B2B brands have a reputation for being absent, boring, or utterly irrelevant on social media. Olivia Messina and Oktopost, a B2B social media management platform, want to change all that, seeking to turn social media into a great customer engagement and conversion channel for B2B brands. Messina is Oktopost’s social media and community manager, a role in which she creates all of Oktopost’s social posts.
In a recent Oktopost webinar, The Art of B2B Social Media (free on-demand, with registration), Messina shared the following ten tips for effective B2B social media management.
Tip #1: Don’t look for a playbook
Messina: “There’s no playbook or rule book for B2B social media. Social media is truly an art and there's no right way to do it that will work for everyone. It's up to the B2B brand’s social media manager to craft their messages by using the right tools and learning through trial and error. There are so many challenges with social media, and also so much to love. It will look different for every B2B company. Sharing value is going to be at the heart of your content no matter what: you always have to be providing some type of value.”
Tip #2: Know yourself and your why
Messina: “You need to begin by thinking about what you want people to know about your B2B brand, and what you want them to feel about it. Why should they care about you? Why do you exist? The answers to these questions will help you showcase your brand on social media. Every company has different goals, different things they're trying to achieve through social media. But once you know why you're trying to reach people, that's when you can get creative.”
Tip #3: Know your target audience
Messina: “Know your target customer and audience. At Oktopost, we're targeting millennials on social media, mostly because they're the ones in buying positions today. They represent 75% of the workforce. We know they go to social media to help them make purchasing decisions, to do research. We also know that millennials like information to be quick and easy to digest, they're not messing around. They like to get in, get their information, and go.
So by knowing the target, millennials for us, and knowing how they want to be engaged, you can craft your social media to make it easy for them to digest content. Videos, for example, are so easy to digest.”
Tip #4: Understand the “why” of your audience
Messina: “It's important to first identify who you’re trying to target, and really understand what they're coming to social media for, what are the problems they’re trying to solve or the questions they want answered? How can you be helpful to them? Being clear on that will help you create content that addresses their “why”: you can't effectively engage someone if you don't know anything about them.”
Tip #5: Be human
Messina: “It's not really business-to-business. It's really human-to-human, which plays into there being no one, right way to do SM. Showing the human aspects of your brand and knowing what resonates with your audience is going to help you engage them on social media. It’s a human-to-human conversation.”
Tip #6: Use employee advocacy
Messina: “As a community manager, I think social media is really great when it showcases the people behind the brand and really humanizes the brand, because brands are nothing without the amazing people behind it. So for example, we have an employee advocacy platform and it encourages our employees to share content, based on the concept that people are more likely to interact with a human than with a brand.
Oktopost also showcases an employee every single week. So for example, one employee shared that she likes to quilt and you would never know that from her LinkedIn. It’s about diving deeper into who we are as people, why we're doing it, and letting people in on the beautiful faces behind our brand.”
Tip #7: Highlight your employer brand
Messina: “We also like to show on social what an amazing place Oktopost is to work and why our people love to work here. So I recently tweeted out, ‘Hey Oktopost employees, let me know in one word what it feels like to work here?’ It's a way for our audience to see in real time what our people are saying. I also repurposed that content and shared it on LinkedIn and Instagram.”
Tip #8: Use the right tools
Messina: “Some of the tools I like to use for our social media include Canva, a graphic design platform, and VEED, which is a really simple way to create and edit video content. I know video content is really big now and VEED offers a simple, easy way to add subtitles and images and stuff. I have to add Oktopost, which you can use to post your posts.”
Tip #9: Be ready to adapt and learn
Messina: “You really have to embrace change and be adaptable, because what's working right now is probably not going to work in the future. You have to be taking action and trying to do little things every day to improve because social media is constantly changing. Playing around with new channels is important, but also focus energy on your best channel. You don't need to be on every single platform, but you need to know where your audience is.
Just keeping, sharing relevant news and don't be afraid to go out and see what people are talking about on SM. It's okay to try something and fail because social media's quick and we just keep moving along.”
Tip #10: Have two-way conversations
Messina: “I think that talking to your audience, engaging with your audience, is one of the most important things you can do on social. It should never be a brand shouting at an audience, telling them why your product is so amazing. It should be conversational, offering solutions, really talking to your audience and getting to know them, because that's what social media at its best is about.”
To learn more about managing and improving your B2B social media, reach out to our partner Oktopost today.