There are over 3.4 billion social media users around the world. 68% of these individual use Facebook as one of their preferred social media sites. 90% of millennials, 78% of Gen X and nearly 50% of Baby Boomers don’t just have an account. They’re active several times a week or more. That’s a huge audience. So it’s important for furniture brands to realize that they’re not trying to attract all of the social-media-sphere. They want to reach dealers, potential partners and influencers, and generate leads and close those deals. These 10 B2B social media tips will help you attract your target audience for better results.
Social media posting has shifted over time. As privacy concerns rise with Facebook and other social media platforms, artificial intelligence and the most advanced algorithms in the world want to serve better content to their users. That means several platforms have become a “pay to play” channel for many businesses. We’ll be focusing these B2B social media tips around the organic (unpaid) methods.
1. Narrow Your Audience B2B Social Audience
The best use of your messaging is targeting a buyer persona as your audience. Some could argue with recent data privacy scandals that Facebook doesn’t know what to do with their share of those users. No set of B2B social media tips would be complete without discussing how you wade through billions of social media users to find your customers. And by the transitive property, help them find you. But how do you narrow your audience on social media when you have different personas for different goals? Start by creating some B2B buyer personas.
If you missed our blog about defining your B2B buyer personas, read it on our blog.
How to Define Your B2B Audience
Use your customer data to determine who your ideal B2B customers are. You want to know things like:
- What businesses do you want to attract?
- Where are your target customers (geographically)?
- Who are the decision makers?
- Is there a buying group or performance group you need to penetrate?
- What sources do they trust for information? For entertainment?
- Where do they spend time online?
- What are their challenges? Goals?
- What other home furnishings brands do they carry?
- Do they sell online?
If you lack this information, then use whatever data you can collect from industry research. But ideally, this information should be gleaned from places like your past marketing campaign results, CRM data, Market surveys or just taking a profile of the ideal customer you’ve already captured. Again this audience building will be based on the goal of your social media presence. There are some manufacturing brands that look for B2B social media tips to acquire more influencers to the brand. Others want to take a more B2B2B social media approach. Which works well to expand your brand. It’s one of the big tips we cover in the How-To guide on expanding your brand’s online presence.
Once you have this information, it’s time to start building your social media strategy around these audience-related B2B social media tips.
How to Build a Social Media Strategy Around a Target Audience
These 10 B2B social media tips are actually loaded with dozens of micro-tips to really help you put this information good use.
Here are just a few of these tips on building strategy around your audience.
- Refine your social media message so that it speaks directly to a certain type of ideal customer, as defined by your buyer personas.
- Curate and share helpful, relevant content from sources that your customers trust.
- Build original content around these trusted sources and share it.
- Create more original content that helps decision-makers make decisions.
- Design contests that offer prizes your target will appreciate
- Use social media to demonstrate to B2B buyers that there’s a demand for your brand among end-consumers.
Now, that we’ve covered the most important of our B2B social media tips, what are some more specific tips for success in B2B social media you need to know? Are you using Instagram as part of your B2B social media strategy? If not, after you learn number two of our B2B social media tips you may start re-thinking that.
2. Tell Your Brand Story with Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories allow you to add a slideshow-like format on your profile. These appear in the bar at the top of your Instagram feed. Brands in the home furnishings industry have taken to Instagram like wildfire. And the results are incredible. We’ve seen that using Instagram to apply B2B social media tips is impactful. Brands use Instagram stories to showcase behind the scenes of their furniture-making process. But it doesn’t stop there.
Instagram as a platform is very visual. Instagram stories are a series of images, video, music, and text to tell a story. You can add a location, text, hashtags, mentions, and more to enhance or brand your stories. We witnessed this in action during a High Point Market. A well-known home furnishings manufacturer used Instagram stories as part of their media strategy to generate buzz about their new Market location. And the traffic through the showroom was proof. Oddly, something that was also confirmed on Instagram stories.
