptake will be far greater than just linking to it.
Respond To Queries
It’s mentioned time and time again, but the great thing about social media is that it greatly reduces the barriers between company and consumer. That means that people will reply to you and leave comments with complaints, queries and comments. While most businesses would shy away from these problems, it actually gives you a perfect opportunity to convince and convert people to your cause. By resolving these problems, you will end up with a satisfied customer who will in turn, be more likely to spread the word about your good work.
Also worth keeping in mind is that certain channels are better for different tasks. Twitter is a perfect place for dealing with such customer service queries and in actual fact, research from Optify showed that Twitter vastly outperforms Facebook for lead generations, accounting for 82% of all social media leads. In other areas, Facebook is better for driving visits to your page while LinkedIn excels in driving page views.
Social Media Is Part Of A Greater Strategy
Something that people tend to forget is that social media is not something that will generate results alone. Much like statistics, if you treat it in isolation, you won’t get very far since its greatest strength is complimenting other avenues so combining it with traditional advertising, SEO, video, blogging and digital marketing will see your results go much further. Also, installing an analytics tool like Google Analytics on your site will ensure that you know how well your efforts are going and where your traffic is originating from.