Social Media in B2B: Having The Right Strategy
I'm not spoiling any surprises by saying that social media should be part of your company's content strategy. In fact, I addressed that in detail in my last article . Take some time to read it if you’re not familiar with the concept. You will get a better understanding of what’s next.
Continue The Conversation Outside The Office
Now that social media and content strategy are one, let's get something out the way: the no cost illusion.
Yes. Popular social platforms are free to use, but don’t get caught up in this. As with your website, setting up an effective content strategy takes time and regular updates. Under-promise; over-deliver. There is nothing worse for a user willing to follow you than to realize you have not published anything in months! That's why it's not only important to choose the most relevant platforms, but also to only tackle the workload you can handle.
You will also need to be prepared to pay a certain amount on promotion to ensure your content benefits from a constant visibility. If you still believe Facebook shares your publication with all your subscribers, you have some work ahead of you. Alas, with its constant algorithm changes, Facebook no longer offers businesses their former reach.
It Is Not Choice That Is Lacking
Social networks evolve so fast! With all the new options available, the first challenge is to choose platforms relevant to your brand.
Here is a quick look at the most popular platforms:
LinkedIn and SlideShare
LinkedIn is the B2B platform par excellence. 76% of Canadian Internet users visit it each month. 19% visit it every day.
For a medium or large sized company with several positions to fill, consider creating your recruitment page. This premium option distinguishes the offers addressed to future employees from the content aimed at your prospects and customers.
If your company offers distinctively targeted services or products, the showcase option (free for up to 10 pages) will give them all the attention they deserve. Use it to better target your publications.
SlideShare is much like the LinkedIn version of PowerPoint. The tool allows you to import and share visual presentations. Are you presenting a conference shortly? Why not give it a second life on this platform? Add links to your website and integrate a catchy topic to reach a larger audience.
Facebook and Instant Articles
Is your business in B2C (business to consumer)? If so, this should not even be a question. You probably already have your Facebook page. With instant messaging, promotions, contact information, opening hours and an increasingly powerful search engine, you can easily understand why!
In 2016, in order to solidify its position as a media leader, Facebook has set up its publishing platform Instant Articles . Now offered to all company pages, you can synchronize it directly with your blog for extra visibility.
Twitter and Medium
Focused mainly on relaying news, events and contests, Twitter is more present in the English-speaking market. In Quebec, only 10% of adults use the platform. If you work in B2C, create campaigns around an event launch, do surveys or share contests. Twitter can also be a good ally in customer service, but pay attention to presence and response time. In B2B, it is a good relay medium for your publications. Think infographics and easy to share content.
A bit like Instant Articles, Medium is Twitter's media platform. Both accounts connect for an increased visibility .
Instagram and Pinterest
Restaurants and retailers should be no strangers to these two platforms. Mainly popular for their visual side, retail companies are using it to promote their product catalog, while restaurants make us long for their tasty dishes. It’s all about creating a great vibe to attract us to their establishments!
Acquired by Facebook, Instagram now has the same promotion tool (hello targeting!) Choose lifestyle photos or videos that users can easily relate to.
Pinterest is a veritable brainstorm board. With its sharing features, each publication is linked directly to your page. Offer your customers another shopping experience. Artisans and culinary or DIY bloggers, it’s your time to shine!
A picture is said to be worth a thousand words. So, at 24 frames per second, imagine the value of a video on YouTube! It's proven; video publications are more engaging than photos. Also, millennials spend much more time on YouTube than in front of their television. Besides, who still has cable these days? The second most popular search engine after Google, YouTube is THE video platform.
More complex to master than a photo, if you have the resources to make a good quality video, this medium should be at the top of your social media strategy. Be careful to import your videos instead of linking them if you reuse them on other platforms. Facebook encourages native content.
Do you target millennials? It is very likely that they are on Snapchat sharing their stories. 70% of them to be exact. Use it in several creative ways:
- Sneak peaks of new products
- Behind the scenes
- Introducing new team members
- Featured Videos
Benefits For Your Business
The place of social media for business is now uncontested. If you have doubts or just need a little refreshing, this next part is for you.
Increase Traffic On Search Engines
Social networks are a great way to drive more traffic to your website. While product or service pages are a bit more static, sharing blog posts on social networks can attract visitors through new content.
Pay particular attention to keywords and targeted phrases in your publications and articles so they have a better visibility.
For Twitter, remember to put your keywords behind a hashtag (#). It will make it clickable. A generic keyword will improve your article visibility by making it part of the conversation e.g. #SocialMedia or even broader like #FridayFeeling. For a specific event or topic, create a unique keyword to group and index the conversation, such as #JeFaisMtl.
Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn offer several types of campaigns. While options are different from one platform to the next, all three offer sponsored posts to boost your publications.
For the same budget, Facebook offers many more options (objectives, content formats, specific targeting, importing lists, publication position) while LinkedIn requires a minimum budget of $10K per quarter (yep!) for a like campaign. Let's see if its acquisition by Microsoft brings anything new to the game.
No matter on which platform your choice lands for promotion, do not put all your eggs in the same basket! Discover the platform by measuring the performance of different promotions. A / B tests are not just for landing pages!
Keep an eye on the competition
While Facebook and LinkedIn can track the performance of pages similar to your business, you can also look for your competitors’ best practices on the different platforms used.
- What types of content are mostly used?
- How often?
- Which posts are the most engaging (look at the number of interactions)?
Then go back to your business.
- Could you adapt some tactics within your company?
- How to distinguish your content strategy from the competition?
- How can you generate even more interactions?
You published your content on the right platforms? Well played, but despite all these good tips, what seems important to you may not be for your users. How can you be sure then? Easy. Analyze your data.
To consult your performance on Facebook (company page only), start here:
To boost your posts through a campaign, the little blue button on the right is a first step, but let's keep this topic for another article!
This is a very quick and simplistic overview of the Facebook publications section. Go through the other tabs. You will learn more about your target and its favourite content. Also, take some time to review data collected on all platforms combined through your Google Analytics account.
Campaign URL Builder
Using a handy free tool, you can track the page views generated from each platform in your campaign. This is the Campaign URL Builder (formerly Google URL Builder).
Simply fill in the "URL", "Source", "Medium" and "Name" fields to generate your campaign’s customized URL. You will then have a maximum of information to track your traffic. "Term" and "Content" fields are more useful during Adwords campaigns (another subject for later).
Here is an overview of my use of the tool for the content strategy article published on social networks last November 15:
Medium: social media
URL generated: http://www.multiplemedia.com/blog/creer-strategie-de-contenu-web-efficace?utm_source=blog&utm_campaign=strategie-contenu-161115&utm_medium=social%20mediahttps://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&prev=_t&sl=auto&tl=en&u=http://www.multiplemedia.com/blog/creer-strategie-de-contenu-web-efficace%3Futm_source%3Dblog%26utm_campaign%3Dstrategie-contenu-161115%26utm_medium%3Dsocial%2520media
As you can see in the generated URL, the source, campaign, and medium appear after the main URL. Change the medium if the article is in a newsletter or if you share it in a specific place.
You can then search for these same items in your Analytics dashboard right here:
No Time For That?
If you have no available full-time resources internally, it may be beneficial to delegate to your digital partner. As you can see, developing your content strategy does not happen overnight! Your social media strategist will ensure that you develop an action plan that will meet your business goals. These tasks can vary greatly depending on your needs: content calendar, campaigns set-up and follow-up, community management, governance plan, etc. In any case, get involved in the process by clearly setting your goals and informing yourself about the selected social networks.
Need some more help with your social media? Give us a call and we’ll help you figure it out.