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B2B social media marketing: A second thought or a valuable tool

Social media is a growing part of B2B marketing and has become an effective and necessary tool for growth. However, when it comes to a considered strategy and budget, we often find shortcomings – resulting in social media becoming a tick-box exercise by B2B businesses, leaving its potential untapped. Having a solid and considered social strategy is key to using social media successfully and unlocking its vast abilities. As we all know, failing to plan is a plan to fail. 

Billions of people use social media every day – around 54 per cent of the population to be accurate. Each are spending approximately one hour 45 minutes a day on these platforms. Social media is not just a means to legitimise your business and keep up with trends. It can also promote leads, drive sales, and encourage clients, customers, and potential employees to discover you. With so many benefits, investing both time and money is worthwhile for the best outcome. In this article we’ll be breaking down why bad content may as well be no content, and what to think about to when creating a thriving social media strategy.  

The downfall of lack of budget and instant complaints 

Many businesses acknowledge the potential worth of using social media platforms, yet do not invest enough in resources and budget to ensure proper use - this needs to change for social media success. Social media platforms enable you to connect globally in ways you may not have previously been able to. Therefore, it must be used to engage, not just to post sporadically. Many businesses only use it to post now and again and miss out on its full potential. Use it to be friendly, to reply to enquiries or to help if something has gone wrong - being responsive on social helps your business to be relatable and more human. Equally, when one of your followers receives a response from your business, a conversation can occur which can greatly influence  perceptions and engagement. 

Additionally, it’s worth mentioning that for many - especially younger generations - that social media is often the first point of call, especially for raising concerns and apprehensions. Over 60 per cent of people often reconsider their decision to buy from a business that’s received negative social media comments or reviews. With 32 per cent likely to share a negative experience on their own accounts. These comments are often displayed publicly, hence it is always a good idea to respond to as many customers as possible in a polite and professional manner, to ensure other potential leads aren’t discouraged from engaging with you. 

Why poor content might be worse than no content 

All content does not necessarily equal good content and, without a solid plan for the utilisation of your chosen platform’s tools and abilities, your business could be subject to the following pitfalls of poor content: 

  • It can damage your reputation and repel your audience - If posts are low quality, not thoroughly researched or come across as dull and uninspiring - it can cause people to unfollow you or disconnect with the entire brand. If these people share with others, the word can spread. Social media is first and foremost a brand-building exercise, meaning dry, product-led sales posts won’t help your cause. 

  • It can result in low engagement - If your social media content isn’t effective, it won’t be shared. This is one of the main reasons to use the platforms in the first place, to encourage engagement with posts, drive traffic to your website and hopefully draw more people to your business. The more content is shared, the more likely you are to achieve your business goals. 

  • It can be costly for your business - This can be for a few reasons. Firstly, if you’re paying a marketing team or member of staff to create social media content, it is costly in terms of the time it takes for them to plan, create and execute it, so do it well otherwise it may be better spent elsewhere in your business. Secondly, you could be wasting budget if you pay for certain posts to be sponsored ads that don’t achieve a desired outcome.  

  • Poor content may spoil your SEO work: Any content you post that doesn’t do well and isn’t engaged with or shared, can damage your efforts in SEO and impact your business’ searchability online. This can also result in potential target audiences going to competitors’ websites instead. 

Strategy and implementation 

So, we know why we should be putting the effort into creating good content to encourage engagement, but how do we do that? Strategy. A social media strategy is key to success. It doesn’t have to be daunting or extremely detailed and long, but it does need to be thought about. Choosing the right platform and implementing an effective strategy with your social media can massively help raise brand awareness for your business, educate your audience on what you can do for them, and build credibility and trust. 

What needs to go into a social strategy? 

  • ‘The why’ of your social media – Research which platforms your audiences are on. What are you trying to achieve? How will you measure results? How does it fit into your wider marketing strategy? 

  • Your target audiences – Create an understanding around what content they need and what will they engage with.  

  • Your brand identity and tone of voice - Always stay true to your brand’s roots on social media.  

  • Aims and objectives - How will you achieve your goal? What tools, help and content do you need? 

  • Stats and tracking – How will you track, using what, how often, and when is it shared and who needs to know what to improve its success? 

  • Your budget - If tight, focus on one platform and do it well. Remember, quantity isn’t going to achieve your goals, quality is.  

Clear’s conclusion 

Social media is a vital marketing tool that can positively or negatively impact your business depending on how well you use it. You must plan a solid strategy, applying a suitable budget, and ensure the content you are posting out has a purpose. Goals need to be put into place. Knowing your audience is key. Without a well-thought-out social media strategy, one of your most valuable marketing tools can fall short of achieving your goals. And always keep in mind that poor content is not better than no content. 

Are you wanting to create a concrete social media strategy for your B2B business? Contact Principal Director, Rachel Arquati at r.arquati@clearb2b.com / 01285 626000 for help in doing so. 

 

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