According to the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), 83% of B2B marketers use social media in their campaigns.
But the big question is: which channel to use for which marketing activity?
Below we reveal the ‘when’ and the ‘why’.
LinkedIn: Use for networking and generating leads
The most business-focused platform out there, boasting 500 million users.
Crucially, around 90% of B2B companies use LinkedIn. And there’s a very good reason for that – it’s the most effective social channel for generating leads.
Because people are there for work purposes only. No ‘cute’ cat videos. No pics of their kids. Everyone is there to network and do business better – which means they’re more open to connecting with people who can help them do just that.
Twitter: Use for getting seen and increasing engagement
With around 326 million monthly users, Twitter is great for the awareness stage of a campaign, which explains why it’s used by 87% of B2B content marketers, according to the CMI.
Twitter is the ideal platform for getting your brand out there and starting conversations with prospects and experts. And things like Twitter polls make it really easy for people to engage.
Of course, ‘getting seen’ and ‘getting seen by the right people’ are two different things. Using hashtags relevant to your audience, and sending personalised messages, can help filter out some of the noise (and there’s a LOT of noise on Twitter).
And remember: avoid automated Tweets. The whole idea of social media is to humanise your brand – who wants to respond to a computer-generated post?
Facebook: Use for increasing traffic and customer support
The Daddy of all platforms in terms of number of users, for many Facebook is the channel of choice for personal sharing, but it still has a role to play in B2B.
Not least because it’s cost-effective, particularly for small businesses. It costs nothing to set up a Facebook page and start interacting with customers and prospects. However, to really reach your target personas, paid advertising is a must.
Facebook is also a handy customer support tool. If someone posts something negative about your product – for example, they’re struggling to use one of its features – you can reach out to them and address that issue. Offering proactive support goes a long way to building long-term relationships with customers.
Instagram: Use for humanising your brand and customer advocacy
The visual nature of Instagram makes it ideal for creating a window to your world. Whether you post a video tour of your new office, or pictures of your summer party, followers can get a feel for the people behind your brand.
Instagram is also a great vehicle for enabling your staff and customers to act as advocates for your brand. Every time they post a picture or video using your product, your brand reaches all their followers – and if they re-post, that reach grows exponentially.
One more (important) thing…
Clearly, whoever runs your social channels needs to ensure your brand is an authoritative voice in the marketplace.
Industry knowledge alone, however, isn’t enough.
They also need to understand how the different social platforms work from a B2B perspective. The different audiences they attract. The different content audiences respond best to.
And, of course, your posts’ tone-of-voice needs to be on-brand and the messaging consistent with your other communications.
So, you might want to consider recruiting a social media specialist or appointing a social-savvy B2B agency.
Want more on the power of social?
We recently did a communication research on how B2B professionals consume communication including social media. You’re just a click away from the full report – download our whitepaper and discover the channels B2B professionals like you turn to when making a purchase.