With the rise of social media, B2B marketers now face more pressure than ever when it comes to actively engaging with customers.
The role of a social media marketer has transformed into much more than simply posting on a platform. Today, you have to be a generalist, a trend-watcher a social-media listener, a strategist, a customer service representative, a media planner and a media buyer — while also being able to do graphic design, photography and videography.
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Social media marketing is now finding its place within the marketing mix and serves every part of the business. Also, as the use of mobile devices continues to increase, there’s increased importance on looking at all marketing research and consideration specifically in that moment.
B2B marketing is really no different to B2C marketing, these days. Social media is about the intersection of social strategy, social content and audience management, so the reason why audience management is highlighted is because it is the third element of making social media work as hard as it can for you and for a B2B marketer.
Now that platforms have become smarter, you have to be smarter about who you target with what content. You also need to know when to put money into it and when not to.
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It's all about tracking and measurement, in conjunction with the right paid piece of content for the right audience in the right channel with the right message.
Below are four ways B2B social media and social marketing can be effective:
Don’t wait to be found
What social marketing will do is start creating awareness of your enterprises’ products or services long before these prospects and customers visit your website. Through the use of social media, you have reached out to them, rather than waiting for them to find you.
And this is what many B2B marketers lose sight of: There is a perception that any social media presence must be light-hearted and fun. It can be; but it really doesn’t have to be; and your social media presence can be as business-like as you wish.
Creating relevant messages
If you believe social media and social marketing requires a different communications strategy to web content, then you’re right. The difference with social is the narrative is constantly moving forward, so you must treat it like storytelling.
In social media, your story is being revealed piece by piece – revealing one fact at a time – and, therefore, requires careful strategic planning. The hard part is using that one-fact approach to point readers to web content that builds out that message.
Feeding the funnel
This storytelling guides prospects to your website, where marketing content fills and enhance the story. It leads the visitor along their sales journey and toward the sales funnel and a transaction.
In B2B marketing where high-value transactions are common, the sales journey is often long, as decision-making takes place, with many divergences and digressions as B2B procurement teams and other decision-makers would expect.
Planning makes perfect
To extend your reach, and reach out to potential customers beyond your competitors and before they even find you, sound planning and the development of a solid communications strategy is essential.