B2B Social Media Tips for Instagram Stories
- Go behind the scenes. Show people the manufacturing process.
- Tell the stories of your employees in a series of slides.
- Showcase your brand culture and/or your commitment to eco-friendliness, employee welfare, a charity, etc.
- Share images of real customers using your products with a snippet of their online reviews.
- Add hashtags and pay to promote your stories to get them in front of specific audiences.
- Update frequently. Stories are a highly consumed form of content on Instagram. People are constantly looking for the next story. B2B buyers are no exception. And if you’re promoting, the frequency in stories generates more touches with your brand in a short time that you can convert into leads.
Ultra Pro Tip: Verify your business page for the coveted little blue checkmark. Following Instagram’s verification policy takes time. But the results are worth it. Once verified, you can use the Swipe Up feature to link directly to a custom page on your website.
3. Use Facebook Stories
Facebook, which owns Instagram, introduced Facebook Stories in 2017. These stories follow a similar format to Instagram stories. But because they’re less familiar to businesses, fewer brands are using them. This doesn’t mean Facebook stories don’t work. Actually, because Facebook Stories are so under-saturated, it’s easier for the right people to find your stories. This is a great way to get more people to your business page and website.
Follow the Instagram B2B social media tips for Facebook as well with a couple of differences.
- Don’t post the same story on both platforms. Most people who use one, use the other. Choose a theme between the two to seem cohesive. But make it unique.
- You don’t have to post stories as frequently on Facebook. Because there are fewer overall stories, less is more. And more can seem overwhelming.
4. Post More Videos
According to Statista, 85% of US Internet users watch videos online. 54% of consumers say they want to see more branded videos. 87% of marketing professionals say a video is an important marketing tool. 88% of these marketers say that video delivers a great ROI. 89% of B2B content is consumed on a desktop computer.
B2B social media tips wouldn’t be complete without speaking about videos. But you don’t want to invest in video to see no ROI, so follow these helpful video tips.
How to Post More Videos and Get Results
- Timing is important. The most popular time period for B2B video viewing is Tuesday 7 AM to 11 AM PST (9-1 EST). Analyze video performance to see if this holds true for your customers, then make adjustments.
- Minimize the importance of sound. 85% of videos are watched on Facebook without sound. Your visuals should get attention. Then they turn it up once you have them hooked. But rely too heavily on sound and they’ll scroll by.
- Create various types of videos (showcase the manufacturing process, introduce employees, help with buying decisions, etc.)
And don’t forget live video! It may sound scary. But it’s very effective.
5. Go Live on Facebook and Instagram
Just like watching a sporting event, it’s always better live. What you lose in production quality (because there are no re-dos in the live video), you gain back by creating a sense of relevancy. There are some limitations to how the different platforms use Live Video. Instagram is the newer Live Video platform of the two. Live Instagram videos are only available for 24 hours after it’s posted. So if you’re looking for something with less permanence on Instagram, you’re in better company. But these B2B social media tips have a double bonus.
Facebook Live videos have much more longevity. The videos go live and stay in your company’s news feed and in your videos library. You’ll continue to generate stats and traffic. Plus with Facebook live video, you can repurpose the video on other platforms.
Live videos on any platform are great for furniture Markets, product releases, and engagement with guests. We’ve seen a positive impact on brands who go live multiple times within a month. You’re staying top of mind for existing followers and creating relationships with new followers simultaneously.
Use live videos in similar ways you use regular video. But add the more interactive element by fielding questions through social media and responding to them live.
6. YouTube is Social Media
MySpace and Facebook may have pioneered social media. But they didn’t define what social media would become. Any platform where people come together to share, comment, rates and generally — be social — is social media. And YouTube is invaluable to businesses. 64% of consumers make a purchase after watching a video. Don’t limit yourself to sharing videos on Facebook. Build up your YouTube presence.
