Whether you’re a B2C or B2B company, the process of creating a social media strategy has a lot of similarities. Because even if you’re selling B2B, you’re still needing the go-ahead from a decision maker after all. Social media is important and applicable regardless of the industry you’re in. Although the platforms and strategies change, social media is used when making buying decisions. In fact, 75% of B2B buyers use social media to support their purchase decision. (HubSpot, 2017) So how do you create a social media strategy that works for your business?
1. Create Purpose
Each and every piece of content that you post should have a purpose. This process involves strategizing and setting goals. Is it brand awareness within a specific demographic? Customer retention and relationship management? One of the things we at Graphic Intuitions focus on is education. Through education, we can build relationships on trust and help our clients to know why we choose the solutions that we do when they bring their goals to us.
2. Really Know Your Audience Personas
Go beyond demographics. You want to be able to relate to people on a personal level. By doing this you create connections and relationships, even if they have never physically met you. Don’t just assume your customers’ behaviours, do some research by looking at your current client base. Do some social media “stalking” of your own and look at their posts to see how they speak. We often get caught up in our internal jargon that customers don’t resonate with or understand what we’re saying. We need to bring our A-game to their level so they understand, and relate to us.
Also look into their interests. The problem with just looking at demographics leaves you with only a shell of a person. Just knowing that I’m a millennial woman that lives in Manitoba doesn’t give you any ammunition to target me for ads. Would you show the same ad to someone who loves dogs compared to someone who loves cars? That’s essentially what you’re doing if you’re just looking at demographics. Check this video for more on determining your target market.
3. Determine Your Social Media Platforms
By determining your audience personas, you can then determine the right social media platform to use.
LinkedIn is a great channel if you’re targeting business owners in a professional setting or if you’re often recruiting hires.
Instagram is highly visual and more popular with the 13-29 age bracket.
Facebook is still the most popular social media platform with a wide range of audiences with many targeting capabilities if you’re running ads. I nearly always suggest businesses create accounts on this leading platform.
Twitter has really grown in being utilized as a social customer service platform. It is also most popular with those in their 20’s and B2B marketers.
4. Create a Content Calendar
All intentions tend to stay at that stage if a plan is not put in place. Now that you know your Who, Where and Why, it’s time to determine the What. You may even find some inspiration by looking at your competitors (get ideas, don’t copy).
First, determine your frequency and your branding. You want to make sure people are able to recognize your content by how it looks and when it goes out, regardless of if they read it. Check Planoly on Instagram for an excellent example.
Align your social media content calendar with your blog content or any other content creation. You want to let your assets build each other up.
Follow the 80×20 rule. Only 20% of your content should be “salesy”, that’s why it can be so hard to keep yourself from unfollowing your old high school acquaintance that’s now selling Tupperware (I know ya’ll can relate).
Test different content pieces to see what your followers like. Whether the posts are inspirational, educational, or relatable. See how your audience responds and try to get as much engagement as possible.