In the last several years, social media has proven to be an effective channel in the B2B marketing mix. In fact, nearly 93% of B2B marketers cite social media as a preferred marketing tactic. It’s not hard to see why. Consider these statistics:
- In as little as six hours a week, 66% of marketers see lead generation benefits with social media (source)
- Social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing (source)
- Social media lead conversion rates are 13% higher than the average lead conversion rate (source)
Though the results are in, many B2B organizations continue to struggle with social media. Why you may ask? B2B marketers tend to focus too much on products and services and not enough on social media engagement.
If you want to see real, measurable results from your social media efforts, you need to put a bigger emphasis on engagement.
In today’s post, we teach you how to increase social media engagement. Keep reading.
Choose your platforms wisely.
As we’ve discussed many a time in past posts, not all social media platforms will work for every organization – a fact that is especially true for those in the B2B realm. If your social posts aren’t garnering the social media engagement you’re hoping for, it could simply be because you aren’t posting where your target audience is looking.
An easy way to remedy this is to create buyer personas, or profiles of your best buyers comprised of demographic and firmographic data such as job title, job function, company location, company size, industry, etc.
When constructed correctly, buyer personas can shape every aspect of your marketing strategy – including where to focus your social media efforts. Use your personas to uncover which platforms your prospects are frequenting. Hint: as a B2B marketer, you will likely see the most social media engagement with LinkedIn and Twitter.
Post at optimal times.
Did you know that tweets shared during the week garner 14% more social media engagement for a B2B, than during the weekend (source)? In addition to where you’re placing your content, engagement rates can depend on the time of day you post.
However, it can be tricky to pinpoint what time of day will work best for you. . The fact is, timing is often dependent on a number of factors including location, platform, and even your industry. Narrowing down your timing is going to take a bit of trial and error.
Check out the following infographic for some tips on selecting post timing to increase engagement:
Consider your format.
The social landscape has gotten crowded in the last several years. If your content doesn’t stand out in the vast sea of posts, your message will ultimately be lost with no hope for engagement. The solution? Visual content, of course.
Visual social content prompts engagement because of its innate ability to catch the eye of your prospects. According to one recent report, visual social posts are 40 times more likely to be shared than other types of content (source). To put it simply, visual content is a must if you want to increase your engagement rate.
Consider the following formats:
Pictures: We’ve all heard the saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words” – but when it comes to a social media post, a picture is worth a million likes. According to a recent study, photos garner a staggering 87% interaction rate with fans (source).
Infographics: Infographics illustrate valuable information to your prospects in a visually appealing and fun way. They may take more time and effort to develop, but we’d say it’s worth it; infographics are “liked” and shared on social media 3X more than other any other type of content (source).
Videos: Video has taken social media by storm. You can’t scroll through your timeline without coming across a handful of videos—and for good reason, they’re engaging. In fact, your target audience wants more. In 2016, HubSpot reported 43% of people want to see more video content from marketers (source).
Make it actionable
Consider your marketing goals—are you hoping to generate leads, free trials, revenue? Unless your social media posts compel prospects to take the next step, your social media engagement will do little to help you reach your goals. For this reason, you need to make each and every social media post actionable.
CTAs instill a sense of urgency in your prospects and nudge them to take the next step. For CTAs that drive results, keep it simple. The most successful CTAs are short, clear, specific and easily grab a prospect’s attention.
Make your posts interactive.
As discussed in a previous post, interactive content is fast becoming the gold standard in B2B marketing. According to a recent report, 81% of marketers agree that interactive content grabs a prospect’s attention more effectively than static content (source).
By nature, interactive content is participatory and provides prospects with an immersive and compelling experience. This type of content quite literally relies on the engagement of your prospects in order to function.
Here are two ways you can begin incorporating interactive content into your social strategy:
Polls & Surveys: Many of the popular social media channels utilized today already have poll & survey capabilities built into their platform. Aside from getting prospects to engage with your brand, there are a number of other benefits polls and surveys bring to your social strategy.
For one, the results contain valuable information regarding your best buyers. Additionally, these formats allow for your audience to provide feedback about your brand. This makes your prospects feel heard and demonstrates your brand’s vested interest in their wellbeing.
Contests & Giveaways: Even though your marketing team operates in the B2B realm, you still need to gain the attention of people – and people love free stuff. Consider hosting a social media contest or giveaway in which you offer your prospects a tempting prize in exchange for their engagement with your social content.
Recognize clients, partners, and thought-leaders.
Another simple way to boost social media engagement is to engage with your clients, partners and other industry professionals. By sharing a post or tagging these individuals, you organically expand your reach, which in turn boosts engagement.
Additionally, when you take the time to engage with another person or company’s post, they will often do the same for you.
Initiate the conversation.
Unfortunately, your best prospects aren’t always going to start the conversation with your brand. Instead, start the conversation with them. Implement social listening practices by tracking keywords and accounts that resonate with your brand and your buyers. Then, locate the conversations your prospects are having within the social sphere and jump in on the action.
It may feel weird to offer unsolicited input, but when you answer a question or share your expertise you provide your prospects with a helpful experience. This helps to humanize your brand and establish meaningful relationships with your prospects.
The Bottom Line
There’s no way around it, your B2B’s social media engagement efforts will stall without engagement from your prospects. Tailor your strategy to increase engagement through good old-fashioned trial and error. Once you’ve mastered your technique, the interactions between your brand and its best prospects will contribute to your organization’s overall success.
For more information about everything B2B sales and marketing, join us at the 2017 Growth Acceleration Summit. A two-day conference where B2B professionals come to network, learn, and obtain the tools needed to successfully grow and reach new heights. Use promo code BLOG2017 for a 10% discount.