Social Media Strategy is Crucial. Period.
Social media is still considered “uncharted waters” for most companies, especially for B2B companies dipping their toes in platforms beyond LinkedIn.
With new platforms and different strategies emerging left and right, it can be a little overwhelming.
So if you’re struggling to get a handle on social, you’re not alone. The 2020 CMO Survey revealed that 73% of all companies aren’t satisfied with the performance of their social strategies. Not to mention the social media dominators all seem to be B2C brands. Try to think of a B2B sales company or IT firm dominating Instagram—any come to mind?
But doing social media right takes work.
There are important strategic questions that need to be answered before diving headfirst into the deep end. Having a social media strategy is imperative for building a results-driven digital presence.
Here are two of the biggest B2B social media questions that need answering: What kind of content should we share? And we know content calendars are key, but do they have to be carved in stone?
This blog post will guide you through the answers to those questions, and equip you with three social media strategies that any B2B company can start using today.
B2B Social Media Strategies: Organic Content, User-Generated Content + Guest Writers, & Content Calendars
Strategy 1: Share Original Content From Your Team
Nobody knows your B2B business better than the people who make it happen day in and day out. So B2B companies who succeed on social media often showcase their brands’ internal talent by highlighting employees and their work.
This is a tactic used by both small and large companies, because regardless of the type or size of your business, your people are the heart of your brand. That’s why employee-produced content can be some of the most authentic and engaging stuff you share.
Earned content is any material written about your company that was not paid for or created internally. And more than 90% of consumers trust earned content more than every other type of content. Real-world examples of your employees getting excited about the brand or doing good out in the community make your company more relatable and trustworthy.
Using original content produced by your team also puts a face—and a personality—to the company. By adding a human element to your brand, you can secure a stronger connection with your readers.
Shining a light on your employees is a good opportunity to leverage their personal social networks too. When an employee shares your post on their own feed, your brand and content reach an audience that may have been invisible before.
It’s these feel-good, shareable posts that expand your brand awareness to new networks.
Because at the end of the day, you are trying to get traffic.
Strategy 2: Curate Content from Industry Connections
Maybe you are constantly brimming with great content ideas…
…but they never make it to your blog or social media channels because you’re not much of a writer, or you just don’t have the time to film and edit a video.
Taking advantage of content creators in your industry, user-generated content (UGC), and guest writers can solve these problems and introduce your brand to new audiences.
User-generated content (UGC) is a digital word-of-mouth strategy that benefits both the brand and their audience. It’s a win-win scenario and a marketing tactic that B2B brands can benefit from.
UGC, by definition: any form of content, imagery, videos, text, or audio file that is published on social media once the brand has obtained permission from the original content owner. The content is deemed as more valuable and can engage in untapped areas of your industry.
According to CrowdTap:
- B2B consumers trust UGC 50% more than traditional media
- 92% of B2B consumers trust peer recommendations above all other forms of advertising
- UGC is 20% more influential in purchasing decisions
- UGC is 35% more memorable than other types of media
Tapping into your own industry to look for UGC could mean asking your network connections for photos from an event you sponsored—it’s easily accessible. And the best part: UGC is earned media, so like employee-produced content, UGC is trusted by consumers because it’s authentic and not sponsored.
When you post content provided by your audience or people in your industry, you are providing social proof from real consumers. This increases your credibility and validates your brand’s promises.
And because you’re acquiring content directly from your audience on social media, there’s little to no cost involved. With so many people sharing photos, videos and blog posts every day, B2B content marketers can tap into these resources easily and have a huge selection.
Buffer, for example, uses the hashtag #BufferCommunity on Instagram to gain UGC.
By using content created by their worldwide customers, Buffer is showcasing the diverse personalities of their community and sharing the message that their customers are able to work from anywhere.
UGC is the fastest-growing source of content you have. So dig in!
When you partner with bloggers in your specific industry, you can connect with potential customers like never before. Relationships with guest writers can help you in many ways, from creating professional connections to driving more traffic to your site.
By using blogs as content for your site, SEO Tribunal reports that:
- B2B companies who use blogs receive 97% more links to their website
- 57% of marketers say they’ve gained customers specifically through blog content
- 95.9% of bloggers promote their blog posts via social media
- US bloggers alone are projected to have a readership of 31.7 million in 2020
- Using images in blog posts gets 94% more views
How do you connect with guest bloggers? There are plenty of guides and platforms that can help you reach bloggers that fit your brand’s style and ideas, and build connections for the future.
