B2B social media can open new doors for companies. Whether it’s engaging with potential customers or a tool to expand your brand identity, it needs to be leveraged correctly. Unfortunately, many companies only use social media to check a box. A classic, “Because other brands have a social media presence, we should too.”
But in reality, effective B2B social media is more than just sending one tweet a day because that’s what everyone else is doing. You must be committed and create strategies to increase your success on these platforms. One of the best ways to increase your engagement and follower base is by leveraging user-generated content (UGC). This social media strategy is great for companies with large, established followings or even brands looking to grow their presence.
How it Works
If you are not familiar with user-generated content, the concept is fairly straightforward. It is any type of content that has been created and shared by an unpaid contributor. It can refer to pictures, videos, testimonials, tweets, blog posts and anything else that the contributor uses to promote the brand — rather than the brand promoting itself.
The role of the company is to ask its followers or customers to upload a photo of its product or service in action. It could be tweeting a photo, or posting it on Facebook, and then tagging the company’s social media, or using a unique hashtag in the post. Next, the company then gathers all of the submissions and posts them across its B2B social media platforms. Ultimately, showcasing their followers using the product.
Why it Works
User-generated content posts are essentially free, word-of-mouth referrals — AKA the best kind of referrals. No matter how much advertising we bombard people with, one thing holds true — people trust people over companies, and UGC leverages that. In a 2013 study, 79% of consumers admitted to trusting online reviews as much as in-person recommendations. That is a huge statistic that social media plays a part in.
If a customer is willing to publicize that they use your product on Twitter or Facebook and show their friends and followers, that speaks volumes for your brand. They really like your products, they want to share that and it could impact their followers more than any advertisement. And there is no better feeling than having someone willing to promote your brand, just because they want to be associated with it.
The user/customer submitting the content also benefits from these endorsements. They are able to simultaneously promote their own account, especially if they get reposted by a company with a large following. And aside from the feature being good exposure, in a B2B sense, associating themselves with your brand could boost their reputation and help sell their product or service!
See it in Action!
The widely used social media planning and scheduling platform Hootsuite has used UGC in several campaigns to stimulate engagement. One of the more recent ones was its “#IWorkFromHere” UGC campaign that ran on Instagram for several weeks. This not only encouraged Hootsuite downloads, but also engaged their followers to creatively show off how and where they do their social media work.
NASDAQ also utilizes user-generated content across their many brands. They mainly use it to accumulate and bring together social content at social events and other important calendar dates. Overall, UGC allows NASDAQ to stay current with their customers in a creative way.
Social media is a great way to build relationships and extend your brand’s reach. User-generated content fosters this outreach. Leverage the benefits of each your B2B social media platforms and use them to their full potential!
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.
Mitch Mathern is a public relations executive at Schubert b2b. Mitch graduated from Rutgers University with a B.A. in Marketing. When not at the office, Mitch enjoys spending time at the beach with his surfboard, or binging on the latest season of Vampire Diaries.