So many companies spend precious time and resources posting to social media several times a day. They saturate their feed with pictures, posts, and memes. But because there's no real rhyme or reason to their strategy, their social media presence fizzles out. Sound familiar?
While a common story for b2b, social media marketing can still be very effective. In fact, an impressive 84% of b2b executives use social media in their decision-making process. If you can be strategic about it and provide engaging, relevant content to the right audience, on the right platform, and at the right time, you’ll avoid the pitfalls of ‘maintaining a presence' and be seeing metrics that actually mean something.
So how do you avoid the ‘presence pitfalls’? Here, we’ll look at 3 signs that your current strategy isn’t working and give you some tips on how to fix it.
3 signs your current b2b social media strategy isn’t working
1. Leads are few and far between
Good content? Check. Regular scheduling? Check. Large following? Check. Leads?... *crickets*. In this case, your social channels are not optimised for lead generation.
For b2b brands, social media is so much more than a top-of-funnel tool that is designed to increase brand awareness. Look for opportunities further down the sales funnel as you convert brand awareness into action, whether that be getting registrations for a webinar on that uncovered topic or encouraging interactions with your online calculator.
Before you jump in, however, it’s probably smart to review what you’re looking for from each channel. Does your expectation correspond with your user’s buyer journey? Do they look for info on LinkedIn but convert on Facebook? Do they interact with your posts on Instagram but fill in a lead form on LinkedIn? Take a step back, and think through your strategy, ensuring it aligns with user behaviour for best results.
2. You’re attracting the wrong audience
It’s easy to think that any engagement is good engagement. If the numbers look good on paper, then your social media strategy must be working right? Not necessarily. A pretty good sign that you’ve got the wrong eyeballs on your content is when sales can’t make sense of the leads you’ve reeled in.
Another indication that your strategy needs some help is when the only people interacting with your posts are Sally and Sue from the sales team. Don’t get us wrong, employee advocacy is important, but you should be seeing some fresh faces in your notifications tab. (After all, your employees already know how great you are).
There are many companies that are blind to the deficiencies of their content strategy due to the traction it receives on social media. A good evaluation of the quality of your traffic is the number of visitors who actually convert to a lead, that is, your traffic to lead conversion rate. While success varies depending on the industry, a good percentage is around 3%. If yours is hovering around 1%, it’s likely that the people you’re attracting aren’t necessarily the right folk (of course, it could be a few other reasons, but do take a look at your content and personas first).
3. You’re posting the wrong content on the wrong platform
For many, social media is simply a place to post links to content they’ve created in the hopes that thousands will see it, click through and share it with their network. So, they have profiles on every network and flood the feed with line after line of self-promotion. Whilst this may have been a successful tactic in the early days, it doesn’t quite deliver results now.
As competition increases in the social media sphere, platforms are working harder to keep you on their site. For example, Instagram recently announced that it would deprioritise videos featuring the TikTok logo and the Facebook algorithm now penalises link-based content. This speaks to a much larger effort from social media companies to differentiate themselves from one another and engage you with their own brand.
Each platform has its own set of character limits, best times to post, ideal image sizes and more. With limited time and resources, creating a unique post for every social media channel can be challenging, but we promise it’s worth every effort. Sharing content with a message targeted to the right audience on the right network can make a huge difference to your success. Adding hashtags on Twitter and Instagram and having longer copy on LinkedIn & Facebook are just small tweaks you can make to help your content thrive.
3 steps to revamp your b2b social media strategy
1. Create a dedicated strategy for each channel
Social media is an extremely volatile and unpredictable marketing channel. Something as simple as an algorithm update could wreak chaos on your results, so you need to be prepared to pivot, test new things and measure your results.
In the same way you prepare other aspects of your marketing plan, you need to have a specific and intentional plan for each platform you decide to use. Each platform has nuances and best practices for generating engagement, so it’s important that your content reflects them. For example, you may decide that Facebook and Youtube are prime places for ads given their high-earning user bases. Instagram might be the place for eye-popping content that really shows off the human side of your brand. And LinkedIn is a hub of in-depth, industry-specific content that’s a little more niche compared to the other platforms.
Earlier this year, Facebook announced that the Apple IOS updates which make it much harder for app-makers and advertisers to track user behaviour — will cost $10 billion in revenue this year. These changes have impacted the success of Facebook advertising and has seen many companies abandon the platform completely. Being able to pivot on individual platforms when bombshells like this drop is far easier than shifting your entire social media marketing strategy.
2. Offer zero-click content
Whilst it may sound counterintuitive, zero-click content is the new way to succeed in an increasingly platform-native world. These platforms are constantly looking for new ways to satisfy your social cravings without you having to lift a finger (and click away from their site).
Facebook and Twitter favour in-platform content like linkless posts. Instagram and TikTok both have auto-scroll functionality. Youtube cuts off video descriptions that include external links. And zero-click content always performs better on LinkedIn. These little algorithm updates are making it harder (but not impossible!) for your content to perform the way it used to.
Zero-click content offers valuable, standalone insights with (you guessed it) no need to click. This is content that’s native to any platform - an Instagram story, Twitter thread, LinkedIn post or TikTok video.
But how are we supposed to measure the effectiveness of social media activities if we can’t track the traffic? You’ll have to take a leap of faith and optimise impressions without the goal of earning a click. Delivering valuable content, earning engagement, so the algorithm rewards you, and building enough merit so your audience seeks you out. It’s by no means traditional, but a hack to the platform-native algorithms.
3. Establish individual thought leaders
In a nutshell, thought leadership is about sharing insights and ideas—and unique points of view that spark discussion and inspire action. A true thought leader knows a topic inside and out, has formed a clear, unique and defensible point of view about it, and freely shares that perspective.
As buyers digest and connect with your thoughts and ideas, they begin trusting you as a reliable source and brand. And that means that your company is much more likely to make the short list of contenders. According to ITSMA, 75% of would-be buyers say thought leadership helps them determine which buyers to put on their shortlist.
Just like every other form of content, thought leadership needs to be promoted to drive visibility and engagement. It’s an important aspect of an always-on content strategy, where you deliver continuous content to your target audience. After all, thought leadership can greatly influence buyers throughout the purchase process. LinkedIn appears to be the favoured platform among thought leaders, and for good reason. It’s an excellent source of good quality b2b leads with Hubspot finding it 277% more effective at lead generation than Facebook or Twitter.
Set out to craft the perfect b2b social media strategy. Or if you need a bit of extra help, give us a shout, and we can help get your b2b marketing strategy on the right track
Brand chemistry is a b2b marketing agency winning your customers' hearts and minds through inbound, brand, content, lead generation and digital strategy. Our marketing specialists achieve stellar results with the latest lead generation techniques.