Social media has quickly become an integral part of any B2B marketing strategy, and when it comes to your go-to-market (GTM) plan, you’re missing a crucial part of the puzzle without it.
Traditional marketing content is still important, but when it comes to things like promotion, product pushes or industry news, social network sites are the place to be (because it’s where your potential customers are).
So how should you go about creating a social strategy that aligns with everything else you have going on? The key here is to make sure your social strategy works in tandem with your existing GTM plan in order to achieve alignment as well as success.
What Is A B2B Social Media Marketing Strategy?
The core question B2B social media marketers should be asking themselves is: “how does my social media strategy support business objectives?”
And in order to answer that question, we need to cover the fundamentals of B2B social media marketing.
So, B2B social media marketing is exactly what it sounds like: using social networking sites as a digital marketing tool to drive traffic, generate engagement, and ultimately, boost brand awareness.
A social media strategy is really the summation of everything you plan to execute and achieve on social networking platforms.. In other words, it’s a measurable plan that keeps you on track with clear KPIs.
However, keep in mind that the overall goal of a social media marketing strategy is to build relationships and foster connections with target audiences.
Key Benefits Of B2B Social Media Marketing Strategies For Your GTM Plan
Today, social media is arguably the most crucial step in the path to purchase—meaning it needs to be incorporated into the rest of your GTM strategy. AKA, alignment is the name of the game.
Here are a few ways that social media contributes to your go-to-market plan.
1. Increased Brand Exposure
Engaging and relevant content increases your brand awareness on social media. When done successfully, social networks help you reach a broader and more relevant audience, all based on existing customers and followers.
When you create and distribute strong, targeted content, your existing audience is more likely to share and/or interact with it in some way, resulting in broader exposure through their personal networks.
And, just like that, voila, more brand exposure, awareness, and trust.
2. Improved Customer Service
Many B2B companies with a social media strategy have some sort of “listening” tool integration which alerts them to customer service requests, product issues, and general customer feedback.
Instead of existing customers having to go call a customer service line, they can simply direct message a company and get a speedy response. In fact, 65% of people aged 18-34 believe that social media is an effective channel for customer service.
3. Increased Web Traffic
By using social media as a marketing tool, you add another channel for potential customers to find you and eventually visit your website!
Engaging marketing content that is shared on social media networks can drive clicks back to your website, therefore driving more traffic and hopefully, more leads.
4. Improved Search Visibility
While it is still unclear as to whether or not social media signals impact SEO ranking, social media undoubtedly plays an important role in your organic search success. Additionally, your social media strategy can be a key driver of link acquisition.
5. Enhanced Audience Understanding
Social media marketing provides additional insights and engagement metrics that allow you to get to know your target audience on a deeper level than ever before.
The information you glean from these metrics can then help you produce more targeted, engaging content, answer important questions posed on social media, as well as provide important and relevant information that keeps potential and existing customers up-to-date with company and industry news.
Additionally, the inherent human element of social media allows you to nurture existing customer relationships with personable content that showcases your brand’s personality, rather than just the products you sell.
6. Position As Thought-Leader
Social media marketing is unique in that it offers the opportunity for your brand to establish a distinct voice for others in the marketplace to recognize.
Engaging and communicating with your target audience allows you to create a strong presence in the industry, where you can provide marketplace insight and expertise. Social media is truly an ideal platform to showcase industry knowledge and gain the trust of potential and existing customers.
What Should Be In A Social Media Strategy?
Every company will have a slightly different social media marketing strategy, because each company will want to achieve different things and target different audiences. However in the world of B2B, there are some key components that every strategy should make sure to have.
Clear And Measurable Goals
Simply posting here and there on various social media platforms isn’t enough to truly have a social media strategy. Rather, a process needs to be put in place that allows for the tracking of progress.
With clear and measurable goals, your social media team has clear objectives and can sync efforts to align with other marketing campaigns across the business.
An Understanding Of Your Brand’s Audience
Knowing who your audience is is crucial to the success of your social media marketing strategy in order to:
1) Know what kind of content will resonate with them
2) Know where your audience is on social media in order to distribute content accordingly.
When you have a crystal clear understanding of who your target audience is, you can better connect with your audience. Ultimately, this will create a more engaged community.
Utilizing Appropriate Platforms
Your content won’t perform the same on every channel, and recognizing what does well and where it does well is imperative to your overall strategy.
For example, most B2B companies have a larger presence on LinkedIn than Instagram. In this case, social media managers may use the two channels to share different types of content, i.e company culture news on Instagram versus more industry specific content on LinkedIn.
A Content Calendar And Posting Cadence
Just like any other marketing campaign, you’ll need a content calendar that shows what’s being posted, and when each post will be deployed.
Developing an effective posting cadence that isn’t too sparse, but that also isn’t too frequent is key – you want to engage without spamming. . You can align social content with larger marketing campaigns in order to achieve ultimate content alignment.
Social Listening Tools
If you’re going to have a social media marketing strategy, you need some kind of social media automation tool. Listening tools alert you when your company accounts receive mentions, messages, and overall engagement rates.
A social media automation platform (preferably with the right integrations) is ultimately how you will track the progress of campaigns, and therefore the success of the overall strategy.
Putting Social Media To Use For Your GTM Strategy
Social media marketing offers benefits that impact key goals, such as::
- Adding value to your GTM plan
- Developing and improving brand awareness
- Nurturing existing relationships and fostering new ones
If you already have a social media strategy, but it’s floating on its own island in the middle of your marketing strategy ocean, you may want to consider aligning it with broader GTM campaigns.
As is always said of marketing content, it could be the best piece of content ever created, but if nobody sees it, what’s the point?
In our modern marketing milieu, both existing and potential customers are on some form of social media, so it’s time to start catering to the masses, and publishing content where you know it will be seen.
If you want to win, you’ve gotta play the game.