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  • Writer's pictureAnthea Lamont

Choosing A Social Media Platform

Updated: Feb 8, 2021

Now that you’ve defined your goals for your campaign, it’s time to choose a platform that best corresponds to your objectives. However, with all the social media channels out there, how do we decide which ones are right for our business?

Here we have underlined the top 4 social media platforms for B2B success, and how each can be used to drive results:

1) LinkedIn for B2B

Being a professional networking platform, it’s no surprise to anyone that LinkedIn is the most popular social media channel among B2B marketers. Not only do 93% of B2B marketers agree that it’s the most productive platform when it comes to generating leads, but about 64% of all visits to company websites also come from LinkedIn.

There are over 600 million members on LinkedIn, and they’re not just on the platform looking for new jobs. They’re reading articles, checking status updates, and most importantly, looking to network with potential collaborators. This presents a huge opportunity for B2B businesses.

Let’s take a look at the benefits of using LinkedIn as a B2B social network:

  • Builds & Strengthens Personal Relationships: LinkedIn gives the opportunity for professionals to share their content and opinion on pertinent topics. This helps put yourself out there and is a great way to baby-step a relationship with prospects. There’s an added bonus to empowering team members on LinkedIn: Content shared by employees has 2x higher engagement than content shared by the company.

  • Launching Products & Breaking News: More than 90% of B2B say they prefer LinkedIn over any other platform for their product marketing. LinkedIn feeds tend to promote ‘big news’ and important updates, hence why your new job promotion or article mention gets an extra lift in reach.

  • Generating Leads: According to Hubspot, LinkedIn is 277% more effective when it comes to generating leads than any other social media platform. One reason why is because marketing, sales, and HR professionals can be themselves—literally. As opposed to running ads from the corporate account, which LinkedIn is plenty good for, professionals can post content, nurture relationships, and DM other LinkedIn users 1-to-1 to generate opportunities. According to LinkedIn, salespeople who regularly share content are 45% more likely to exceed quota.

How To Drive Results On LinkedIn

Publish Updates with Native Formats like Documents.

Who knew the most effective content format would be…PDFs?

A smart marketer once advised us, when a platform releases new features, use them. LinkedIn provides marketers with the ability to upload documents, videos, and photos.

So why settle for posting links and calling it a day? 🤔

Mix up your content with document uploads and videos and watch your engagement climb.

Example: Arm is the world’s leading provider of silicon IP. They leverage LinkedIn to break news, celebrate employees, tell customer stories, and show the real-world impact of their products.

Start & Join Groups Related To Your Industry

Facebook Groups have grown so fast you might have forgotten that LinkedIn has the same feature. Not for long. Don’t be surprised if group posts start showing up more prominently in 2020 within your notifications and feeds.

There are more than 2 million groups on LinkedIn for every possible industry and niche, from e-commerce dropshippers to nutrition experts. A great way to generate leads is to join active groups and regularly provide value by answering questions from other members.

Consider joining Groups with the following three features: they are relevant to your industry or niche, highly active already (daily posts), and medium in size (not too big that you will get lost, and not too small that you can’t reach anyone).

Should you start a LinkedIn Group? Don’t see a LinkedIn group your customers would find valuable? Consider starting one. The return-on-investment from the audience and industry recognition can be huge. Just be aware of the weekly posts, ongoing moderation, and personal invitations needed to make it successful over the course of one year (minimum).

Optimize Your Company Page

LinkedIn company pages are musts for B2B marketers looking to promote their business on social media.

In 2018, LinkedIn made important changes to company pages by adding new features such as the ability to share documents (slides and PDFs), built-in content suggestions, and employee advocacy tools.

This expanded the possibilities of connecting with your target audience.

Here are some recommended steps to follow when optimizing your company page on LinkedIn:

  • Write a convincing overview of your company, that clearly describes the activities of your business

  • Add captivating banner images to your page that showcases your product or team in action

  • Add a call-to-action button that drives visitors to your homepage, careers page, or product landing page

Publish and Repost Content With LinkedIn Articles

If you’re looking to boost your credibility in the eyes of your audience and build a good reputation, then publishing on LinkedIn is the way to go.

LinkedIn has its own publishing platform that gives business leaders the opportunity to attract attention for their brand and build thought leadership.

Best of all, published posts are indexed on your profile, and get great distribution in the feed.

The Benefits Of LinkedIn Articles

  • Reach Your Audience (And Theirs): When you publish a new post, your connections may receive a notification and email from LinkedIn, helping your content avoid getting lost in the busy feed. When your first connections comment on the article, the article is likely to reach their first connections, too.