Many B2B companies leverage guest writing to increase referral traffic. By using established writers in your industry, you can tap into their networks and broaden your audience.
Guest writing is also a powerful way to create high-quality content that you don’t have the time or resources to produce in house. These writers utilize powerful SEO tools and writing techniques that strengthen your brand and increase traffic to your company’s page.
Plus, the content that guest writers create may be more impactful because of the outside perspectives they bring. Though you may be in the same industry, guest writers offer unique experiences and viewpoints that can prove valuable to your audience.
Strategy 3: Create a Monthly Content Calendar
B2B leaders like Buffer and HubSpot know that content distribution plans are key. This is where content calendars come in handy: They map out your content distribution plan through an in-depth outline to give clear instructions on what to post and when.
This gives your team a clear visual of your upcoming posts across all the platforms your company is investing in, including your blog, email, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.
Most importantly, content calendars save marketers a ton of time and shave minutes to hours off producing, promoting, and sharing content. Instead of coming up with captions and figuring out the best hashtags on the fly, you can write them ahead of time and make changes days before they’re set to go live.
Above is the content calendar we use at Foundation Marketing.
- Separating by month makes it less overwhelming
- The colours in the drop-down tab show exactly where the post is in process of going live
- The author is the team member designated to post it
- The notes allow space for any comments, changes to be made or ideas to be considered
Benefits of a Content Calendar
1. Time is Money
Content calendars are easy to create, and they can save you time and stress. With an organized calendar, you can plan and schedule all your social media posts ahead of time instead of scrambling to create everything the day of.
2. Strategic Visual Planning
Content calendars also help with digital strategy. A complete content calendar allows you to map out a visual strategy in weekly and monthly blocks.
For us, it helps us see what topics we’re covering to make sure we’re not missing something conspicuous, and to space out similar kinds of content, similar topics, and posts by the same writer.
Planning ahead is especially necessary for highly visual social media platforms, such as Instagram, so that you can see what your feed will look like after posting and what you should post when.
For example, Slack has a very well-defined aesthetic, as you can see below. If you want your Instagram grid layout to look this good, then you need to be using a content calendar to ensure that none of your posts will be out of place when they go live.
When you implement a content calendar, it’s much easier to make sure that no days or weeks go without content being shared on your social channels. This will create a consistent flow of traffic and activity on your company’s social platforms and help your brand develop a personality. The more you post, the more traffic you will get.
Based on the most up-to-date research, here’s how often B2B companies should post to each platform for maximum visibility and traffic:
- Instagram: 1–3 times per day
- Instagram Stories: 2–5 times per day
- Facebook: 1–2 per day
- LinkedIn: 1–2 times per week
- Twitter: 3–10 times per day
Once you’ve created your content calendar for the month, sit back, relax and let social media scheduling tools do the rest.
These tools can help you out in more ways than one:
- Post outside of business hours and on weekends
- Post without an internet connection
- Manage multiple accounts at once
- Update when needed
So yes, content calendars are a saving grace when it comes to multi-platform posting and ensuring consistency and personality in your company’s social channels.
Remember: Don’t forget to engage with comments. Even though content calendars and scheduling tools will make your life easier, you still need to engage with your audience if you want your social strategy to succeed.
Want to get started? Use our tool to create your one-month content calendar.
Time to Conquer the Digital World
In your tool belt, you have three new B2B social media strategies that will ultimately make your digital presence more valuable and drive more traffic to your website.
Here’s a quick recap:
1. Sharing Your Employees’ Content
- Your people are the heart of your brand; no one knows the ins and outs of your company better than the people who embody it
- Employee-produced content can be some of the most authentic and engaging stuff you share
- Using original content from your team humanizes your company and builds a more powerful connection to your audience
2. Curate Content From Your Industry
- Leveraging connections in your industry can be highly beneficial because of the authentic nature of the content
- UGC is usually free, is easy to access and saves time
- When using UGC, you are nurturing a relationship between the OG content owner and your company
- Guest writers bring a unique perspective (and a new audience) as they share their own insights
3. Maintain Monthly Content Calendars
- B2B industry leaders know that content distribution plans are necessary, making content calendars imperative to your company’s success on social
- Using monthly content calendars, you will save time, create stronger strategies, and ensure consistency across all channels
- By using social media scheduling tools, you can post outside of business hours and easily manage posts across multiple platforms
Which one of these strategies are you most excited to implement at your company and share with your team? You can start today by creating your first one-month content calendar using our tool. Any questions? Feel free to reach out!