Best Practices for Better Business-to-Business Social Media Marketing
What does it take for B2B brands to win at social media in 2022? This article looks at best practices and trends you need to know for better business social media marketing.
These days, consumer behaviour dictates what works on social media. As the various platforms evolve to suit end-users ever-changing needs, marketers need to keep their fingers on the pulse.
The State of Business Social Media Marketing in 2022
Social media is a way of life for both work and play.
It used to be taboo for brands to encroach on a user’s “recreational time”. Now, it’s almost second nature to use social media platforms as search engines. Not to mention that more people are posting requests for recommendations from friends and peers alike.
Brands need to shake off legacy thinking to get ahead with business social media marketing. Broadcast messaging is out. Instead, marketers must focus on creating content that fits into their targets’ lifestyles: delivering value through posts people want to follow.
What Do Your Customers Want?
Connect on a Person-to-Person Level
Forget B2B and think P2P, person to person. Even though it’s business social media, you are still communicating with a person. And that person doesn’t want to hear from some robotic, faceless corporate.
They want—and deserve—a human connection
- Develop a strong brand personality and voice. Make your brand sound like a person, a real person. That means it’s ok to use casual language, break the odd grammar rule and—please—speak in the first person.
- Think Glass Box Business. Let people see inside. Be transparent in your communication. Make employees brand ambassadors.
- Know your audience; segment and personalise as much as possible.
It sounds cliché—what does “quality content” even mean? When you create content, put yourself in your audiences’ shoes. Ask yourself: Can I use this? Does it teach me or make me look at things differently? If not, it’s just wallpaper that is easy to ignore.
- Invest in listening tools and invite feedback. That’s the secret to solid demand generation and business social media.
- You’re most likely talking to decision-makers—show that you can relate to their pain points. Give them things they can use to make their lives easier.
- Develop a content plan. Use what you’ve learned from your audience and plot your topics with enough time to research, and produce something of value.
Not polls and questions. Think Metaverse. Bring people into your world.
The operative word in Social Media is social. It’s your job to create dialogue and let users contribute rather than consume. User-generated content is a formidable tool to build trust, credibility, relationships, and reach. This is where things start to go viral!
- Tap into influencers. Maybe you’re not the industry expert (yet), but you can invite one to your webinar or get one with a massive following to weigh in on your offering.
- Host Q&As or AMA (Ask me anything) days. If you are an expert, share those brains with the people!
- Think omnichannel and omni-application—leverage location-based marketing.
- Capitalise on QR, AR and VR capabilities.
This want (and rule) applies to business-to-consumer, direct-to-consumer, and business-to-business social media marketing. Keep clear boundaries between advertising and organic content.
Make sure you have a business profile!
See more rules for business social media marketing here
Let’s face it. Every social media channel has advertising. All users know that they will encounter advertising. But all users strongly detest sleazy, slip-into-your-convo-sales-pitches, or brands that try to jam products down their throats. Don’t do it.
There’s a time for advertising. There’s a time for real, relationship-building, value-driven content. If you turn a sweet moment into a sales op, your audience won’t feel valued. Their loyalty will erode.
- Focus your organic content on what matters to your audience. You can showcase products, but don’t make every post a product post. Balance is good.
- If you’re endorsing or having someone endorse you for affiliate marketing, make it clear to your audience.
Five Hot Business-to-Business Social Media Marketing Trends
- Short (vertical) video. LinkedIn in-feed vids, Instagram reels, Facebook stories, YouTube shorts. Bite-size infotainment for the win.
- Wellness and mental health awareness. Yes, we can acknowledge our feelings and pull down the steel façade in business social media communication.
- Accountability, inclusion, diversity. Business buyers and end-consumers alike care about spending their money with brands that lead the charge in social justice.
- Memes forever: They are not going away any time soon! Everybody loves a good meme, and they’ve found a welcome home in brand communication.
- Virtual Reality: VR should be a goal you accomplish this side of 2022. Try to leverage augmented reality for proof concept or prototyping.
On the Business Social Media Horizon
If you want to be proactive, jump on these trends that will mature by the end of this year.
- Influencer Marketing. Find one or become one.
- Social selling. Engage with engaged followers.
- Discerning distribution. Quality content needs a good platform. Strengthen your PR to work around prioritised advertising on SM (that can overshadow organic content).
- It’s always been here, but it is about to boom!
- But proceed with caution. It’s not for everyone. Brands are jumping on the bandwagon, but consumers are likely to boycott. TikTok’s appeal is that it is/was seen as a “business-free” zone.