This blog post is part of Brighttail’s three-part series about Social Media Marketing for B2B companies. Other posts in this series are “The Business Case for B2B Social Media Marketing” and “11 Social Media Hacks for Atlassian App Vendors.”

If you think that social media is the land of selfies and upvotes, think again.

Its usage has evolved dramatically. Today 83% of B2B marketers are using social media as part of their marketing tactics. For good reason, too. An IDC study has found that 75% of B2B buyers and 84% of C-level executives use social media to support their purchase decisions.

The good news is that spending just six hours a week on social media is proven to improve business exposure, bring in new leads, and gain marketplace insights, among other benefits.

But the bad news is that social media can be an incredibly noisy place. You’ll find yourself competing for attention with cat videos, absurd hack videos, and even your competitors’ content.

The key to making the most of your social media marketing is through a solid strategy.

Continue reading to know how you can create a strategic social media plan to support your Atlassian marketing initiatives.

Creating Social Media Strategy for Atlassian App Vendors

An effective social media strategy not only drives demand for your products beyond the Marketplace, it’s also an important tool that can influence purchase decisions.

Below we outline the six simple steps you can follow to create your strategy. You’ll learn how to define your goals, find your whitespace, and grow your audiences and engagement to drive business results that everyone will “Like.”

Step 1: Develop a SMART Social Media Strategy

Start with goals – specifically, SMART ones. They help your company stay focused and measure success. An effective social media strategy will include goals that are aligned with the business’ goals. 

  • Example of a business goal for Atlassian app vendors
    • Grow brand awareness.
  • Example of a SMART social media marketing goal for Atlassian app vendors
    • Marketing team to grow LinkedIn followers from 500 to 750 by December 31, 2020.

With specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound marketing goals, you can define a social media engagement strategy that’s valuable to your business and customers.

Step 2: Research Your Social Media Audience 

A social media strategy will be effective if it revolves around important buyer personas. In fact, this is how successful B2B social channels like Atlassian go about it.

To get your strategy right, first do your audience research by examining your current customer list and prospects. For the latter, follow related pages or groups on social networks.

Atlassian’s Facebook page is a good place to start. Alternatively, target Facebook groups where your prospects may hang out like Professional Project Managers group. While you’re at it, look beyond Facebook and check out project management websites and forums too.

Next, analyze and group your audiences based on their demographics, behaviours, pain points, goals, and buying patterns. Use social media analytics tools like Facebook insights to define the content needs and social media usage of audiences from these pages and groups.

Sample Scenario

Your app users may consist of project managers, Jira admins, and release train engineers. They have different pain points and content needs. The engineers may be wondering about the best way to mitigate tech debt. Project managers may be more concerned about running an effective sprint. As for Jira admins, they could be focused on maintaining a good infrastructure.

The outcome of your audience research moulds your Buyer Personas – semi-fictionalized representations of your audiences. They will guide you to create highly personalized content that can entice and engage your followers better.

Step 3: Develop Your Platform Strategy

As part of your platform strategy, it’s crucial that you conduct a competitive analysis to understand what your competitors are publishing on their social channels. Leverage monitoring tools such as Mentionlytics and Brandwatch to gain insight into your competitors’ social media presence and how you can differentiate your brand.

Tools like Buzzsumo can help you identify content gaps, so you can define a white space for your brand. BuzzSumo can also identify the types of content that perform best for each platform. For example, LinkedIn is where many big players and potential customers in your industry network and learn from each other. Thought leadership content tends to be highly effective here.

LinkedIn is best used for sharing industry-specific insights like whitepapers and reports.

Alternatively, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are more suitable for building authentic connections with your audiences. These platforms are well suited for behind-the-scenes content and employer branding.

Brand-humanizing, behind-the-scenes posts work well on Twitter.

When done right, your company can define the right content strategy for your personas across different platforms. Ultimately, you’ll be able to stand out from your competitors with thought-provoking content.

Step 4: Build Your Social Media Audience

Building a social media following for your business isn’t easy. But there are some simple steps you can take to grow your following and extend your brand reach.