  • Build Credibility: Publishing quality content on LinkedIn consistently establishes you as an industry expert and raises awareness for your brand. When your product, sales, marketing, executive or [insert department] team publishes posts, you can re-share it on the company page. Oh hey, free content. 🙂

Best Practices For LinkedIn Articles

  • Incorporate Rich Media: GIFs, images, videos, and Slideshares. They all display nicely on the clean LinkedIn publishing interface. Break up text and keep people on your articles longer by embedding visuals throughout.

  • Publish as Consistently As Possible: Consistency is key when it comes to publishing articles. Aim to post at least once per week, month, or quarter—whichever is most realistic to start.

  • Syndicate and Repurpose Content as a Teaser: While we don’t recommend completely regurgitating an article you wrote elsewhere for its SEO implications, syndication is an important strategy with LinkedIn articles. Consider writing a new headline, sharing enough body content to add value on its own, then pointing people to the full piece off LinkedIn for the rest.

  • Promote Your Posts On Other Social Channels: Promoting your LinkedIn articles on other platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and email will drive more traffic to your post.

In 2019, LinkedIn released new information about its algorithm. Explained in brief: “People you know, talking about things you care about.” See a snapshot of their best practices below.

2) Facebook for B2B

Facebook has had quite the transformation. The Facebook of 2020 looks entirely different than that of 2015. User preferences are shifting, their products are splitting up, available ad inventory is declining, and all the while, ad sales are growing. That begs the question…

Is B2B Marketing on Facebook dead?

Is Facebook changing? Yes. But with the right strategy, B2B businesses can still reap massive results from the platform. Before you start to panic, check out these facts:

How To Drive B2B Results On Facebook

Join relevant Facebook Groups (as a person)

Facebook offers the ability to its users to join groups based on their passions, interests or industry. 1.4 billion people are using Facebook groups to discuss their passions, chat with friends or colleagues and plan events. It’s very likely that in the past 12 months you received an invitation to join a group yourself.

B2B marketers can easily find Facebook groups related to their industry or niche. In these communities, they’ll be able to find professionals in their industry providing support for one another and discussing topics that are of interest to them.

Just like with LinkedIn, your goal should be to provide value to the community. The way to do this is to either post timely information about what’s happening in your industry or respond to questions someone asks that you can answer.

Create Engaging Video Content

Video marketing is big business on social media. 54% of consumers want to see more video content from a business they support, and 88% of video marketers are satisfied with the ROI they get from their efforts. Facebook gives the ability to B2B brands to use video in different ways:

  • Facebook Video Ads: When it comes to word of mouth marketing, video outperforms text and images by 1200%. Facebook lets you run videos as a standalone objective to get more views, or as an ad format for any objective (traffic, conversions, reach). We recommend testing videos as a creative format against a still image or graphic, or a video featuring a person against one with a product and text.

  • Facebook Live: B2B brands on Facebook can leverage live video to engage with their followers in real time. Facebook Live drives 6X more engagement than non-live videos, and is perfect when it comes to webinars, Q&As and live product demos. If your goal is to generate leads, it’s best to wrap things up with a strong offer for those watching all the way through.

  • Facebook Watch Series: In 2017 Facebook launched Watch, and the product is fairly sticky. B2B marketers can optimize for Facebook Watch by delivering video content (for example: weekly interviews with big names in your industry) in the form of a series.

Hubspot regularly posts instructional videos about marketing on its Facebook page. In the example below, users can learn how to create a good email title.

3) Twitter for B2B

Forget traffic, this one is all about the relationships.

With 300+ million monthly active users and 500+ million tweets being sent out every day, Twitter has become a place to “see what’s going on” around the world. It’s no wonder that 87% of B2B marketers use Twitter as a content marketing tool.

(Unfortunately, a smaller percentage actually get it right.)

The beauty of Twitter is the connection it creates between brands and their audience in real time.

Here’s how using Twitter for B2B marketing can benefit you:

  • Relationships with the right humans: This goes back to everything we’ve been saying about humanizing and personalizing your brand.One-on-one interactions help drive engagement but, more importantly, they also help build meaningful connections with users. Cement your brand in your customers’ minds as responsive, helpful, and engaging. You know, human. You’ll be amazed at the caliber of people who pay attention to relationships here.

  • Social listening = customer intelligence: The best marketers don’t guess; they listen. Twitter is a great place to do just that. And don’t just listen to what your audience is saying in response to your tweets. It’s very useful to know what your audience is saying about you, but not to you. So search mentions of your brand, products, and general industry topics to gauge audience sentiment and content opportunities.

