93% of B2B marketers use social media, and with good reason—it works (source). A 2014 study revealed that the ten most socially connected brands saw 31% greater revenue growth than the least connected brands. The same study showed that B2B decision makers are 10% more likely to consider brands that consumers know and feel connected to (source).
We haven’t been shy about touting the benefits of social media in B2B sales and marketing. However, if used incorrectly, social media can pose a legitimate threat to B2B companies both big and small. Keep reading to see how you can avoid making mistakes with this integral part of your marketing technology stack.
Take a look at your current strategy to see if you’re guilty of these common social media mistakes:
Having inconsistent profiles.
Your profiles should clearly reflect your company’s unique look and feel across all platforms. That way, visitors can quickly identify your brand and will be more likely to remember you in the future.
The same goes for messaging—develop a consistent tone and stick with it across all platforms. When replying to common questions or concerns, make sure your answers are in line with the voice you’ve established for your brand.
General inconsistencies can cripple the impact of your social media presence and can give the impression your accounts are not current. Check out our Twitter and Facebook banners below. We use the same profile photo and branding to achieve a consistent, professional appearance
Posting exclusively about products.
There’s a time and a place to promote your products. When it comes to social media, we say: less is more. In fact, research shows B2B brands that connect with their buyers on an emotional level earn twice the impact over marketers who are still trying to sell business or functional value (source).
Instead, focus on posting high-quality content that speaks to your audience’s needs and interests. If you’re not sure how to do this, we dig a little deeper in a recent blog post: How to Use Social Media for B2B Lead Generation.
Talking too much or not talking enough.
The best way to lose followers is to post too often. No one wants to be spammed—especially on social media. Conversely, you’ll also lose followers if you don’t post often enough. Inactive accounts appear abandoned or unprofessional.
The key is to find the perfect balance. Do some research, experiment with post frequency, and analyze your results. It’s important to note that each platform may have different results. Pay attention and find what works for you!
A good B2B social media strategy includes social listening. Pay attention to what your followers are saying. Use hashtags, specialized groups, or advanced search features to monitor the conversation happening within your brand and industry.
Not only will this keep you informed, but you’ll also be able to address concerns, recommend products, and even develop content around current trends. Remember, both customers and prospects are following your social channels – don’t miss an opportunity to convert.
Failing to understand the differences between platforms.
What works best on one social media platform may not translate to other platforms. For best results, set separate goals and strategies for each channel.
Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook are visual platforms whereas Twitter and LinkedIn are typically used to distribute news. The only way to develop a successful strategy is to continuously test and retest different types of content across your various social media channels.
Leaving your social media on autopilot.
The rise in social media has led to an increase in social media management tools. Platforms like Hootsuite and Sprout Social allow marketers to schedule posts days, weeks, and even months in advance. While this can save time and resources, it’s dangerous to just “set it and forget it”.
Take the American Rifleman for example. On the morning of July 20th, 2012, the magazine tweeted, “Good morning, shooters. Happy Friday! Weekend plans?” Unfortunately, details surrounding the tragic Aurora, CO movie theater shooting were being released at the same time. Though the tweet was likely pre-scheduled, the poor timing rendered the message insensitive (source).
If you pre-schedule your social media posts, be sure to do a quick review every morning to make sure your messaging is still appropriate.
Expecting instant results.
Social media is an excellent vehicle for lead generation, brand awareness, and customer service—but it’s not immediate. It can take years to build up a loyal and engaged following. The key to social media success is consistency.If you contribute to the conversations happening within your industry and regularly post valuable content, your efforts will be rewarded.
Not measuring ROI.
Marketing teams must dedicate time and resources to build a successful social media presence. If you’re not measuring ROI, all that hard work goes to waste.
Instead, establish your key performance indicators (KPIs). Are you focused on website traffic, leads, brand awareness, customer retention, etc.? Determine which metrics indicate success and report on them regularly. Compare your metrics to your competitors’ to make sure you’re on the right track. Use your findings to make any necessary adjustments in order to improve performance over time.