Why B2Bs struggle with social media – and how you don’t have to
It’s safe to say that many B2B organisations find social media marketing a slog.
I often speak to decision-makers who have dipped their toe into the proverbial social waters, only to attract a lukewarm response from their small audience.
“What exactly is all our social media activity contributing to our business?” they ask. “Is it really worth the time, effort or investment?”
If you want the short answer then read no further: it’s yes. But only with the right approach.
In my experience, there are three common reasons that B2B companies struggle to see results with social media. Let’s look at what they are, and what you can do about them in your own business.
Struggle 1: Forgetting clients are people
It might sound obvious but it’s important to remember that even when you sell to a business, it’s a human that makes the final decision about whether or not to buy from your company.
That human has the same worries as any other. They worry about making mistakes, wasting money, choosing the wrong product or service and regretting it, or looking foolish.
When someone buys on behalf of a business, they can feel surprisingly vulnerable. Make the wrong choice and they could lose their company money, inconvenience their colleagues or, in the worst-case scenario, damage their reputation or career.
This is why even B2B social media marketing is really, ultimately, about human connection.
What you can do about it
Think about your existing clients and the decision-makers you deal with every day. In the context of your products and services, what matters to these people? How do you make their lives easier or solve a problem for their team?
Remember, people buy from people. They buy with their emotions, even in a B2B context – especially in a business context. Because so much is at stake. So when you’re planning your social media marketing content, think about how you’ll address those pain points and vulnerabilities. Show how your solution fixes their problems (and will impress their team/boss to boot!).
Struggle 2: Setting goals for using social media
Too often, businesses know they should be using social media but they’re not really sure why.
Social media marketing always needs to. be built upon a clear strategy if it’s going to be successful.
If you don’t understand who you want to reach, why you want to reach them or what you want to share with your audience, there’s a very real risk that you’ll end up being busy doing nothing meaningful and certainly nothing that benefits your business.
What you can do about it:
Before you start putting anything out on social media, you need to ask questions such as:
- Why do we want to use social media? What are our goals?
- Who do we want to reach?
- Where do our customers spend their personal time on social media?
- What is our tone of voice?
- What sort of content do we plan to share? Why, and when?
- How are we going to track what works and what doesn’t?
Answer these questions and you’ll find it easier to know what. to post, when and where. Your business’s social media presence should then begin to grow in a way that aligns with your wider marketing goals.
Struggle 3: Using social media consistently
It’s easy to assume that anyone can run a business social media account.
In many businesses, social media marketing gets palmed off on an intern or a PA as a ‘fit-it-in-when-you-can’ talk on their weekly to-do list.
This person struggles to generate meaningful content that fits in with the wider business goals. Or they throw everything at the wall and hope that something sticks.
After a few months of sporadic posting and no engagement, the conclusion is, “Social media doesn’t work for our business”.
The problem here isn’t social media at all; it’s that the business has been using the kind of ‘spray and pray’ marketing that rarely works long-term, mainly because there isn’t a clear audience or purpose to it.
What you can do about it:
Social media marketing must be consistent and targeted if it’s going to deliver results.
- Posting regularly, so that people start to look out for your content
- Using a consistent voice/style, so that your audience feels like they know your brand and they start to recognise it
- Posting content that reflects your business and your audience, so that you’re seen as being expert in your field
We’re here to help you
Social media marketing is not a job for the office junior. And it’s not something that a business can dip in and out of if they want to see results.
People love consistency. They want to know what to expect from their favourite brands and that businesses care enough to keep showing up. They want conversation and connection.
Get that right and social media could be one of your biggest drivers of brand growth.