  • A second net to solve problems (faster): Customers who need help with a product or are experiencing issues turn to Twitter for immediate assistance. Customers value the immediacy of your response here, and lots of third-party tools now integrate with Twitter DM. #Efficiency

  • Important announcements that spread quickly: Twitter is a great way to break news about updates and changes, and respond personally when customers have questions.

  • SEO benefits: Recent and engaging tweets can appear in relevant Google search results, which can lead to more followers and traffic to your website.

How To Drive Results On Twitter

1. Develop a distinct brand voice and personality

Brands are a collection of unconscious associations in your consumer’s mind. One of the most powerful associations you can build is the personality of your presence on Twitter.

Struggling to define your brand’s voice?

  • Write to your target audience: You’ll find it easier to write consistent, cohesive copy if you have the same person in mind every time you compose a tweet.

  • Set the tone: What’s your company’s vibe? Ask yourself: How do you want to make people feel? In general, are you more likely to be funny, serious, ~edgy~? Keeping that in mind…

  • Bring your brand to life with relevant words and visuals. Translate the brand attributes into the colors, imagery, ad messaging, and response copy you use across social.

An example of a B2B company with a noteworthy Twitter account? Square. Their content is focused on the small business owners they serve and the overall tone is informative, casual, and encouraging.

2. Play to trends

Twitter is a great place to go viral. The good news is that you don’t even have to be the one going viral to get a piece of the pie. Hop into the conversation on an already trending topic or respond to a tweet that’s getting tons of replies. The funniest or most helpful responses tend to get high numbers of likes, retweets, and replies, too. So invest some time into crafting a winning comment. If it helps, shift your mindset to consider the comment as the content.

3. Share videos

According to Twitter, 82% of users watch video content on the platform, and would like to watch more video content from brands and celebrities. So why not maximize video content to drive more engagement to your brand?

Use snackable video snippets from that pillar content we talked about earlier to economize the process.

4. Tweet at the right times

Twitter is all about immediacy.

In fact, a tweet’s half-life is only 24 minutes. It reaches 75% of its maximum reach within 3 hours and then starts to decline rapidly. This means if you’re looking to reach the most amount of potential leads and maximize engagement, the timing of when you tweet is crucial.

Use a combination of Google and Twitter analytics and good, old-fashioned trial and error to track traffic and engagement.

Test, rinse, repeat…

4) Instagram for B2B

Instagram’s visual-based platform is great for B2B businesses to promote their brand. Don’t believe us?

  • 200+ Million Instagrammers visit at least one Business Profile daily.

  • Consumers Are Buying What They See On Instagram: Instagram is a powerful tool when it comes to promoting your product. 60% of people say they discover new products on Instagram.

  • It Influences Consumers’ Buying Habits: Instagram is changing the online shopping process. 80% of users say Instagram helps influence their purchasing decisions.

How to Drive Results on Instagram

1. Set up an Instagram Business account

You do have a Business Profile, right?

Instagram introduced business profiles in 2016, giving businesses access to a variety of tools and functionality, including analytics on your posts and stories, third-party integrations and call-to-action buttons.

If you want to advertise natively and get data on your audience, you need a Business profile. To make the switch, all you have to do is to click on the settings icon on your profile page, and tap on the Switch To Business Profile link.

2. Create and curate content tailored for Instagram

To excel in Instagram, you have to understand what works there and what audiences want. In general the formula of entertaining and informative works well here.

Keep in mind in 2020 it’s best practice to use square photos and videos (1080 x 1080).

3. Share client success stories

Not only is featuring testimonials from clients a great way to establish trust with your audience and leverage social proof, combined with appealing visuals they can make for a great piece of content.

Make your customer the hero by highlighting their big wins. Drift launched its new product “Drift Automation” with a video featuring one of its pilot customers, Keap.

4. Take a peek into your corporate culture

My favorite definition of organizational culture is that it’s a succinct answer to “the way we do things around here.” Prospective customers and employees alike want to know more about your company’s people and place.

From day-in-the-life takeovers to office snapshots, human-focused stories tend to perform well.

Hoosuite uses the hashtag #hootsuitelife on Instagram to give followers a glimpse into their company life.

5. Leverage Instagram Stories

With Instagram Stories, users can upload videos and photos that disappear after 24 hours. Stories will show up at the top of your audiences feed. You can also choose to save stories to a highlight reel on your page.

Stories are a great place for more casual, less polished content. This opens up the opportunity for B2B companies to humanize their brand and have more personal interactions with their customers.

CoSchedule has an entire highlight reel called “Culture,” which is dedicated to fun behind-the-scenes content.

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