Do B2B Businesses Need Social Media?

Social | Strategy

With the next generation of digital-savvy buyers embracing online behavior more than ever before, B2B companies who recognize the potential of social media are in a prime position to benefit from its influence. By introducing social media marketing, B2B businesses can seek out influential decision-makers, build relationships with new contacts and maximize brand recognition in an effort to acquire new leads and nurture existing customers. Social platforms can prove invaluable when it comes to increasing brand awareness and engagement, taking a company’s message across various channels.

Think of it this way: In B2B, you commonly see a higher average price point for products, and you are likely targeting a narrower customer base. With higher dollar purchases, more consideration goes into the decision – so we often see greater influence from customer referrals, word-of-mouth and your business’ reputation. Enlisting your customers as brand advocates returns a much greater reward when manufacturing a $50,000 piece of industrial equipment than when selling a $5 bag of tortilla chips. Social media helps B2B businesses acquire and retain clients, demonstrates their authority as experts, and builds their reputation even in exceptionally tough markets.

40% of B2B buyers use social media to help inform their purchasing decisions.

The Millennial B2B Buyer

In the B2C space, whether you are a small business owner or a large retail company, being a content creator comes with the territory. You simply won’t see a B2C company that isn’t also developing content and thought leadership, whether it’s in the form of a TikTok video or infographic. 

Millennials now comprise half of all B2B buyers.

This same shift is happening in the B2B space. As millennial B2B buyers have become increasingly influential, businesses have been compelled to respond with millennial-focused strategies. This millennial shift requires an understanding of the millennial market and how millennial customers prefer to learn about products, services, and companies. Millennials are more likely to react positively to campaigns or initiatives which demonstrate a genuine commitment to their core values. Research also shows that millennials are one of the most active generations on social media, 86% of which use social media daily. Companies must therefore ensure their digital presence reflects this millennial shift in order to capture their attention and drive leads.

What are the risks?

In the B2B space, not being active on social media can be a huge risk for businesses. Missing out on this form of engagement and targeting potential customers means ceding ground to competitors which is never ideal when trying to grow your business. Social media gives B2B companies an opportunity to build relationships, engage their audience, and tap into larger markets. Not having an effective strategy in place to capitalize on these opportunities can significantly disrupt the growth process, leaving B2B businesses lagging behind their competition.

Which Social Media Platform do B2B marketers use?

LinkedIn for B2B

LinkedIn is the first social media platform many people think of when it comes to B2B, and for good reason. LinkedIn is the platform most used by salespeople to engage with their clients and prospects, and 73% of B2B companies said they use it for this purpose. Not only does the network hold a large number of users, but the users are influential, high-level executives that most businesses are targeting in their B2B marketing campaigns, with 4 of 5 LinkedIn members driving business decisions. B2B Marketers not only use LinkedIn to network with clients, prospects, and potential employees, but also to share content. There are nine billion content impressions in the LinkedIn feed every week, and about 45% of the article readers are in upper-level positions, including managers, VPs, Directors, and C-level positions. The content your B2B business publishes or posts on LinkedIn has a solid chance of getting in front of the target audience or a decision-maker.

Facebook for B2B

Facebook easily gets overlooked as a B2B social media platform. However, it offers many features at an advertising level to help you get granular with your target market. Custom audiences can be created based on interests and job experience, remarketing to past website visitors, and lookalike audiences. It’s also highly effective at recruitment, especially in the blue-collar space. 

Organically, Facebook is most useful for connecting current customers and even employees on a more personal level. CEOs and Founders can leverage personal Facebook profiles; there are “Groups” for organizations, clubs, and topics; and there are “Pages” for brands, companies, and notable people. B2B companies can use Facebook as a way to speak directly to prospects about their positive footprint or advancements in deepening the customer experience. 

Instagram for B2B

Instagram offers B2B companies a platform to engage users with highly visual content. It is an excellent tool for B2B businesses with a strong brand identify and clearly defined core values to demonstrate that. As Instagram and Facebook fall under the same umbrella, the same targeting options are available. Both are excellent platforms for attracting potential job seekers in a more casual setting, where your core values and culture are clearly demonstrated on your company page.

As labor gaps in manufacturing continues to widen, these tools can help you stand out from the growing demand among many manufacturing companies to fill open positions. 

TikTok for B2B… ?

Slowly, B2B companies are beginning to examine TikTok as a possibility for breathing new life into their social media strategy. While it may not garner the same results as something like LinkedIn can, it is an easy way to get ahead of what is a relatively untapped market in B2B. Short-form video content is here to stay, and if you have room in your marketing plan or budget to do some experimentation and work out the kinks, it’s a good time to do so. You’ll be in a better position as platforms like TikTok continue to blowup, and more B2B businesses start taking advantage of it.

What Should B2B Companies Post on Social Media?

What you post on social media depends on the platform, and who you anticipate is on that platform. Generally speaking, social media is a an ​​opportunity to engage with potential customers by posting quality content, such as industry reports, success stories, company news, or educational material. Videos are also a great way to make digital connections with visitors and followers, allowing them to get to know your products or services better and build trust. Additionally, it’s important for companies to post often in order stay top of mind. Working out a well-thought-out social media strategy is essential as it allows companies to maximize their engagement and conversion rates.

How to Build a Better B2B Social Media Strategy

An effective strategy should take into account the various platforms available, appropriate technology for automating processes like scheduling posts, and relevant content that will help build brand recognition and create meaningful connections with customers. With an organized approach based on B2B social media best practices and thoughtful consideration of customer needs, businesses can boost their engagement rates while helping to foster long-term loyalty through social media interaction.

Benefits and Considerations for B2B Social Media Marketing

  • Targeting – Social media advertising offers a massive amount of targeting options to narrow down your audience; age, industry, job title, location, interests, homeowners /non-homeowners, parent/non-parent, income, credit card holders, etc. And with real-time feedback and instant campaign messaging changes, just like you can experience with Google AdWords, you can adjust based on the data to ensure the highest possible impact.
  • Increased Exposure – Social media platforms allow you to have interactions with industry influencers who you would probably never be able to get in front of otherwise. 
  • Lead Generation – The B2B market typically has a longer and more complex sales cycle than the B2C market, meaning that a captivating and consistent social media marketing strategy is even more important to driving website traffic and funneling conversions. 
  • Low advertising costs – No matter what platform, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, ad costs are a fraction of the cost of traditional media spend. Most companies are even unaware of all the advertising options social media platforms have, from promoting clicks to your website to promoting fan growth, your opportunities are countless.
  • Increased Traffic – Increasing traffic to your website has many benefits in itself. So, why not use social media to promote your content and get more visitors to your website. If you have great content just sitting on your website, don’t wait around hoping the right people read it. Send it through your social media platform and get it in front of the right people. 
  • Meticulous tracking – Facebook Pixel to track conversions, being able to distinguish between the different types of conversions

Analyzing Metrics to Track Success

Utilizing analytics to track social media performance is a critical step for any business or individual wanting to optimize their online presence. Analyzing metrics such as impressions, followers, engagement rate, click-through rate and more can provide valuable insight into how content is resonating with target audiences. Knowing which pieces of content perform better than others can help refine future campaigns and ensure that the right message is seen by the right demographic. Within social media ad platforms, you can see these same metrics, along with conversions and conversion rates, demographics (who is seeing your ads), and more.

Analysis will also form the basis of tracking success going forward, enabling decisions based on hard facts rather than hunches. Engaging with metrics to monitor a digital profile will be an essential step in successfully building a successful social media presence.

Social media can be an excellent lead generator for B2B businesses that invest time and effort into creating a dynamic and relevant social media strategy. You might not think that social media is worth your organization’s time, but only data can tell whether or not that is true. When done right, your social media marketing strategy can connect your business with your prospects and existing customers, influencing public perceptions, building and managing brand reputation, and developing thought leadership.

Top Floor specializes in developing beautifully branded assets and content recommendations to get you started on your social media journey, along with a talented team of paid social media specialists who know the ins and outs of each ad platform and how it applies to your B2B businesses. Interested in learning more? Let’s chat