Social media adoption is relatively low within B2B businesses. For a marketing team, it’s much easier to garner budget for an event than a year of social posting. Senior leadership teams struggle to see social as a lead generating channel, or an ROI generator. As a result, social in B2B is generally run as an afterthought and used to pump out company news or the latest blog post.
Social media is so much more than that. Here are our top 14 social media optimisation tips to keep your activity on track in a B2B context:
1. SMART goals: Why use social?
Relating a social media goal to reflect your specific business goal will allow you to see if social media is working. Whether you want social media to raise brand awareness, generate leads or improve customer service, having SMART social media goals allows for greater focus. Ultimately, you’ll work towards those goals and you will achieve them.
2. Start small – but think big
Depending on resource, think about starting your social journey on one or two platforms. These might be platforms where you’ve experienced organic growth in the past, or where you have seen success through paid campaigns. If you are time poor, focusing on a few social platforms and doing them well is better than spreading yourself (and your brand) too thin.
3. Track it and prove ROI
Align your measurement statistics with your goals and break them into quantity statistics, such as reach, shares clicks, impressions and conversions. This will give you better insight into what is performing and who is engaging. This has two benefits. Firstly, even if social isn’t delivering directly by identifying high performing content, you can focus on the content that resonates with your target audience and delivers results.
4. Effectively manage social
As social media becomes more important to businesses, keeping on top of social is a challenge. According to Social Media Examiner, 19% of marketers spend more than 20 hours a week on social media. Therefore it’s critical to use tools available to you to maximise your effort. Tools like Hootsuite or Buffer allow for social media scheduling and reporting across the networks.
5. SEO and social media
Social media posts impact your SEO efforts, therefore it’s important to use the right keywords that are relevant to your business. Targeted keywords help align your social media activity with your SEO strategy. And who doesn’t want more targeted organic traffic?
6. Write amazing copy, with a great hook
Like any channel, if the content isn’t right for your audience they aren’t going to click and engage with it. Running a successful social media channel is significantly easier when you can share great content. If you are also responsible for creating the content, competitor analysis, influencer posts, or sourcing event topics to see what’s relevant right now and top of mind in your industry. You can test and learn with various types of content on your own platforms, and double-down on content that does what you want it to.
7. To tag or not to tag?
Hashtags are often monitored by thought leaders, news sources and potential customers, therefore using them correctly will increase your visibility. Tagging can be used effectively on Google+, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Make sure you do your hashtag research carefully using a tool like hashtagify.me.
8. Tailor content for social media
Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+ all have varying character counts on posts. This presents the opportunity to post different types of content on the different platforms, rather than the same content to all. Whilst it takes effort to craft your content across the different networks, it will increase engagement and deliver better results.
9. Imagery = engagement
Imagery on social media increases engagement. Tweets with images receive 18% more clicks, 89% more favourites and 150% more retweets, so using imagery makes a huge difference to your efforts. So, to make your posts work hard, customise the size of your imagery to the appropriate networks and get creative with tools like Canva or Stencil.
10. Know your audience
With social media, businesses often make the mistake of talking about what they want to say rather than what your audience want to hear. Listening to your audience and using the same language as them will make your account more relatable. What your audience are talking about will also give you insight into trends for future blog posts and content pieces.
11. Keep on top of it
Keep your social media accounts organised and you will save a lot of time. Use the tools provided by the social networks such as tags, circles, lists and advanced searches so you can track and monitor what’s going on with your key audiences. With Twitter, advanced searches also allow you to keep up to date with important industry news by monitoring hashtags or keywords, so you can drill down quickly.
12. Put the social in social media
Without engagement, social media is just a broadcast channel. The more you talk with people on social media, the more people will talk with you. Once you engage you can build relationships and network – this is when you’ll really start to see results. With all marketing efforts, it’s important to stay focused and ensure that you’re meeting your goals. It’s too easy to just simply ‘set it and forget it’, leading to little being achieved.
13. Don’t just chase vanity stats such as ‘likes’ – clicks matter too
We have found with various clients that some content will generate plenty of clicks to a blog post or landing page, but doesn’t get any vanity stats such as likes, shares or comments. This is okay, as long as you manage stakeholder expectations. Some content will simply get lots of clicks which is great if that’s what you want, but doesn’t warrant a like.
14. Engage with influencers in your space, and don’t be afraid to be one yourself
Identify influencers in your space, and see who they are engaging with and the type of content they are sharing. You can identify influencers using software such as twitonomy (to identify Twitter influencers) or SocialBlade, and using keywords locate key movers and shakers in your industry, who’s in their network and the key topics they are discussing. Once you’ve got this information, you can share relevant content, join conversations and start building relationships with key people. The more you engage and are seen as a thought leader in your space, the better.
So, these are our tips, but what about you? How do you maximise your social media efforts? To start dominating on social, take our social media assessment and receive actionable insights straight into your inbox.