How to Build a YouTube Presence
- Apply YouTube SEO. Learn about the YouTube algorithm. Do some keyword research to understand what types of videos your target audience is looking for. Apply SEO to appear higher in YouTube recommendations and Google.
- Network with influencers. Enlist the help of influential people in industries like home design, furniture design and sustainable furniture. Have them share your videos. But also sponsor their own YouTube channels and commission content to reach their audiences with your message.
- Upload all of you videos, including live videos to YouTube. Share them on social media.
But what about Twitter. Is it still relevant? Should you have a presence there too?
7. Twitter Lengths
Twitter has been cleaning house for the past couple years, getting rid of a lot of the fake accounts and spam. As it does this, a lot of people are returning to Twitter. And it’s still a great place to connect with B2B customers. IOne of the things that makes it so useful is the unspoken “follow back rule” where if you don’t follow back, you get unfollowed. If you start following your potential customers, they will follow you back and see your content in their feeds.
One of the most important B2B social media tips for Twitter has to do with tweet lengths. Let’s take a look at the ideal length for a tweet.
The Ideal Twitter Length
So many characters! So little time! But the question is: Even though you now have the ability to write the length of a short bio in a tweet, should you? In 2017, the max character count went up from 140 to 280. But there are many reasons to keep it short and sweet at under 100 characters.
- So they’ll actually read it. People gloss over wordy tweets.
- You’re forced to be more selective with your words.
- More focus on visuals. Great images increase engagement by 150%, according to a Buffer study.
- Increased overall engagement. Engagement with tweets 71-100 characters is 17% higher.
8. Use More GIFs in Your Posts
GIF files are very short little videos (1-3 seconds). You can find 1000’s of stock GIFs to enhance your social media post. The great thing about gifs is that they can complement your original video content at a minimal cost. At the same time, they increase engagement in much the way a regular video does.
Use GIFs to:
- Add humor
- Convey a message
- Grab attention for your post
- Thank or show appreciation for the content of others
You can find GIFs on sites like GIPHY.com. They’re categorized by theme.
9. Content Marketing on LinkedIn
And the B2B social media tips just keep on coming! Linkedin continues to be a great place to network with potential customers and other industry influencers. They have over 500,000 members. 40% are active daily. And unlike other social media sites, people come here specifically to network, stay informed in their industry and sometimes make some deals.
When it comes to strengthening your B2B presence, this is one of the most important places to have a presence. Here’s how it’s done.
How to Use LinkedIn for B2B
- Completely fill out your personal and business profile.
- Get your employees, especially management and above onto Linkedin if they’re not already to expand your presence
- Join groups where your potential customers hang out.
- Never directly solicit
- Instead, share helpful content, answer questions and offer advice in your areas of expertise.
- Host a group where people in the industry can come together.
And, finally, our list of top B2B social media tips wouldn’t be complete without discussing the importance of analytics.
10. Insights & Analytics
Social media isn’t just random sharing. The social media platforms and 3rd party apps like HootSuite offer you great insight into how people interact with your posts. Use this information to understand your target audience and continually improve your social media strategy.
Use analytics to:
- A/B test different headlines
- See which content gets the most attention
- Note when posts get the best engagement (best times to post)
- Track what’s currently being talked about in your industry (trending).
- Create more content around those trending topics.
- Measure brand sentiment
- Identify posts that you should boost to a larger audience
- Cut financial and time waste costs while optimizing social media performance.
All of these B2B social media tips are backed by analytics. It’s how businesses make data-driven decisions.
B2B Social Media Tips You Can Take to the Bank
Half-way investing in social media is a great way to lose money. But B2B social media marketing can get real, tangible, measurable results you can take to the bank when you apply B2B social media tips based on the data. While data may seem cold, remember that data is simply a way to quantify human perceptions, preferences, and intentions, so that you can deliver the best experience to your customers. When you do you get the most out of social media.
If you’re struggling to gain traction through social media, contact us. We can help you target the right audience so you close more deals.