April 20

5 Essential B2B Social Media Marketing Best Practices

The problem with most posts sharing B2B Social Media Marketing best practices is they're written by agencies and consultants that don't employ paid sales teams. The B2B social media strategy that works for them likely doesn't work for most small, mid-sized, or enterprise-level B2B companies. That's why you see a lot of talk about thought leadership, content creation, templates, and scripts that, once adopted, will "guarantee your social selling success!" 

Barf. 🤮

So today, let's cut through the thought leader BS and talk about (in our opinion) the five essential elements that form the foundation for any successful B2B social media marketing strategy.  

Choose Your B2B Social Media Platforms Wisely

As we've said in the past, contrary to popular belief, LinkedIn isn't the only or even a mandatory B2B social media marketing platform. Based on some of the research we uncovered, for many B2B marketers and B2B salespeople, Facebook might even make as much if not more sense. For instance, did you know that 87.8% of LinkedIn users also use Facebook? (source) BUT, only 31.5% of Facebook users also use LinkedIn? 

That means there are many more potential sales prospects on Facebook than on LinkedIn. But yet, so many prospective B2B sales & marketing clients come to us asking for LinkedIn Training programs or Social Selling Training. Still, during the first call, it's obvious they mean LinkedIn or LinkedIn Navigator Training.

This leads us to the second essential B2B social media marketing strategy best practice.  

Know Your Audience

While social media platforms are excellent social selling tools, perhaps their greatest superpower is ensuring you never speak to a stranger on social media. Before you make a LinkedIn post or send that awesome Tweet that you just know is going to go viral, spend a bit of time conducting social media reconnaissance to uncover key players, media platforms, and the high-value Propinquity Points where you and your content should show up. This will ensure you're creating and curating the kind of helpful content that positively positions you and your company as a reputable, trusted resource. 

But don't stop there. Once you've identified your key sales prospects that you need to develop a relationship with via social media, recon them too. You'd be surprised at the amount of freely available, unstructured data that is floating around the interwebs — even for sales prospects that aren't heavy social media users. You just need to locate it all and synthesize it into a detailed dossier that you can quickly access anytime and from anywhere, to show you the perfect Conversational Catalyst you or your sales teams will need to begin an online (or offline) conversation with that sales prospect. 

This brings me to the third essential B2B social media marketing strategy best practice you'll want to leverage. 

Create TRULY Helpful B2B Content

If you've been around this blog for any period of time, you've heard me say it before: 

Awesome may get shared, but helpful gets bought!

I know it's fun and exciting to win those B2B Content Marketer of the Year Awards and such, but sales prospects don't buy awards; they buy answers — as in responses to their questions and needs. Your sales teams don't need to "go viral" to win. But they do need access to helpful content they can use to answer a prospective buyer's question they find on a social media platform or in a Quora or Reddit community. So could you give it to them? 

But that's not all. Suppose you're creating high-quality B2B social media content. In that case, you can repurpose that content (with minimal revisions) into powerful 2nd-Click Content perfectly suited to lead nurturing efforts both on and off social media platforms. How's that for driving ROI? 

Regarding creating content-oriented ROI, let's talk about the fourth essential B2B social media marketing strategy no business-to-business marketer or salesperson should overlook. 

Favor Content Curation over Content Creation

I've written before about my belief that B2B salespeople should favor content curation over creation. Frankly, it's easier, faster, and provides a broader AND deeper set of content resources to answer questions, start conversations, or create an excuse to reach out and touch a sales prospect on social media, text, or even email. 

Even the most robust, well-staffed B2B content marketing team can't produce enough high-quality content to support even a modestly sized salesforce. And honestly, they don't need to because there is an abundance of high-value, non-competitive content floating around the interwebs just waiting to be curated and shared. 

This means you or your sales teams need only source the content, tag it, and store it on an easily accessible platform. Then when your sales team needs that content, they need only add a bit of relevant context (or you can even do that for them), and share it with their B2B social media platform of choice. 

This brings us to the fifth, and extremely important, B2B social media marketing best practice you should embrace because this website is probably the ONLY place you'll hear this advice. 

Stop Asking Your Salespeople To Become Thought Leaders

They don't need to, and honestly, it's in your company's worst interest to help them do so. Becoming a thought leader requires a lot of time and energy. Time spent reading, researching, learning, and teaching through unique OWNED content. While you can certainly curate your reputation, you absolutely must publish your own self-created content to reach Thought Leader status. 

Further, do you want just one of your salespeople to reach Thought Leader status? Not only does that require them to compete against their fellow salespeople for the lone or limited Thought Leader positions available, but it also makes them hugely valuable to your competitor or themselves. Do you want to help them go out on their own, or worse, take a higher-paying job from your competitor who is more than willing to buy all the effort you've placed into that salesperson? 

Instead, your company should elevate to the Thought Leader position. Then, your sales teams need only curate their reputation amongst their sales prospects, friends, and business associates as highly knowledgeable, super helpful, and completely unselfish providers of answers dedicated to the principles of Selling Greatly

The Goal of Your B2B Social Media Marketing Strategy

Make it easier for your sales teams to sell your products or services. 

And you'll do that by creating a trusted brand image, providing helpful content that answers sales prospects' questions and concerns, teaching your sales teams how to sell with social media, and making sure every sales call counts by behaviorally segmenting your leads to find the ones that are closest to conversion. 

Wow, you're still here? Well, thanks for reading this far — before you go, if you're a first-time reader, and you found a morsel or two of value in this post, why not consider subscribing for a few more tips and tricks. Of course, you can cancel free of charge at any time 😉.  Till next week. 

This post was originally published on Painless Prospecting, the weekly sales and marketing blog created by the fine folks at Converse Digital. If you want to learn how to create, engage in, and convert conversations into new clients and customers, give them a call

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