Creating a B2B Social Media Strategy: In-House vs. B2B Digital Marketing Agency
Are you thinking about hiring a b2b digital marketing agency to do your social media strategy? Opt for an agency with a solid b2b sales experience.
12:47 29 March 2021
Yay or Nay to Hiring a B2B Digital Marketing Agency for a B2B Social Media Strategy?
Social media is easy, they say. Social media is silly, they say. But is it? The entire industry of multimillion-follower influencers, professionals who help them, and content creating and marketing tools they all use prove otherwise. If you have already dipped your toes into content making and social media marketing, you are probably aware that easy is the last word on your mind when you start thinking about ways to increase engagement and build a strong brand identity. When do you know you need to shake up things a little or big time? Probably when you see
- No or little engagement on the brand’s posts and Instagram stories
- The brand’s followers don’t care even when you suggest something you think should stir them up
- No growth across social media platforms
- No or little increase in Instagram and Twitter mentions
- No or little increase in interactions on FB page and Instagram DMs
- Paid promotions don’t bring quantifiable results
- Social media brings no unique visitors to your website and landing pages
Some B2B executives labor under the misconception that B2B companies should rely on traditional methods of winning customers and generating leads like cold calling and cold emails, trade shows and exhibitions, and advertising in print and electronic media. However, turning a blind eye to the power of social media would be very poor judgment. Another poor choice is thinking that running your business’s social media channels doesn’t require any special knowledge so that an intern can do it. No, if you want to use social media not just to signal your presence in the virtual space but to build a brand and make a difference for your customers, you need a solid social media strategy.
If you’re posting occasionally without a plan or a goal in mind, you need a strategy to leverage social media for marketing and brand-building. If you follow a strategy but see no tangible results in terms of KPIs and metrics, you need a new roadmap to make your social media efforts more effective. Mind that creating a social media strategy tailored for your business requires not only brainpower of a group of people but access to technical resources too. Your social media content needs SEO, high-quality visual and textual content, scheduling and emailing software, etc. What is better equipped to deliver than a fully-fledged B2B sales lead? But let’s explore the issue on all sides so that you could make an informed decision.
How to Use B2B Sales Experience in Social Media?
It is difficult to constantly increase sales without knowing who buys from you and for what reasons. That is why any previous b2b sales experience is definitely a strong point in working out a social media strategy. To make a clear and well-developed roadmap and align it with your business goals, you need to know answers to important questions: What is your company about? What are your strong points? Who is your ideal customer? What can you give to your audience? In what aspects do you compete with your competitors?
If you have already created buyer personas, market research, and brand identity, you can and should use it in the development of your social media strategy. But if not, that tremendous work needs to be done as soon as possible because it is a foundation for an effective strategy.
What Goes into A Social Media Strategy?
No matter how well your marketing strategy has been performing until now, if it fails to make the most of social media, you are losing an important part of lead generation. It is true that social media does not straightforwardly sell b2b products but it creates a strong connection to a brand in users. B2B executives who make purchasing decisions are users too. That is why it makes a lot of sense to do your best to create a strong brand image on social media. Here’s what we suggest:
Start with Setting and Tracking KPIs
Start by checking out the metrics on your existing platforms. First, you will see what platforms are better for you to start with. Second, you will get an idea of how much you can plan to increase Key Performance Indicators (KPI). Set some specific KPIs and timeframes, for example:
- Gaining [a number] new followers on each platform per month
- Increasing engagement by [..]% on each platform per month
- Increasing web traffic from each platform by 20% within one month
- Increase conversion from social media by 10% within three months
Once you know KPIs you want to achieve, you will see what you need to do.
Remember to use analytical software to track performance and monitor engagement.
Work Out Which Platforms and How to Use
Each social platform needs its own approach and content. Don’t think that as a B2B company, you have to use only LinkedIn. Indeed, LinkedIn is a very effective platform for B2B marketers. In comparison with Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn makes up over 50% of all social traffic for businesses. However, you need to find out what works specifically for your company. It is highly likely that your business can gain massive connection and engagement through Instagram stories whereas your competitors are doing well on YouTube. Explore and analyze and you will find your best-performing social media platforms.
