B2B Social Media Marketing basics – for when you are just getting started
Are you selling products to other businesses? Do these businesses have a social media account?
Then B2B social media marketing is something you just can’t ignore.
Even if your B2B customer isn’t on any social channels, the representatives of that organization, for sure, have personal accounts that you can still connect to.
Be it Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, Pinterest, or any other channel. All media and channels can be suitable for getting your message across. Also if you are a B2B marketer. Especially because 22.7% of people use these portals for work-related networking and research.
Through this article, you can see how B2B social media marketing can benefit your business the most! But first thing first…
What is B2B social media marketing?
To summarise it in one sentence, B2B social media marketing is the general phrase for all social media (SoMe) activities a company that sells business-to-business creates or engages with.
As such, B2B social media presence goes back to the core of the branding and marketing strategies of the company. To achieve any success here, you need your story and company values figured out and aligned first. Then you can start thinking about content creation and customer engagement.
What is the difference between B2C and B2B Social media marketing?
In general, there is a clear difference between how B2C (business-to-consumer) brands use SoMe compared to B2B organizations. B2C vendors usually see social media as a channel to sell products or advertise services. Almost like a direct bridge to the customer. While in B2B, social media is more commonly used as a side channel supporting other marketing strategies such as Email marketing, ABM (account-based marketing), or direct sales. Logically, because the objective of using the different channels is fundamentally different, the content and the overall strategy will differ as well.
How to do B2B marketing on social media
Okay, now that it is clear what B2B social media marketing is, the next question arises. ‘How to do it?’
Well, just like private or B2C social media, B2B can be tricky. You might face extra difficulties if the product your company is selling is very technical or targeting a very niche segment. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done correctly.
It is essential that you stay grounded on these channels. Even if you’re posting as a company or if most of your followers are other company profiles – no matter what – it will always be a human being who sees and engages with your posts. That is why we suggest you not only focus on the target companies’ profiles but also on the human representatives of your customers who are managing their business accounts.
In any communication type and media, it is important to always have your audience in mind.
Why is B2B marketing on social media important?
Some of the main benefits of social media usage are the same regardless of posting on your private or company account. Via these channels – with the right activities – you can create brand awareness, educate your audience, build trust, and nurture relationships.
You can also use social media as a sales booster. 69% of B2C customers say that they have been influenced by the social media content of a brand when making a buying decision. Even though this figure is from B2C, the effect trickles down (or up) in the supply chain. Moreover, you can collect feedback and recommendations through these channels. The possibilities are endless.
Nevertheless, you should decide on what strategy to follow in advance. Aiming for consistency in the content you are posting is also beneficial. Of course, you can have posts touching upon multiple angels rotating, but one post should target only one objective at a time.
Do B2B companies need social media?
Of course, they do! But not at all cost. There is a certain limit on how much and what you can achieve on social media with a B2B-focused business profile. Therefore, you must be conscious of how much effort and resources you should invest in creating posts. A good start is to set goals with a realistic return on investment (ROI) in mind.
However, having an account just for the sake of having one won’t have any influence on your business. For that reason, you should be selective and strategic when you decide which channel/s to use and how much effort to invest.
That being said, 83% of the B2B accounts use their profiles for paid advertisements on these platforms. This doesn’t only mean that the SoMe advertisement is popular, but also that the competition is real. Especially because on SoMe you will not only compete with other businesses from the same industry but with everyone else posting content on the given channel.
With this in mind, you will probably also find it relevant to create something unique and outstanding for your brand on SoMe. You can read more about content types and examples as well.
In the playground of social media, everything is possible!
How to build a B2B social media strategy?
When it comes to strategy, it all comes down to goals and expectations. In your business, you probably work with key performance indicators (KPIs) already. If so, you should use similar objectives for your SoMe performance as well.
We previously mentioned the most popular B2B objectives of social media; creating brand awareness, educating your audience, building trust, and nurturing relationships.
With a B2B account, some of these objectives will be easy to achieve, while others more difficult. This will also depend on your product, the industry you are working in, and the competition.
You can deep dive into our social media strategy article if you want to learn more.
Which social media is the best for B2B?
There are so many channels that a company can use to promote its services and goods. At least 5-8 big channels, and dozens of smaller channels. Your potential reach depends as much on your target audience and budget as on the chosen channel. Therefore, we suggest making some projections and research before you create an account on every channel. To help your choice, we listed some of the main channels and their benefits below.
Facebook (recently referred to as Meta) has lost a lot from its earlier performance, but it still remains one of the strongest SoMe channels for businesses. One-fourth of all digital ad spending still takes place here, with 94% of the vendors worldwide being present.
Instagram had 2 billion users registered in 2022 and 44% of these people are purchasing through this channel weekly. However, most of this is considered a B2C activity.
LinkedIn is the channel that is the most acceptedly used for business purposes. Therefore, it seems natural to be present and promote your organization organically and/or paid here. Although our experience is that wholesale brands are prioritizing other platforms where they can have a higher conversion rate, LinkedIn is still a powerful channel for employee promotion and company profiling.
Twitter has a lot of political discussions going on and debates revolving around important topics. With more than 400 million active users, it is quite a hub of serious conversations. The birthplace of most #-s is recently also the main platform for public announcements.
Pinterest is very unique when it comes to the visual representation of product usage and placement. No surprise, that people have the biggest checkout basket volume here compared to other SoMe channels. On the other hand, it requires a lot of creativity and graphics knowledge to create outstanding content for this channel, it can be beneficial, especially for design and fashion companies.
Snapchat and TikTok
Snapchat and TikTok are considered the younger generations’ platforms. This doesn’t mean that your customers won’t be present here, or that it couldn’t benefit your business. Although B2B is definitely not the strongest side of these two platforms, many international organizations are choosing these channels for their campaign.
We know it is debatable whether YouTube is considered a social media channel or not. Nevertheless, it is a powerful communication media that can be utilized on your other SoMe channels as well. For educational purposes and longer video content, it is still the most preferred channel. However, Twitch has been challenging the performance of YouTube, it is still the biggest platform for video and short movies.
B2B social media examples
There are several great businesses with leading social media accounts, which you can get inspiration from. These companies broke the burden of niche products and turned ‘less exciting’ topics into successful and interactive content hubs. You can read our other blog post dedicated to B2B Social Media examples here.
B2B social media trends 2022 to follow
Video content has never been more popular. In our rushing world, a video is a quick and easily digestible way of getting information while being entertained.
Stories and Reels have been a hit for a while and will stay this way for quite some time. The main reason for this is that stories are more interactive and entertaining than other forms of posts. They are also very short which forces companies to get straight to the point and apparently this is something people love. Moreover, you can reach way more people with stories compared to feed posts.
B2B social media marketing is a growing business opportunity, that most B2B companies already benefiting from. However, there are several challenges in creating and maintaining a well-performing account on any of the SoMe channels. As a company, you must think and plan carefully before you invest resources in this type of organic/paid advertisement. That being said high risk comes with high reward, many organizations proved already that with the right strategy and campaign alignment, using social media marketing can benefit B2B organizations as well.
Want to know how?
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