Your Top 5 B2B Social Media Challenges - Solved!

By Laura Rives — Tuesday, October 27th, 2015 at 11:00am

.Your Top 5 B2B Social Media Challenges - Solved!

The social media paradigm has shifted immensely in recent years - and B2B organizations are just beginning to harness the amazing power of social marketing. What was once a rare component of the B2B marketing mix, social marketing is now an avenue for any company to build strong brands.

So, now that B2B understands the power of social, how do you overcome the roadblocks to implementation? And how do you use it to foster relationships and influence buyers?

According to Social Media Examiner’s 2015 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, the top social media questions marketers want answered can be summarized in five keywords: tactics, engagement, measurement, audience, and tools. In fact, 87% of marketers surveyed admitted to having several questions about how to find the right people, how to engage with them, and how to measure the results.

Challenge 1: Creating the Optimal Channel and Tactic Strategy

There are many ways to get the word out about your business, but which networks and tactics are right for you?

To start, you should be spending most of your time on the four major social marketing sites for B2B companies: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+. While platforms like YouTube and Pinterest might be appropriate in some cases, they are predominately used by B2C marketers. A report from BI Intelligence breaks down the demographics or each major social media platform and defines what sets each apart.

And once you have an idea of the social channels you’ll utilize, it’s time to think about the tactics to engage your target audience. For example, a blog can be a very powerful marketing asset that encourages your business to create fresh and personalized content. Additionally, blogs boost organic search traffic by increasing keyword count and giving other sites a reason to link to you.

Challenge 2: Consistently Creating High-Quality Engaging Content

Social marketing is a great way to showcase thought leadership and accelerate leads through the sales cycle. When you’ve defined your buyer persona, focus on being unique and relatable to boost peer sharing and engagement.

According to Marketo’s Definitive Guide to Social Marketing, you need a mix of content to share on your social channels - and repurposing existing assets is a great way to extend the life of each piece. For example, a webinar can be transformed into a blog post, whitepaper, and infographic.

Additionally, generating compelling content can be achieved by following industry experts, encouraging employees to contribute content, and keeping a running list of ideas and interesting conversations.

Finally, the Content Marketing Institute’s Content Mix Pyramid provides best practices around content type and post frequency:

  • Monthly: Entertain
  • Bi-weekly: Inspire
  • Weekly: Start conversation
  • 2x per week: Teach How to do something
  • 3x per week: Provide relevant information

Challenge 3: Measuring the ROI of Social Media Marketing

According to Altimeter, organizations usually begin their social efforts by listening and then engaging with customers - which could lead to only non-financial results like website visitors, retweets, and blog comments. Instead, the first step to measuring the ROI of any social media marketing program is defining what success looks like - and it can be a number of things like reach, shares, conversions, etc.

Once you have your goals defined, there are several analytics tools to help prove social media’s value. For example, Google Analytics can create reports that show site traffic and visitor behavior from sources like Facebook and LinkedIn. Additionally, Hootsuite Analytics can help you identify share of voice, track which social networks are driving traffic to your site, and monitor audience growth.

But if you’re still feeling overwhelmed, consider an alternate way to measure the impact of social media. In his presentation, The Basics of Social Media ROI, Olivier Blanchard recommends 1.) creating a timeline, 2.) signifying the point in time in which you started social media, 3.) mapping your social marketing initiatives to this timeline, and 4.) overlaying sales revenue data. This will show whether or not social has helped you increase your goals over time.

Challenge 4: Finding Your Target Audience

Finding contacts within your target market can be a big challenge for B2B marketers. Sifting through social networks to find the right people can be a blocker to social media success.

An article on The Marketing Donut explains how to connect with people using tactics like searching for work function or title on Facebook, joining industry groups on LinkedIn, and monitoring event hashtags on Twitter.

Challenge 5: Choosing the Best Social Media Tools

There are many vendors that can help you create successful social marketing programs by maintaining a consistent and impactful presence across channels. One of most valuable contributions a social marketing tool can make is enabling you to listen to the conversations related to your brand and see what others are saying about you. Some of the most popular methods for listening to customers include: Social Mention, Google Social Reports, Viral Heat, and Radian6.

Additionally, social media management tools like Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, and CoTweet can help you schedule and publish content, maintain visibility into your profiles from one place, and analyze traffic by channel.

How about you? What social media challenges does your organization face? What steps have you taken to overcome them?

 

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