Social media trends for B2B companies in 2017Tamanna Mishra
A couple of years ago, B2B social media marketing was just about posting content, white paper, LinkedIn ads, etc. With social media platforms churning out a new feature everyday and getting increasingly standardised with live videos and moments across all platforms, the virtual marketing space has changed forever.
We spoke to a number of B2B marketers about their strategy in 2017, and the answer was clear. B2B social media marketing is a completely different animal today. There is scope to do so much more creative work, reach so many more prospects, and delight existing customers in many more ways.
Here’s a quick roundup of trends that will drive B2B social media marketing from this point onwards. If your marketing strategy does not take these into account, maybe it is time for a rehash.
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Customer at the center of all that you do
According to Forrester, only 23 percent of B2B marketers reported that their organisations are obsessed with customer delight even in 2016, a trend that B2C companies aced long ago. 2017 is the year it needs to change before your competitors get it and get moving.
Getting customer obsessed means that across all your social channels, your brand personality needs to be coherent. It means that your social channels cannot just be used for product videos and thought leadership content but also to answer questions and solve problems. There are many more options available today, such as chatbots on Facebook messenger among others.
Also, mobile optimisation is no longer rocket science. Everyone needs to do it, including B2B brands. Remember, in 2016, almost 50 percent of customers followed brands from their mobile devices.
Enough with the products, already
As proud employees or entrepreneurs, telling the world how awesome our product is and getting into the microscopic details of its features can be very tempting. But nobody wants to hear about it all the time. Your content strategy must focus on the value you can add to your customers’ businesses and the problems your brand can solve. You are no longer breaking the clutter with a great product, your competitor can add a few features and match up. So your value needs to speak for itself.
B2B content can be interactive and vibrant too
Don’t take yourself so seriously, B2B marketers! In 2016, as many as 96 percent of customers reported that videos help with purchase decisions. That is not all. With live streaming feature across most platforms, you can do customer testimonials and interviews, product demos, Q&A sessions, and more. The platform is yours for the taking!
Real time over content calendars
B2C brands capitalise very well on news headlines and pop culture turning points. B2B brands so far have taken a less risky approach to social media marketing. Planned, approved, scheduled content seems like safe haven but being relevant means taking a few risks with real-time content. Whether it is a policy change that affects your industry or a big innovation by a respected brand that is not your competitor (or is one!), you’ve got to start being clued into the conversation and make the most of it.
Not everyone who likes your post is a lead
Whether it is because you need to quantify your results in order for your marketing budgets to be approved without questions or because you are a team player, social media measurement has never been more important.
Work with your team to figure out how your social media effort is converting into qualified leads and conversions and focus more on the content and platform that works. Go beyond native measurement tools and find a tool that brings together your full spectrum of social media investment. Measure and change strategy if you need to, regularly.
As you can see, it is time B2B brands stopped seeing social media marketing as something they have to do because everyone else is. Instead, social media marketing can bring many rewards while you have fun feeding your curiosity.
Tame the animal that is social media marketing and rest assured, your marketing strategy for 2017 is set up for success.