There’s a misconception in social media marketing that B2B stands for Boring2Boring, instead of business-to-business.
It stems partly from the tendency for B2B social media strategies to focus on growth messaging and stay within the safe confines of brand guidelines.
Although to give B2B marketing due credit, there are inherent challenges that most B2C brands don’t face:
- Long lead nurture processes
- Selling services, not products
- Numerous decision makers
- Indirect sales journey
The goals, methods, and metrics for B2B marketing strategies will differ from B2C.
But that shouldn’t translate to a marketing strategy devoid of creative social media ideas. On the contrary, B2B social media campaigns need an injection of authenticity and inventiveness to stand out.
Here’s how to rethink your B2B social media strategy in 2022.
How to Make B2B Social Media Less Boring
Define Your Strategy Differently
Social media may not be the most lucrative sales platform – and that’s OK.
Redefining the purpose of social media in the B2B marketing mix presents an opportunity to step away from sales-directed messaging and focus on humanizing the brand.
Build your B2B social media strategy around a top-of-funnel brand goal rather than a profit target:
- Establish brand credibility
- Grow visibility and brand recall
- Engage and educate new audiences
These audience-centred goals give your social media strategy the flexibility to explore creative approaches.
They contribute to lead generation in the broader context of multichannel marketing while playing to the strength of social media as a channel to make authentic connections.
Humanize Your Products and Services
Don’t forget that there’s a human on the other end of every piece of content you put out.
So who are they?
Invest time in building out buyer personas specific to social media. Depending on the strategic goals, these can be derived from established customer profiles or created from the ground up.
Choose Platforms Carefully
Most B2B social media strategies focus on LinkedIn, the only platform dedicated to professionals.
Nearly all B2B marketers rely on LinkedIn for content marketing:
- 95% use LinkedIn for organic content marketing
- 76% use the platform for paid promotion
Facebook follows close behind, with 83% of B2B marketers using it for organic content marketing and 66% for paid.
There’s no doubt these platforms can generate value. But the best B2B social media platform is the one that reaches your audience and aligns with your goals.
Consider how other platforms can support your social media strategy.
- Quora: Solving users’ problems
- TikTok: Entertaining and humanizing
- Pinterest: Inspiring and visually engaging
- Medium: Thought-provoking and educational
TikTok isn’t the first place B2B marketers might think to publish content, but it can be highly engaging with the right approach.
For example, some of the best B2B marketing we’ve seen in 2022 from agencies and established brands came via TikTok.
Take a Leaf out of B2C’s Playbook
The best B2B social media strategies in 2022 draw on B2C tactics to breathe life into campaigns that could easily have come across as impersonal.
Let’s look at some stand-out B2B marketing examples from agencies and brands on TikTok:
New York creative agency, NoGood, garnered 100K+ followers by breaking down campaigns from popular brands, publishing authentic content about working in an agency and sharing tips for other marketers and agencies.
With 300K+ followers and 3 million likes, Adobe has established itself as a brand leader on the platform. Their TikTok strategy focuses on influencers and UGC (user-generated content), with a sprinkling of branded content for good measure.
Like Adobe, Canva publishes a mixture of influencer content, quick tips, and entertaining content featuring soft CTAs to use Canva products and services. With 83K followers, Canva has carved out a strong TikTok following by remaining focused on its audience.
This one’s a little out of left field, but it’s a great example of non-traditional B2B marketing on TikTok. Apex makes robots for the food industry. Yet their TikTok, which riffs on B2C trends (sometimes bordering on the bizarre), has 75K followers and 3.5 million likes – even more than Adobe.
Build a Community
Why do agencies and brands pour energy into creating top-of-funnel content for TikTok?
Almost one-third (32%) of TikTok users are aged between 25 and 34, and 90% of users visit the app more than once daily.
Although these users may not be the ultimate decision-makers holding the purse strings, they are influencers in the purchase process and often users of B2B products and services.
On LinkedIn, the benefits of building an engaged community are even more visible as a reported 92% of people trust peer recommendations over advertisements on LinkedIn.
Diversify the Content Mix
Perhaps the main reason B2B social media strategies come across as stale is that marketers skip over this point due to resource constraints or lack of reliable data.
As we saw in examples from Adobe and Canva, user-generated content sends a powerful message by leveraging third-party endorsement.
Your content should always link to the overarching social media strategy.
But remember: it’s OK to have fun on social media.
Humanize the brand. Appeal to your audience, don’t rebadge posts from other brands. Monitor your competition.
The content mix should reflect where your audience is and what engages them.
Plan, Measure and Evaluate your Social Media Marketing
B2B social media marketing contributes to a bigger picture.
When planning and executing ambitious campaigns, it’s easy to lose sight of how a top-of-funnel content piece contributes to cross-platform lead generation.
With Mediatool’s Strategic Planning tool, you get visibility over all your marketing activity to plan, monitor and optimize B2B marketing strategies and, crucially, demonstrate ROI.
Strategic Planning is especially valuable for agencies running multiple client campaigns and global brands with large or simultaneous campaigns.
Mediatool puts all your marketing in perspective and gives you the tools to optimize ambitious campaigns and reach your targets faster – then exceed them.