Comb Down All Your Social Media Profiles
It may feel overwhelming to launch or relaunch your accounts on multiple platforms at once. Take one at a time. Then compare and make changes. However, what you will definitely benefit from is optimizing your social media profiles. If you have profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, make sure they all are updated and spruced up. Even if you pour all your energy and creative juices into one or two social media accounts of your choice, don’t forget to refresh the other ones at least once a week. Fill out your bios, include links to your website and other social media accounts, and add your contact information.
Check Out Competitors
Comparing and contrasting your strategies and plans against your competitors will help you carve out social media efforts more precisely and strategically. See how they create engagement, what topics they choose, and what angles are the most effective with the audience, whether they grow organically or use paid promotion, etc. The idea behind using social media competitive analysis is not to copy what your competitors do, but to see what works and what takeaways you can learn for your brand.
Now Create Engaging Content
It’s obvious that your social media accounts need a steady stream of visual and textual content created with each platform’s unique vibe in mind. Whereas LinkedIn requires more serious and professional content, Instagram and TikTok favor a more light-hearted and easy approach. Keeping that in mind, here’s a list of tips for creating B2B content for social media:
- Don’t create only promotional and ‘selling’ content. Even the most loyal audience will lose interest fast if you try to sell stuff all the time. Social media was created to share interests and insights and raise awareness of issues urgent and relevant to people. So keep balance between content that sells and gives something useful and valuable to your audience.
- Target different buyer personas at different stages of the sales funnel. While creating B2B content, use the information about b2b lead generation you know. People who visit your social media accounts are prospects and leads for your business. Even if they just learned about your product, they are moving through the buyer’s journey. Social media is one of the streams that generate sales leads. You will start qualifying leads later on but at this stage, it is up to you to create targeted lead generation in such a way as to bring more qualified leads right away.
- Mix original content and curated content. You will definitely produce videos, stories, and posts about the benefits and advantages of your product or services, testimonials, webinars, and other types of clever marketing. But to make your content diverse and multidimensional, you should post your responses to the industry: news and trending topics, collaborations and links to third parties. Thus, your social media pages can serve as hubs of engaging information and relevant conversation for the audience.
- Show some personality. We use social media not to come off as rigid and formal. If you know your target audience, you will find out how to appeal to it. Create an identity for your brand and channel it through the means of social media. Share your achievements. Put faces to your team and partners. Post behind the scene videos and pictures, upload clips from interviews with leadership or employees. Make your brand accessible and humane.
- Maintain visual consistency. From color schemes to fonts, your social media presence should be guided by certain rules and your own style guide.
Monitor and Adjust
A strategy is effective when it works. Measure the performance of your choices and modify or substitute what is necessary to make the most of your social media activity.
Help Yourself with B2B Lead Generation Software
High-quality and high-performing b2b lead generation software is a must for effective social media marketing. From the most accessible Google Analytics to the most popular ones like HubSpot Social, use a set of different tools to track the performance of your social media efforts. At Belkins, we have a range of advanced marketing tools to track KPIs, schedule content posting and appointment setting, measure engagement and connection. We even created our own email checker Folderly to ensure email deliverability and mail health both for ourselves and our clients.
Ready to Bring a Social Media Agency on Board?
In writing this piece, we intentionally did not give a list of pros and cons for hiring a B2B digital marketing agency because it seems self-evident. It is quite obvious that an agency will cost you a lump sum of money but it will deliver tangible results too. But when you see what goes into creating a high-performing social media strategy, you can have a realistic understanding of whether your company needs an agency or you can opt for some other solution. Before you make a decision, remember that at Belkins, our key employees have had solid b2b sales experience and many years of experience in effective brand-building. Our marketing team is ready to personalize your brand’s customer experience and boost your conversions.