One of the most notable digital events we have witnessed so far in the 21st century is the rise of social media; specifically, the level to which it affects our daily life, and how it can ultimately affect consumer decisions. Coinciding with the rise of mobile devices, we have reached a point in time where the world is LITERALLY at our fingertips. With the simple click of a button, you can find out the latest world news, post a status for your friends to see, or even turn your phone into a live-streaming camera. But, in a business sense (particularly in business-to-business), how do you make content that will grab attention, increase their interest in your product/services, and motivate them to become a customer?
According to Tracx, as of January 2017 there are 2.8 BILLION active social media users worldwide – a 22% increase from 2016. That is roughly 40% of Earth’s population! Therefore, there is never a reason to make an excuse such as, “our target market isn’t on social.” Because there are plenty of social channels to reach your target, it is just knowing which ones to utilize, at the right times, with the right messaging.
The most widely used social media channel among professionals is LinkedIn. With about 106 million monthly users (Tracx), this network, designed for professional and business relationships, is often seen as the Mecca of social networks amongst B2B professionals. While I thoroughly believe it is a great channel for networking and connecting with friends, colleagues, and coworkers, I do not believe that it should be a company’s sole channel for B2B marketing.
As Millennials continue to flood the workplace, it is vital to get marketing content in front of them, because they are quickly becoming the decision-makers of today and tomorrow. And better yet, they tend to prefer to content that is quick and easy to consume – and social media is the perfect medium for that kind of content.
With Facebook being the most popular social network, it only makes sense to market via the channel. According to Convince and Convert, in addition to having the largest potential audience, some advantages of advertising B2B business on Facebook include: lowest cost per click, as well as rewards for testing more targets and ads. Additionally, if you handle social marketing at your company, Facebook analytics are so simplified, that they are easy to report on to your CEO or CMO. The only caveat of Facebook is to stay on top of its product updates, as one small change to their algorithms could significantly affect your potential audience.
Unlike Facebook, where your ads have a better chance of being seen and clicked, in B2B marketing, Twitter is primarily about the content on your feed and engagement. With the constraining limit of 140 characters, it is important to get the most out of each tweet as possible. In a content sense, that means each tweet needs to have a picture to grab your followers’ attention, as well as a link to a landing page related to the content of the tweet. Furthermore, it is important to engage with your customers on Twitter, especially regarding feedback. While it might be more common in the B2C universe, it is worth a company’s time to do a Twitter search for the company name to see what people are saying about you in the Twitterverse.
Last, but certainly not least, is Instagram. As one of the newer social channels and an average of 300 million users/daily (Marketing Insider Group), Instagram is a vital key to marketing to Millennials. One of the important concepts to remember when marketing to Millennials is that they like everything up front. Today, society is so fast-paced that no one likes to take the time to read a lot to find out what they are getting. Through Instagram, pictures and videos allow your followers to see what you have to offer through the convenience of a picture or video. While it might not be the most ideal platform for B2B marketing, there is no doubt that it is generally a good practice in marketing to utilize the most current and booming social channels available with messaging that is applicable to the channel. If you need a little inspiration for your B2B marketing efforts on Instagram, I recommend checking out: Adobe, Intel, MailChimp, and Hubspot.
With social media dominating so many aspects of our lives, knowing how to utilize a variety of channels is vital to marketing success. With so many social media platforms, with differing audiences, you should know how to conform your message and content to the audience you are trying to reach. By implementing different marketing techniques and tactics appropriate for each channel, you will ultimately witness and reap the benefits of one of the highest-performing forms of marketing in the modern age.