There are 3.96 billion people on social media worldwide. While a significant portion sign-in for personal connections and conversations, many look to engage with brands, including B2B companies. In fact, 75% of B2B buyers say social media influences their purchasing decisions, and that makes the social space the perfect place to showcase your business without being pushy.
To do that, though, you need a social presence that's active but not just posting for the sake of posting. For B2Bs to succeed, they’ll need to set goals around these three areas: building brand awareness, driving engagement and building trust.
Using Social to Build Brand Awareness
Social is your chance to communicate to your audience what matters to your brand, and to be sure you're reaching that audience, you’ll need to invest in both organic and paid social.
Organic social is great for connecting with your current followers/customers, potential prospects and employees. The best content to feature is company news, big announcements, product updates, thought leadership, and company culture.
If you want to reach new prospects and get in front of the right people, you absolutely must include paid social in your strategy. Paid allows you to build a very specific audience and gets your message in front of the exact people you want to be aware of your brand so you can grow your follower count. The point is to use paid to build awareness for your brand and then keep those new followers on the hook with your organic content.
One key reminder: People treat social profiles as a research tool. Your brand needs to have current and robust social content. Social pages with sporadic posts and poor quality content leave negative impressions and impede customer journeys. The more you're active and keep your content fresh, the more likely people will follow and share, leading to increased brand awareness.
Finding Your Voice and Using Social to Drive Engagement
Conveying competency on social media doesn't mean you have to come across as dry toast. If you want to really engage with your audience, you have to humanize your brand. As a famous Batman villain once said, “Why so serious?” People like to see personality injected into business profiles on the B2B side, too—it’s not just for B2C brands, like Wendy’s, AKA the queen of fast-food snark. Having a social personality makes your brand more memorable, making people want to engage with you. Do you have to post clap backs? Not at all. But it is essential to sit down with your team and hash out what kind of social voice you want your brand to have. Is it funny? Witty? Kind-hearted? Educational? Friendly? It doesn’t have to be just one thing, but it does have to be defined.
To find your social voice, you need to list the type of content you would like to feature and determine how you want to present it to the social community. Creating a list can help you categorize the different types of content and gameplan for each post.
Types of content to consider (with linked examples from Hubspot, a B2B company that has its social game down).
Let’s be frank, brainstorming content and finding your brand voice is no easy task. You’ll likely evolve how your brand sounds over time, and your content may change, too. Applying changes is normal, but make sure that your brand remains consistent in its approach.
Don’t Forget to Engage
So let’s talk about engagement. Many B2B and B2C brands are guilty of just posting without responding to their community and failing to join broader social discussions. This one-sided approach limits community-building opportunities and follower growth. Social is intended to be a conversation, which means two-way communication.
B2B social profiles can have lower engagement, however, that doesn’t have to always be the story. First, make commenting, reacting, and sharing a priority. Next, invite your community to have a dialogue with your brand. We recommend asking questions, publishing polls, and simply getting creative with your content—these are just a few quick and easy ways to drum up engagement. The critical takeaway is to nourish your audience with the right content and establish one-on-one relationships. Let your social platforms be an open space for people to come to you to feel connected.
Using Social to Build Trust
How do you feel when you see a brand with positive testimonials, glowing reviews, certifications, and awards? Good, right? It’s a confidence booster and a sign that you’re working with someone credible. Of course, you can tell people your brand and services are great, but there’s more weight to the story when others echo the same sentiment. Don’t shy away from reposting what others say about your brand when they’re singing your praises. This third-party validation is a trust signal to your audience so they can feel confident doing business with you.
The reality is that building trust through social is the output of doing the other steps we’ve talked about properly. So spend some time developing your social media brand awareness strategy and use organic and paid social to help engage with those who could potentially use your services. Then think through your social voice. Do those two things well, and you’ll naturally build trust with your social audience and improve your social presence.
It’s 2021, Customers Expect Your Company to be on Social
The truth is you need an active social media presence because prospects, clients, researchers, reporters, and employees are looking for you online. People want to feel genuinely connected to brands, learn more about them and understand their purpose. So while social is critical to business success, don’t be afraid to trial-and-error your social efforts. Get creative, and experiment with your new social media strategy.
Do you think HubSpot had it down from the start? No, but they’re killing it. Social media is an ongoing effort, so it's never too late to introduce new ideas and new strategies.
Connect with us if you have any questions or need assistance beginning your journey!