social-media-for-business

B2B SMM Tips: How To Use Social Media For Business In 2019

Is your business using social media for growth already? If not, then you need to start right now. Ever since Facebook became more conventional and expanded across the globe, social media has been one of the best tools for marketing.

This is where your audience is and this is where it’s easy to reach them and engage with them.

Is your B2C business ready to step into the crazy world of social media? Here is a definitive guide for that.

The Difference Between B2B and B2C

B2B companies have always been a bit skeptical about the benefits of social media. This has prevented them from really enjoying the benefits of these marketing activities, and they are just catching up now. However, B2C companies have been early adopters of each new platform that appeared, and as such, they have a significant advantage on the field.

Here are some differences between social media for B2B and B2C:

The difference in content 

Content is an essential part of any marketing strategy, B2B, or B2C. However, content marketing has come a long way from where it was before, and the rules have changed a bit. It still provides value and avoids heavy promotion, setting the provider up for authority status.

B2C businesses use heavily visual content for their social media. Videos are critical and shareable and viral content too. They are also a lot more casual, friendly, and they often use humor and relatable things in their strategies for social media.

On the other hand, B2B marketers have plenty of content to share, as well. They do, however, need to be more professional with it. The type of content they can usually use are informative articles that their clients would benefit from, industry news as well as updates when they publish a white paper or an ebook. They can also post about case studies, their webinars, and information related to that, useful industry infographics, and so on. The important thing is that the content they share on social media is beneficial, informative, professional, in the industry and that it sets them up as an authority in the niche.

SM Platforms

The platforms businesses choose usually based on their audience. And we can see the most significant difference here because B2B companies and B2C businesses are using completely different social media channels, though they might overlap at some point. There are social media channels which are more visual, and there are those that are less visual, focused on something else.

B2C businesses see most use on Facebook, especially since it added new video features and put the main focus on visual elements; they use plenty of Twitter because it’s very open and anyone can see anyone’s tweets; Instagram, of course, is one of the biggest platforms for B2C businesses at the moment, especially those targeting younger people; finally, Youtube is another place to be as a B2C business that wants engagement.

B2B businesses wouldn’t have the same value of all of those social networks. For instance, Instagram or Snapchat would be quite useless to them, no matter how popular. LinkedIn is probably the most important social media network for these businesses.

It’s designed for businesses. They can also make use of Facebook and Twitter.

Goals 

This is the one that sets them apart the most. Goals are really important, and these two have entirely different purposes.

B2C is focused on the community, engagement, and building brand awareness. Viral content that would bring them more audience is critical here.

On the other hand, B2B businesses want to generate leads. Their main goal is to get as much traffic to their website and generate as many leads as possible. All of their actions on social media are related to that as well.

Creativity and Promotion of Content

As a B2C business on social media, the best thing you can do is be creative and engage your audience with interesting content. Here are some content types that can prove extremely useful for achieving your goals:

User-generated content 

Share images and videos that your fans have created with your products or while using your services. There is no better confirmation of your quality than other people engaging with you, and it’s one of the most effective types of social proof. It’s also very inexpensive and can easily create a wider reach.

Have a contest or a giveaway 

Nowadays, one of the best ways to get tons of engagement is to have a contest or a giveaway on your social media page. Set some rules, make the rewards attractive, and watch your numbers grow. You can also combine this with user-generated content.

Tag a friend 

People love to share relatable stuff with their friends. So, why not use that and create a campaign that entices people to tag their friends in the comments.

For example: “Tag a friend who hates Mondays as much as we do,” paired with a relatable meme or a picture.

Post-behind-the-scenes 

People love to know that there are real people behind your accounts and behind the products, they use and love. Share company images and videos from inside of your office, from an event or something similar.

Use Facebook reactions 

Entice people to give their answer to your post only with a response which is available on Facebook.

Use emojis 

Emojis are relatable, a great way to engage with your audience. Use them in your posts and images whenever you can, make sure that they are relevant and that you don’t go overboard

  • Share a video – Videos are the perfect format for the current audience on social media. One of the best things you can do is make a how-to video on something related to your product.
  • Make a poll – This is a rapid way to engage your audience and also learn more about them. So, you get two things done at once.

There are many other ways to engage your audience on social media. Make sure that you use them and that you are always creative when it comes to spreading awareness and building a connection with your audience.

Using Hashtags

Hashtags are an inevitable part of social media. They help people find posts they care about, and they help you reach people too. But how do you even use them? Here are some simple tips for hashtag use:

  • Create your own branded hashtag so you can engage with your audience
  • Use hashtags to categorize your social media posts
  • Raise awareness of your brand
  • It can boost your reach –  hashtags are searchable on social media, and using them can make you more discoverable. You can add them to your social media bios and make yourself easy to find. They are similar to hyperlinks so they can take the user to another page.
  • Find and join conversations – Hashtags can take you to great discussions that can help you boost your reach as well. Join in on these conversations and show off your personality and gain some recognition. Research the trending hashtag and understand what the discussion is about.
  • Use it for social listening – You can use the hashtag conversations to research your audience, competitors, learn about pain points, gaps in the market and then create content based on that or refine your products and services based on that.
  • Drive engagement for events – Use the hashtags to drive more engagement for the events you host. People can discuss events, answer polls, and so on. Share your hashtag in the events material
  • Build a community – People can find each other and you through hashtags.

