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7 things to include in B2B social media marketing content

Social media has become an essential B2B marketing tool. A MarketingProfs study from 2014 found 87 percent of B2B content marketers use social media to share their information (1).

The study also discovered over half of respondents felt their social media content strategy could be improved. While most companies are utilizing this marketing tool, not everyone is using it effectively. Here are seven suggestions for creating more effective B2B social media content:

1. Brand
Whether a company is posting on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook, all social media content should be brand-specific.

It might be difficult to keep a consistent tone and message to materials presented in different formats, but social media can be a potential client's first interaction with a company. Content Marketing Institute stated social media is an impression-based strategy, and a company wants to project the right image (2).

Companies should beware of creating material that is popular or catchy but goes against business practices. Social media strategies create a lot of content and every message going out should speak from a company's core values.

2. Multiple educational strategies
As stated above, marketers create a large amount of content to fill social media pages. Companies should ensure materials are diverse.

Social media content must include images, text, photos, videos, blogs, statistics and graphs. Fast Company said businesses looking for partners want educational materials about services and products offered (3). Everyone learns differently, and the more ways data is presented, the more likely viewers are to absorb information.

This may seem counterintuitive to the first step, but the two can work together. Figure out the exact message a company is trying to convey and then determine the multiple ways it can be shared.

3. Expert advice
Business partners want to work with the best. Social media is a chance to look like an expert in a given field.

Companies should share free advice and information to viewers. According to the Content Marketing Institute, people don't just go to a social site for personal interactions; they use the pages as sources of news and information. Providing viewers with valuable insight into an industry makes the marketer look like an authority.

Businesses are more likely to work with a company that has demonstrated the ability to provide the information they need.

4. Successes
Satisfied customers are a great source of content. Landing big, impressive clients or receiving kind messages written by happy partners shows a track record of success.

The Social Media Examiner recommended saving all customer contacts and asking clients if certain positive reviews could be shared (4). Social media is a two-way communication device. If somebody writes something nice on a business page, the site usually has features that let the post be promoted or shared on other sources.

B2B content marketers need to place people in charge of monitoring all online engagements for materials. Marketing content can create future content thanks to audience interactions.

5. Promote partners
Companies shouldn't just use their business partners as a source of praise. Promoting clients and friends on social media establishes a network.

Businesses cross-promote with existing clients. Business2Community recommended linking to client names or web pages in social media postings (5). Conversations on social sites like Twitter can go back and forth between partners to demonstrate a working relationship.

Networks tend to grow. The more happy businesses there are associated with a company, the more likely others will want to be included.

6. Secondary tool for inbound marketing
B2B Marketers want social media content to bring people directly to their company. Search Engine Land advised companies not to ignore social media's ability to act as a secondary tool for inbound marketing (6).

Instead of linking directly to a business's main site, social media could link to other marketing content. Links to blogs or YouTube videos could be shared on Facebook or LinkedIn. This might seem like a roundabout strategy, but indirect messaging seems less pushy and allows a business time to review more material before approaching a potential partner.

7. Site-specific tools
Before a company posts anything on a social media page, it needs to learn everything it can about how the site works.

Facebook has specific guidelines about content. LinkedIn has tools to assist lead generation. Business2Community advised companies to use Twitter's Click-to-Tweet option to encourage information sharing. Whatever features a site has to guide or aid a business need to be analyzed and implemented into a content strategy.

If a company wants to use a marketing partner to assist with social media content creation, a partner must be selected with a history of social media success and insight into how each online tool operates.

(1). B2B Content Marketing 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends-North America
(2). Planning Your B2B Marketing Approach to Social Media: 3 Key Angles
(3). 5 (Relatively Simple) Steps to B2B Social Media Marketing Success
(4). 8 Content Marketing Trends for B2B
(5). 5 Social Marketing Tactics for Content Distribution
(6). How To Run A Successful B2B Social Media Marketing Campaign

Sheila Kloefkorn

With more than 25 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.