A lot of B2B companies understand they have to use Social Media to grow their business. But Social Media Marketing is much more than sharing social media content or running ads on Facebook or LinkedIn. A lot of B2B companies still seem to think that Social Media Marketing is just a tick box. When you have content live the job is done. I completely disagree with this and I believe there are a couple of important things B2B companies need to know about Social Media Marketing:
Social Media Marketing is part of an integrated digital marketing strategy
Social Media Marketing includes paid social media, organic social media, community management, social selling, advocacy, social listening, social recruitment and social analytics. (If you’re interested I can make the list even longer) All these Social Media tactics need to work together and need to be part of a wider integrated digital marketing strategy. The one reason for this is because a customer or prospect will never only use one single digital channel. A target audience will see a Facebook ad, will Google for information, will get emails with information, will go to events etc. It is really important that social media content is part of a wider campaign and linked and integrated with all the digital channels a B2B company uses.
Social Media Marketing needs to be always on
Social Media never sleeps and this is exactly the same for a Social Media Marketing strategy. It is very important that companies think in ‘always on’ campaigns. Prospects and customers need to be nurtured in the sales funnel and a short campaign can never educate, nurture and convert a prospect into a customer. If companies want to get good quality results from Social Media Marketing they need to think in year strategies, not in weekly or monthly campaigns.
Social Media Marketing needs to be aligned with the sales funnel stages
B2B digital marketing is based on the different funnel stages. This is exactly the same for Social Media Marketing. The content and the tactics need to work in the different stages of the buyer. The messaging needs to be aligned with the knowledge of the prospect. What does the prospect know about your company or products and do they have a need for your product? Prospects don’t buy a product straight away, they need to be nurtured. Social Media is one of the best channels to do this as long as companies give prospects the time to grow their knowledge and need.
Social Media Marketing delivers more than only leads
The ROI of Social Media Marketing might be a bit different from the traditional marketing channels. Social Media Marketing delivers awareness, target audiences, inquiries and leads. A lot of people only focus on leads. I prefer to frame it this way: If you only run short lead generation campaigns you will get leads. If you run always on programs integrated with other channels you will get nurtured, prepared, good quality leads. This might take a bit more time but the quality will be much higher, and I believe this is what we all want!
Social Media Marketing starts with a strategy
As I mentioned before, Social Media Marketing is more than running ads or sharing content. It is really important to set clear and realistic objectives and KPI’s. But companies also need to understand their own sales funnel and buying cycle. This all together helps to build a strategy for the different audiences B2B companies want to reach. Listen to the different audiences, understand what they are looking for and where they are in the buying cycle. Only then, companies will be successful with Social Media Marketing.
What do you find the most difficult part of your Social Media Marketing strategy?
With love, from Dublin…