How seriously does your brand take its social media activities? Social media channels, from Facebook and Twitter to LinkedIn and Instagram, are critical components of marketing across industries. A strong social media strategy isn’t just useful to consumer-focused businesses (B2C companies) but also to businesses that target other businesses (B2B companies). Your B2B social media strategy can generate powerful leads to boost sales revenue. In fact, one study suggests that 75 percent of B2B buyers and 84 percent of C-level/VP executives are using social media when making purchasing decisions. With this in mind, it is critical to complement your organic social posts with paid promotions to increase the chances that your posts are seen. Here are a few tips for maximizing your social media strategy with paid social campaigns for lead generation.
Define Success for Your B2B Social Media Strategy
As a first step, it’s important to ask: How are you going to track performance and determine what were the most effective ads in your B2B social media strategy? Remember that B2B and B2C lead generation on social are different beasts. Likes and retweets are great for consumer engagement, but for most B2B brands these are simply “vanity” metrics and do little to boost lead generation. When embarking on a paid social media campaign, prioritize these metrics instead:
- Shares/Mentions: These metrics reflect B2B clients actively interacting with your brand with the potential to convert. This type of engagement also notifies social networks about activity on your promoted posts, making it more likely your content will be displayed organically for followers.
- Traffic from Social: As simple as it sounds, this metric tells you how many visitors click on to your corporate website from social media channels.
- Conversion Rates: Take a look at how many people are downloading white papers, subscribing to email newsletters, or making online purchases as a result of your paid social campaign.
Tailor Ads to the Target Consumer and Individual Social Network
Ads, posts, and other activity that attract business clients on Facebook are not the same as what captures their attention on LinkedIn. You must tailor your paid ads to both the target consumer and individual social networks. Remember: each network has its own strengths and weaknesses, which should influence your strategy. For example:You must tailor your paid ads to both the target consumer and individual social networks.Click To Tweet
- Facebook is a story-and-behavior environment. Users on Facebook interact with brands in an entirely different way, with 58% of members “liking” a brand and 41% sharing links, videos, or stories about that brand. Your lead generation efforts on Facebook should start with powerful storytelling about your brand. Since Facebook offers behavioral and interest-based targeting, you can highlight the unique aspects of your brand to a targeted group of customers.
- Conversely, LinkedIn is a more data-driven platform. LinkedIn users are looking for data-driven content from high-level professionals that offer expert opinion, critical insight into your industry, or in-depth case studies. Many B2B leads come from LinkedIn, so it’s critical that you know how to customize your message on this platform.
Promote Paid Social Alongside Organic Marketing
It’s important to keep in mind that paid social differs from everyday activity (posts/shares). These are organic marketing efforts that appear on the newsfeed of your followers and on your own timeline. You can, however, take advantage of your existing organic marketing efforts to boost lead generation on social and improve your overall B2B social media strategy. For example, schedule your paid social ads to go live along with your organically generated posts. In this way, your paid social complements your organic activity and offers you another opportunity to engage with prospective B2B customers.
In the end, a strong B2B paid social strategy is ever-evolving. Once you get started, it’s critical to reflect on what’s working (and what’s not) so that you can make adjustments along the way. Are you ready?