Social media and B2B used to go together like peanut butter and mayonnaise. As in, they didn’t—or, at least, B2B marketers thought they weren’t friends. But not only are greater numbers of B2B marketers using social media to support their brands and engage with customers, they’re getting pretty good at it. For its 2016 Social Media Impact Report, marketing analytics provider TrackMaven analyzed more than 500,000 social media posts and over 100 million social interactions from 316 leading B2B brands on five key social networks from January to December 2015. They found large follower bases and impressive engagement ratios—some as high as those enjoyed by the biggest winners in the B2C space. How do they do it? By employing some of these ideas:
Thinking beyond LinkedIn: LinkedIn is used by the vast majority of B2B marketers (upwards of 90 percent use the platform), but it’s hardly the most effective platform when it comes to supporting their brand and engaging with followers, according to the TrackMaven report. For better results, look to social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and even Pinterest. And what about Twitter? TrackMaven found that, across industries, B2B brands have an average engagement ratio on Twitter that is below two interactions per post per 1,000 followers.
Adding a human touch: “People don’t want to engage with a faceless robot,” explains Wendy Marx in a recent Business2Community post on B2B social media best practices. In posts, refer to your company as “we” and don’t be afraid to be conversational and even a little witty, like this funny Instagram post from Novartis:
Perfecting the art of the brag: You don’t have to overtly pat your company on the back, but why not demonstrate your organization’s values by showcasing all of the ways you’re helping customers, communities and employees be the best they can be? Here’s one from Merck’s Facebook page showing the volunteer work of its employees:
Taking followers behind the scenes: Oracle, which made ClickZ’s list for 10 B2B brands that are killing it on social media, offers frequent glimpses into their offices. Here’s one of their fun tweets:
Encouraging user-generated content: Instagram has more than 1,000 posts tagged with #LifeAtCapGemini, a campaign Cap Gemini launched to help its followers learn more about the consulting company’s employees and culture. Here’s a sampling: