A new year means new marketing channels!
We live in a digital age where everyone is constantly on their phones, checking social media, texting, and snapping their food at a local coffee shop. For a B2B marketer, you can use those tools to make sure you’re on top of your social media game and not missing out on any opportunities to reach your audience.
However, it’s always important to remember that you should be selective with your social media accounts. Just because it exists, doesn’t mean it’s a good fit for your brand and target audience. The best rule of thumb is to start out small and add accounts as your company grows in bandwidth or you get more comfortable with social media strategy. Since 93% of B2B marketers say social media is their number one tactic for content creation and distribution, if you aren’t currently using any social media channels, the best time to start is now.
A few of the social media channels below are no brainers and have stayed very popular in the B2B world, but I’ve highlighted some “newer” social media channels that might be just what you’re looking for to spruce up your 2017 campaigns.
LinkedIn is one of the most popular social channels for B2B marketers for many reasons. As a professional social network, there’s no doubt this is where your audience is spending their time. Post the latest content from your blog, share recent company news, and just engage with your target audience (including customers!) in a place where they’re already in a business frame of mind.
79% of B2B marketers view LinkedIn as an effective source for generating B2B leads. You can target by employee level, from a CEO to a entry level associates, by job title, by specific skills, and their industry. Instead of blindly launching campaigns and hoping they reach your target market, only the right people see and convert on your LinkedIn content.
Having a LinkedIn page for your company exposes your brand to over 430 million business professionals. As a B2B marketer, if you were only able to have one social channel (though not recommended!) this would be the one.
Yup, you’re reading that right, I’m recommending SnapChat. This social channel has grown immensely over the past few years and is a great way to build a relationship with your snap friends as well as provide an opportunity to advertise. Snapchat ads are viewed up to a million times per day, and allow you to to be extremely creative when engaging with your customers.
For example, you can create a geographic filter for an event you’re hosting or start a contest with your followers for who can have the most creative snap with your logo in the frame. You can also add promos to your snaps, or simply give a play by play of your product or office life. Snapchat reaches a large audience and is only continuing to grow. As a B2B marketer, SnapChat has a lot of potential because this is where your audience communicates with their friends and checks in during the work day. If they see your brand, too, that will only help to increase your exposure and the potential for new leads.
Twitter allows you to engage with your audience in a way, I personally think, the other social channels on this list do not. You are able to post updates, answer questions, and comment quickly, giving you audience real time solutions, Many companies already use it this way, but it can be very effective as a virtual customer service channel. Twitter offers a wide reach as tweets can reach any user and be retweeted and/or favorited, which in turn reaches all of their followers, too.
Getting in contact with influencers and brand advocates via Twitter can help your social reputation and spread your brand across multiple platforms. Influencers are a great source for content and building your brand! 87% of B2B marketers use Twitter as part of their content strategy. (Tweet this stat!) The more you engage with your audience, the easier it will be to find new influencers and build a bigger name for your brand.
Instagram has over 400 million active users. It is a great source for keeping your customers up-to-date on company products and changes, promoting your brand, and getting to know what your audience is interested in. Many B2B companies are using Instagram for not only selling their company and brand, but promoting their involvement in the community and collecting user research.
Nowadays, society is obsessed with taking photos and posting pictures, so you are more likely to engage through this medium and learn about your audience. There are a few tips and tricks to starting an account, so if you’re looking for help, here’s a strategy to get you started.
Facebook helps you build a relationship with your audience and learn more about what they need or want to see in your products. There are more than 16 million local business pages on Facebook, meaning the outreach is unfathomable. As this is one of the more popular channels, chances are almost all your customers have a Facebook and they want to look you up!
Facebook is not only a great source for building your brand and social following, but their advertising services are a great source for generating leads, too. Here are a few examples of how other B2B companies are using Facebook ads to their advantage. If you’re new to Facebook ads, this blog post is a great how-to.
Search engine rankings make this account worthwhile with the potential for your campaigns to take off. Google+ provides data that Google can actually trust, since it’s their own. Google+ also makes it simple to integrate your accounts with other Google applications. If you have a Gmail account, making a Google+ account is easy, if not automatic, for users. Which means it’s easy to find and add new companies to your circles!
One of the key benefits of Google+ is that it encourages group hangouts and discussions, helping you engage with not only your customers, but your team, facilitating better communication and better marketing campaigns. Lastly, even to my surprise, Google+ has 500 million active users, earning the title of the 2nd largest social media network. With those kind of numbers, it’s still worth taking a look.
Slideshare is a very user friendly way to give your audience a quick way to learn about your company, product, or service. This channel is great for repurposing content and sharing new information in the form of a slide presentation. You can pull presentations from conferences, redesign infographics, showcase webinars, and show your customers more about your company and products.
A product of LinkedIn, Slideshare allows you to manage your account easily and has great tools for sharing on other social sites. Here are some awesome examples of how B2B marketers are using slideshare and tips for making your own account.
As I said, these are just a few of the many social media channels for B2B marketers. Take the time to create a plan with your goals on social, and make sure the accounts you choose are suitable for the audience you want to reach.
Where do you think B2B marketers should focus their social efforts in 2017? Comment below with your suggestions and success stories.