There are three types of hashtags:

  • Branded hashtags – The ones you create for your brand and are unique, no one else is using them.
  • Trending hashtags – These hashtags are popular with millions of users and are the most popular on social media.
  • Content hashtags – These are the best hashtags for beginners, and they are usually keywords related to the content of the post

Make sure that you are not misusing your hashtags and that you are not overdoing it with the number of hashtags in your post – then again, this will depend on each social media channel.

Competitor Research and Analysis

You also need to keep a close eye on your competitors at all times and see what you can do better, what they are doing, and so on. This is really simple with these tools:

  • Ahrefs Content Explorer – This is a tool that allows you to enter the domain of your competitor and then see what they are sharing and what the stats are on their posts.
  • Mention – This is a tool that lets you monitor mentions of your competitors by entering the brand name or the keyword
  • BuzzSumo – This is a great tool for insights about social media. It’s simple and effective, very easy to use. Just enter your competitor’s domain or keyword and search. The tool will find your competitor’s most shared content.

Here are some things that you can do with the information you get there:

  • Create a similar piece to the one that received the best stats with your competitors.
  • Find out what the audience for that content is
  • Build a good following based on what social media channels worked best for your competitor
  • Share the popular content from your competitors that is relevant to your audience.

Learn More About Your Audience

Your audience is crucial, and you need to know as much as possible about it. Here are some tips on how to do that:

  • Do research in advance – Do market research and select the right demographics for your brand and your type of product.
  • Use the previous point and look at your competitors – Your competitors and you will likely have the same audience which means that you should look at their audience and buyer persona
  • Create your own buyer persona – This is a tested tactic which will give you plenty of information to work with. Create an outline of your ideal customer and then target your messaging to that particular customer.
  • Get to know the audience personally – Work with some of the best customers one-on-one to learn more about them and figure out what makes them tick
  • Use social listening – Social listening can help you learn more from discussions that people are having online and content they produce
  • Host surveys – Surveys are a fun and informative way to learn more about the audience. It’s simple and very effective.

Choose The Right Channel

When talking about social media, you need to recognize which platforms would work best for your brand. Not all social media channels will be good for you, so you need to make decisions on which to use. Using several when some of them are ineffective for your purposes is a bad idea because it can cost more than it brings in conversions or engagement.

So, you need to do the following to discover which social media platforms are right for you:

  • Ask yourself which features of a platform to fulfill your needs, which audience uses which platform, how much time will you need to make an impact, and so on.
  • Figure out where your audience is and where your competitors are
  • Look at all of the data and base your choice of platforms on that. Here are some, for starters: Facebook has 1.59 billion users, Instagram 400 million users, Twitter has 320 million and Pinterest 100 million

Connect With Your Audience In These Smart Ways

Connecting with your audience is the key to success on social media. Here are some tips:

  • Have a goal in mind and focus everything you do on social media on that. You can also build a strategy that will work for you.
  • Tell your audience an interesting story about your brand and your company. Be social and share interesting things, not promotional stuff, which is tedious. Focus on delivering value and building engagement.
  • Respond to comments and feedback your customers give you because this is the way you build a reputation. Make sure that you handle all communications with the audience properly. Leverage that to get more engagement
  • Set standards for everything you do. Make sure that you offer high-quality content because that is the most important element of social – good content
  • Understand how each platform works and how you can use it for your own benefit. You would post similar content on each of them, but you would do so differently.
  • Analyze and refine, as much as you possibly can to always improve your strategy and approach.

Trends on Social Media To Harness Right Now

If you’re ever out of ideas, here are some social media trends you should follow:

  • Post live video, it’s been trending since 2017, and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.
  • Consider chatbot technology because it can make a severe difference to your overall business strategy
  • Connect with an influencer and work together to promote your products in a natural, creative and seamless way
  • Use paid advertisements, of course. While the content you post shouldn’t be promotional and it should focus more on the interesting, your ads can do the promotional job for you
  • Use social listening tools to get ideas on what your audience may like to hear
  • Leverage user-generated content – it’s fun, interesting and really cost-effective
  • Use augmented reality to create really fun content for your audience.

Guest Contribution by Chloe Bennet, social media manager at Do My Essay Online. She helps her clients with content creation and distribution.

Business resources:

Published by

Gennaro Cuofano

Gennaro is the creator of FourWeekMBA which reached over a million business students, professionals, and entrepreneurs in 2019 alone | Gennaro is also Head of Business Development for a high-tech startup, which he helped grow at double-digit rate and become profitable | Gennaro is an International MBA with emphasis on Corporate Finance | Subscribe to the FourWeekMBA Newsletter | Or Get in touch with Gennaro here

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