Hello and welcome back to another episode of The Defiant Business Podcast. I’m your host Ruthie, and today we’re going to talk about where social media fits into your B2B marketing strategy.
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I Don’t Need Social Media
And yes, it must fit. If you’re a company that’s like, “Well, I don’t really do a lot of social media and my business is doing just fine.” I’m not saying that a business cannot succeed without social media. I just ask you to consider how much better your business could be doing if you were controlling your company’s brand awareness on social media How much better would things be if you were a part of the conversations, instead of just on the outside looking in?
Social Media Just as a Megaphone
So 63% of B2B content marketers say that LinkedIn is effective for their companies. Also, upwards of 90% of B2B marketers are on LinkedIn distributing content. Conversely, you’ll only find about 26% of B2B companies on Instagram, because that’s typically a B2C platform.
I’ve noticed in my observations that B2B companies often use social media as a type of megaphone; just announcing, “We’ve got a new blog post!/Download our ebook!/Check us out at this event that we went to!” And there’s no response.
But what if your company tried leveraging internal experts (i.e. your employees) to elevate brand awareness? I was just reading an article from The Marketing Insider Group that Michael Brenner wrote. He talks about this, and he calls it employee branding, and that it’s B2B’s response to influencer marketing.
I also remember listening to an episode of Michael Zipursky’s podcast, Consulting Success. He had a guest, who was talking about how he had his own practice and then went back to being an employee, but he added value to his employer because he was an author.
He had been doing podcast episodes and had built up this personal brand that added value to the company. So people wanted to work with the company because of him, which was something they hadn’t had before. I think that was probably the best example of employee branding that I could immediately call off the top of my head.
Tailoring Your Goals and Messaging to the Platform
How I use LinkedIn
You can find a reason to be on almost any platform if you adjust your goals and messaging for that platform. So, whether you’re looking at Defy the Status Quo or you’re looking at me, we’re incredibly B2B. That’s why I spend a lot of time on LinkedIn.
I offer a lot of content marketing and business information. I share my new content, I share my connections’ content, and I spend a lot of time commenting on the content of my peers, my ideal clients, and past clients on the internet.
LinkedIn drives more site traffic than any other social media platform for B2B companies. I’ve gotten clients and podcast interviews on LinkedIn, so it’s huge for me. I feel like we’re still in that golden era for a social media platform; once it’s caught fire, it goes, so you want to get in while the getting’s good.
It’s About Consistently Showing up
But I also want to point out that I did not just go viral on LinkedIn. I’ve been working on it for about a year. You didn’t see me when I got 2 likes on a post and no comments. It seemed like I was posting just great content and nobody was responding. You weren’t there for that.
It was those 2 people who liked me, who were probably my grandpa and a friend from the army. So with any social media platform, it’s about consistently showing up.
How I use Twitter
I’m on Twitter too, and I use the platform mostly as an author. I’ve got a book coming up, and I got another one that I’m getting ready to write. I also write fiction.
So there, I connect with other authors and writers. I also include a great dose of content marketing content, just because content marketing is great for everybody.
How I use Facebook
I have a Facebook business page and I post content there, but on my personal profile, I keep it personal. I have a very low number of friends on Facebook, but I do participate in a lot of professional Facebook groups. I end up connecting with a lot of those people on Twitter and LinkedIn, which are some of my more primary channels.
I’m in writers’ groups, consulting groups, marketing groups, and sales groups. I’m in all sorts of groups and I like to answer people’s questions and be helpful because that typically leads them to seek me out.
How I use Instagram
I’ve been dragging my feet a bit on Instagram, but I’m trying harder. I don’t consistently show up on Instagram because Instagram is hard. Comparatively speaking, LinkedIn was easy.
On Instagram, I’ve cultivated a persona of an entrepreneur mom. It might’ve been when I posted this video of my daughter, which I also put on Linkedin. I like to lighten the mood periodically! It was something a bit more personal than what I normally put on LinkedIn.
Different Types of Posts for Different Audiences
So as a dynamic content marketer, I focus on what is great for the platform and my audience. On Twitter, they want to hear about the fact that I got up at 5:00 AM to write more of my epic fantasy outline. On Instagram, they loved that video of Evelyn, but that wouldn’t be something I would post on LinkedIn because that’s not what my audience on LinkedIn would appreciate.
So it’s about knowing that difference and playing to it. It’s not that I’m being dishonest on any given platform, but I play to my audience and what they would like to see from me. All four of my main platforms have a different purpose. I do cross-post a lot of the same content, but I typically tweak it for the audience as it’s applicable.
So, Where Does Social Media Fit Into Your Marketing Strategy?
You primarily want it for brand awareness. Lead generation is also great, especially if you do it the way that I do.
I’m pretty familiar with the marketing aspect of things, but I’m not writing posts like, “Hey, buy from me! Get on my calendar, because it’s filling up quickly!” I might do it occasionally, but not a lot. I don’t end every post like that. But a lot of people do that.
You want to offer value, without making it feel like it’s got any strings attached. And that’s my approach. Other people might have a different approach because they have a different audience, and it works for them.
But my branding says that I want to work with people who are interested in defying the status quo, which means that I don’t have to lead them by the nose to my contact form.
The people that I typically work with are changing things up and making a difference. And they want a partner who does that. This means I don’t have to remind them to contact me, so I typically don’t.
So far, that’s been working really well for my business. Other people do it in a different way, and I’m not saying that your way is garbage. I’m just saying that the way that I do it works for me.
I like to offer other perspectives. I find that when I tell my story about how I started my business and things like that, people think it’s such a different perspective and I love to hear it. Boom! You just got another perspective.
Utilize Your C-Suite
So, focus on brand awareness. Lead generation will come naturally, especially if you incorporate employee branding. Some of the first people that you should brand or your CEO, CMO, CTO, CIO, COO, etc.
It kills me when I see that the C-suite is not leveraging their profiles on LinkedIn because they could be B2B influencers because they already have that platform. They’ve already got credibility. So why aren’t you leveraging it? I’m asking those B2B companies if you’re reading this right now, why aren’t you leveraging your C-suite executives’ social media platforms?
All right, so that has been an episode of The Defiant Business Podcast, and I appreciate you listening to my weird, scratchy throat. I hope you enjoy listening to this on Anchor, or wherever you find your podcasts.