This blog post is part of Brighttail’s three-part series about Social Media Marketing for B2B companies. Other posts in this series are “How to Create a Social Media Strategy for Your Atlassian App” and “11 Social Media Hacks for Atlassian App Vendors.”
Are you skeptical about the value of social media marketing for your B2B business?
You’re not alone. In a survey conducted by Clutch and Smart Insights, only 46% of B2B companies believe that social media positively influences sales and revenue.
Yet, did you know that according to a Social Buying Study by IDC 75% of B2B buyers and 84% of C-level executives report that they use social media to support purchasing decisions?
Meaning: If you’re not investing in social media marketing, you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity to reach B2B buyers, generate new leads, and influence buying decisions.
Continue reading to learn why the world’s best B2B marketers “like” social media marketing and how you too can use it to grow your business.
Let’s dive in!
Top 5 Use Cases of Social Media Marketing for B2B Companies
It doesn’t matter whether your buyers are software developers, system administrators, or C-level executives, chances are they are on at least one social media platform.
With the right social media strategy, your business will be able to:
- Grow brand awareness
- Build thought leadership and customer demand
- Increase the reach of your lead-generation campaigns
- Provide critical social proof to support the buying process
- Turn existing customers into brand advocates
- And more…
We’ll dive into each of these benefits below.
Grow Brand Awareness
Do your customers even know you exist?
If you’re like many growth-stage B2B firms, one of the biggest challenges you face is a simple lack of awareness. Potential buyers may not know that they have a problem. They’re not aware that a solution exists. And they do not associate your brand with providing a solution.
In the old days, you might spend thousands on an ad campaign in your buyers’ favorite print publication. Today, your best bet is to invest in digital channels that give you more reach, better targeting, and the ability to track ROI.
Social media gives you the power to build brand awareness, organically and through paid campaigns. If you don’t have a large following, you’ll likely want to do both. Organic content to establish a credible and authoritative channel. And paid social media advertising to reach a wider pool of prospects and grow your following.
Build Thought Leadership and Customer Demand
Many B2B companies use social media to cement their reputation as industry thought leaders.
Sharing innovative ideas and unique insights isn’t just good for growing your following. It’s a powerful way to increase “problem awareness” among prospects and help them understand the value of breaking from the status quo.
One of the best ways to do this is through original research. A study by Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and SmartBrief found that 74% of B2B decision-makers rated original research as influential in their purchasing process. Take Gartner for an example. It’s a world’s leading research and advisory company that has strong brand authority and over 875,000 (mostly B2B) followers, thanks to their original ideas and high-value content.
Increase the Reach of Your Lead-Generation Campaigns
If you’ve already invested in building a lead-gen campaign, then you’ll want to leverage the power of your social channels to extend its reach.
This is where having a large, engaged following really pays dividends. Your followers will likely be connected to people with similar roles and interests, enabling you to get your campaign in front of other likely customers.
Additionally, you can leverage sponsored posts to promote your campaign beyond your existing network. There are a lot of interesting things you can do here, from targeting people who follow specific groups or companies to creating “lookalike” audiences based on your existing customer database.
Provide Critical Social Proof to Support the Buying Process
The #1 question B2B buyers have once they are interested in your solution is, “How do I know that this will solve my problem?”
The answer: Social proof. Prospects want to know that you have successfully solved this problem for other businesses. This is why 93% of B2B buyers rate case studies and testimonials as important (47%) or somewhat important (46%) in selecting a solution provider.
Social media gives you a platform for showcasing your customers’ success. Your customers will “like” being recognized for their achievements, new prospects will be able to see what success looks like, and you’ll be able to build your brand’s reputation as a thought leader and problem solver.
Beyond posting the usual testimonials and case studies, you can also experiment with creative customer success campaigns to increase engagement and reach.
Avontus Software, one of our clients, did just this with their #BeatMyScaffold contest. It enabled them to share the amazing work of their customers to over 20,000 social followers! The campaign resulted in a large gallery of customer projects, demonstrating the power and flexibility of Avontus’ software for potential prospects.
Turn Existing Customers into Brand Advocates
Customers. They’re the heart of your business.
But not all customers are equal.
There are some customers who will buy from you once, and then you’ll never hear from them again. There are others who won’t just buy from you, they’ll tell anyone who will listen how amazing your solution is.
We call the latter group “brand advocates.” And they’re the most effective marketing resource a brand can have, since 92% of online consumers trust recommendations from people in their social circles.
The best B2B brands make social media a key component of their brand advocacy programs. You can too, by equipping your followers with great content that enables them to be thought leaders for their networks. And by providing a platform for them to showcase their success.
Take Avontus for instance. They initiated a customer success program – Avontus Champion Program – to recognize customers who’ve successfully used Avontus software for their scaffolding business. This program gives champions the recognition they deserve, and it provides Avontus with a powerful source of referrals and success stories.
Social media isn’t just about selfies and cat videos.
It’s serious business. And, with the right strategy, it can be a valuable channel for building your brand awareness, generating leads, and accelerating purchase decisions.
Having the right strategy is critical.
Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.Sun Tzu
It’s a noisy world. If your brand wants to be noticed, you need to understand what your buyers need on social media and how to align that with your core competencies.
Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. Check out this blog post on “How to Create a Social Media Strategy for Your Atlassian App” for a step-by-step guide to building an effective B2B social media strategy.