Social Media - a game changer for your business
The right social media strategy and channels will determine your success.
The holy grail of marketing is to target your product or service to the right market, at the right price and at the right time. Putting all this together in the marketing sales funnel has become more measurable and effective since the advent of social media marketing.
Whether you embrace social media or shun it, you can’t ignore the growth of the various platforms over the last 10 years, nor their ability to reach a global audience. Certainly, their effectiveness as an advertising platform for the B2C market is indisputable. Businesses who have taken full advantage of advertising opportunities on Facebook or Instagram can see their sales explode. Whether that growth is sustainable is a completely different question, however, seeing your minimal marketing dollars provide, in some cases, triple digit return on investment is a business’ dream.
In the world of B2B services/products, social media channel selection and the type of content shared are key factors to success. Whether you’re starting off on social media or not, here are some of the channels, we think, should be part of any business’ social media marketing plan.
The sheer size of Facebook’s following cannot be ignored. With over 2 billion active users[i], Facebook reaches the widest audience geographically and demographically. Despite its recent issues with privacy management, it’s created a true niche in the social media world as it’s developed an easy-to-use advertising platform which allows businesses to target their ads by geography, age, gender, interests etc. Creating an ad or boosting a post on your business page can be done for minimal dollars. However, your minimal dollars can quickly add up due to Facebook’s algorithm. The upside is that by spending more, you are increasing your ad effectiveness.[ii]
Some might argue that, depending on the type of business you are in, Instagram may or may not be a viable social tool. Like its parent company, Facebook, it offers an easy-to-use advertising platform. It’s also worth mentioning because of its strong user engagement at around 58% (higher than Facebook and Twitter).[ii] Instagram does not allow for the publishing of content, only images. Also, because posts aren’t “clickable”, getting prospects to your site is a challenge, however, seeing that Instagram is a popular social tool for the younger generation, this may be a channel to keep in mind if your business targets businesses in this group.
Videos are increasingly important in a social media strategy because 1) people prefer to watch rather than read and 2) video content is more memorable than written content. YouTube is an excellent tool for content marketing strategy and one where you can showcase thought leaders in your organisation. Videos which include graphics, interesting visuals and screen captures are the most engaging. Keep in mind, video production is expensive, but if you have the marketing budget, it is a worthy weapon in your social media arsenal.
Twitter has about 330 million active users worldwide making it the 4th most used social platform.[i] Twitter does have a character limitation which means you have to be very crafty to get your message across in 140 to 240 characters or less. However, the use of hashtags to boost posts and the ability to reach a business audience makes Twitter an important channel for B2B.
By far, the social network the most geared for the business audience. In addition to sharing your proprietary content, LinkedIn is unique in that it is the most suited for B2B ads and social media marketing campaigns. [ii] It is a great tool to recruit new talent for your organisation and the ability to access “groups” can help you find the appropriate target audience for your content and marketing campaigns.
Social media has made an organisation’s marketing function more rewarding, valuable and accountable. Being able to track your marketing dollars and watch them create value for your organisation is what we strive for. The question is not whether a B2B business should try their hand at social media, it’s why they haven’t thus far?
[i] Driver, Sage (April 2018). Social Media for Business: A Marketer's Guide. https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/7832-social-media-for-business.html
[ii] Jolly, Warren (2018). The 6 Most Effective Types of Social Media Advertising in 2018. https://www.bigcommerce.com/blog/social-media-advertising/