Integrating social media engagement into your B2B marketing plan can be a smart way to reach your clients and prospects. According to this report from Social Media Examiner, by spending as little as six hours per week on social media, 66% of marketers surveyed saw lead generation benefits. More than half of marketers with at least one year of social media experience were generating leads with social platforms.
Successful B2B Social Media Engagement
Social media engagement is an integral part of your inbound marketing strategy because it creates and maintains brand awareness. It’s particularly useful for large B2B companies that also sell in the B2C space or are well known to the general public. When you Google “successful B2B social media campaigns,” many examples include giants such as GE, IBM, Cisco, John Deere, and Boeing.
Obviously, these companies have the budget and staff to create and execute large-scale social media campaigns. Because these brands are widely recognized, they can generate social media engagement beyond clients and prospects. They can catch the interest of investors, media, academia, and people who like to read about technology, machinery and aircraft.
However, social media is valuable even if your B2B business doesn’t have the reach of these mega-companies. True, it takes time, effort, research and writing to keep social media fresh, to build a social media audience and to sustain engagement. By using best practices, any size B2B company can start and maintain a social media program to support their integrated marketing plan, distribute content and drive visitors to their website.
B2B Social Media Best Practices
Marketing automation provider HubSpot has developed these B2B social media best practices to help businesses launch and organize their activities.
Their method suggests you organize your social media effort three ways:
- First is social monitoring, which is used during the research stage of developing a social media strategy. By looking for industry trends on social media, you can see what your prospects are interested in and what your competitors are up to. Then, you can use this information to build your own plan. Best practices include determining your inbound marketing goals, monitoring for the right terms, segmenting your audience and personalizing responses.
- The social publishing stage is the writing stage, where you develop and post content across your social media platforms. Best practices at this stage include optimizing your social media profile, creating a social media style guide, customizing your content, sharing relevant industry content and publishing on a consistent basis.
- The social reporting stage helps you assess your efforts and make changes to your strategy where necessary. The best practices include establishing benchmarks, calculating ROI and checking your results often.
What to Do?
It’s important for B2B companies to include a social media strategy in their integrated marketing communications plan. Using clearly defined social media best practices is a good way to start, maintain and refine your efforts. If you feel social media would be too time-consuming for your company, B2B marketing experts can help you determine the best practices that will prove most effective and efficient for you.
Have you defined and executed B2B social media best practices? We’d love to hear from you.
All marketing tactics should be thought of as part of a larger whole, rather than separate pieces. By strategically integrating all tactics, the programs become more effective and cost efficient. An Integrated marketing communication plan helps you meet real business objectives – generate leads, grow revenues, gain market share, and become the leading brand.
Lisa Goetz is a public relations executive at Schubert b2b, where she primarily writes content and manages media relations. She brings 20 years of editorial and communications experience to Schubert b2b and holds a PhD in English literature from Duquesne University. When not in the office, Lisa likes to take excursions with her husband and hang out with her cat and a good book.