  1. Employee Advocacy

    You might first turn to your family and friends to build your audience. But did you know that your employees can also help you do the same?Employee advocacy involves your employees championing your company’s values, solutions, and products through their own social channels. Since an employee has 10x more social followers than the corporate network and the majority of customers trust recommendations from people they know, employee advocacy helps your business to garner the interest and trust of potential customers.

  2. Convert Email Subscribers into Social Media Followers

    Your existing email subscribers are a reservoir of potential followers just waiting to be tapped and converted. Create an email campaign with strong incentives – unique prizes, free trials or consultation sessions – to boost engagement and convert existing email subscribers into social media followers.

  3. Include Social Media Links in Emails

    Besides that, include social media links in emails, especially in welcome emails where the engagement rate of customers is higher than any other types of marketing email.

    Social media links in welcome emails is a good way to convert email subscribers into social media followers.

    Remember that a good UI begets a good UX. So, integrate social media links in your email automation platform in a way that’ll enable your prospects to easily follow your social accounts with just a single click. Too many steps in your email-to-social-media-conversion workflow and you may end up losing your audience.

  4. Use Sponsored Posts to Increase Brand Reach

    If your budget permits, try paid social media marketing to introduce your business to a new audience. In fact, a survey done by Clutch found that about 86% of marketers combine organic and paid social media strategies to get the most of their marketing efforts. Distribute your valuable gated content (e.g. whitepaper, eBook, webinar) through paid ads.

    Atlassian distributed their commissioned study via LinkedIn sponsored post.

    This helps you to acquire new customers while making sure that your content is targeted to the right customer base. It also works wonders as a remarketing tool to improve conversions for prospects who’ve visited your website before.

    Remarketing through paid ads helps to close the deal for buyers who’ve started but not completed their buyers journey.

Step 5: Engage with Your Audience

Building your Atlassian audience isn’t enough. You must engage with them consistently to boost brand awareness, cement your position as a trustworthy Atlassian Marketplace Vendor, and market your company as a thought leader within your niche industry.

The key is to engage with them authentically and organically. Below are two tactics to help.

  1. Balance of Content Type

    Find the ideal balance between valuable non-promotional and promotional posts to attract and target your customers’ interests and needs while maintaining relationships with existing customers.

    Wondering how to find the ideal balance? Just follow the 5:3:2 rule for meaningful and authentic social media engagement.

    • 50% of your content is curated from other relevant sources. Perhaps there’s a latest industry whitepaper about enterprise resource management? Share it with your followers. They will come to associate you as the go-to organization for the latest industry news.
    • 30% of your content is your own. Create and share how-tos, lists of emerging industry trends, app tutorials, etc., that’ll be helpful for your followers.
    • 20% of your content should be fun and personal (like quotes) to humanize your brand among your followers.
  2. Contests or Giveaways

    Another great way to engage with your Atlassian audience is by organizing or participating in exciting contests or giveaways. Besides audience engagement, contests or giveaways provide you with a large content reservoir, just waiting to be repurposed. Execute them in conjunction with the release of a new app, to mark an important company achievement, or even to celebrate a holiday!

    In the spirit of the gift-giving season, Communardo took to their Twitter profile to give away app discounts.

Step 6: Delight Your Audience

Social media moonlights as a no-nonsense customer service platform where customers go to seek immediate resolution for issues and voice their dissatisfaction. Attending to their opinions and queries makes them feel valued and gives you an opportunity to delight them.

Create an incident management framework that’ll help your marketing team quickly respond to reviews (both good and bad) on social media. This shows that you’re dedicated to improving your customer experience. Consider following in the footsteps of Atlassian and create a separate social media account to take care of customer queries.

Atlassian has a separate Twitter account dedicated for managing customers’ queries.

Propel Your Atlassian Marketplace Growth Through Strategic Social Media Marketing

Taking your marketing efforts beyond the tried and tested Atlassian Marketplace can be daunting.

But with a solid social media marketing strategy, you can build, engage, and delight your own social media audience.

Check out the next blog post—“11 Social Media Hacks for Atlassian App Vendors”—for actionable tips that can help you propel your social media marketing efforts to the next level.

Or follow our social channels to see how we do B2B social media marketing for ourselves and our clients.