When logging on to your favorite social media sites, what catches your eye first? We often find ourselves getting sucked down the rabbit hole and the next thing you know, two hours of mindless scrolling have gone by. But what are the key messages you actually remember after you sign off? Some companies’ social media strategies may focus on gaining page likes/followers while others may focus on driving traffic to their website, but the end goal of social media marketing is often the same: to generate leads for your business.
Whether it’s educational content or content that’s too entertaining or funny to look away that draws you in, good social content must be something that appeals to your interests. Whether we realize it or not, we are lead by social influencers and inspired by what we see. As a business, the key is to be a good storyteller and to understand your target market. Once you can get the targeting down right, people will look forward to your ads. Engagement—likes, shares, comments—is the immediate goal for your posts and keeping your content fresh, interesting and audience-appropriate will be the ticket to achieving your longer-term social media goals.
For most companies, especially B2B companies and startups, it can be difficult to find the balance between professionalism and humor. It may be especially challenging for these types of companies to follow the 80/20 rule which recommends supplying your audience with 80 percent informative content and 20 percent promotional content. Informative content can include interesting articles relevant to your industry or thoughtful advice or insights from other industry leaders, for example. It’s important to provide viewers with actionable, memorable information to generate conversation, rather than repeatedly shoving your brand in their face.
Before we get to our list of companies that have unlocked the secrets of content which begs to be read and shared, here are six tips to consider while strategizing and planning your social media campaign:
- Find and understand your audience. Connect with key influencers who will help spread the word and general public who are interested in your product or service. Become familiar with what they are reading, where they are going and what trends they are following.
- Decide which social media platforms will benefit your business. The list of social media platforms seems to keep growing, but not all may apply. For example, a B2B tech company probably doesn’t need a Pinterest account, but LinkedIn, which is focused on business, is key. Find out which outlets are most popular among your target audience and start there. If you don’t have time or staff to manage a social media account properly, skip it altogether.
- Create engaging content to help secure your social media stardom. With a consistent voice, engage with your audience by adding value to their day or making them laugh, which will build relationships and keep them coming back for more. Social media should be fun; try out unique content ideas or get inspired by savvy companies who maximize their use of social communication. The question becomes, how creative can you be?
- Make all of your content as rich as it can be. The more multimedia your posts are, the more engagement they will garner. Tagging other companies and influencers is a great way to help increase engagement for your posts. Hashtags are another way to add engagement to your posts. To help you use them properly, here are a few tips.
- Add video to your arsenal of content ideas. Incorporating video content into your social media program is strongly recommended because it has become one of the most engaging forms of media on Facebook. We’ve seen a significant increase in our clients’ social media programs with the addition of video. Research shows that videos have a massive 135 percent greater organic reach compared to images.
- Invest in your social media campaign. The only way for a company to win the battle of the newsfeed, is to invest financially. While there is a lot you can do on your own, having an ad budget for your social media campaign will help it reach its full potential.
Check out these eight B2B/startup companies who are owning the internet right now with their stellar use of social media strategy:
ZendeskRemember when we talked about the balance between humor and professionalism? Yeah, these folks do that well.
B2B MarketingEven the big dogs, like the UK-based company B2B Marketing, are following the same strategy: post informative, engaging content that will appeal to your target audience. (And they’ve accumulated quite a large audience.)
IMPACT Branding & DesignBooks, subscribers and puppies, oh my! This company dishes out engaging content all day long. Its Facebook page is full of fun videos and photos of people — and people love seeing other people.
MailchimpIf you’re familiar with Mailchimp, you likely already know they’re witty. But have you seen their Instagram? Because 43K+ followers have.
IBMWhile you’re at it, take a peek at IBM’s Instagram account. They impress viewers with eye-catching photos and engagement via that platform.
AdobeOk, one more Instagram star. As you can imagine, Adobe makes great use of their Instagram account, sharing beautiful images and creating quite a buzz in the B2B social media community.
HootsuiteThese guys seem to speak directly to millennials and have very impressive, attention-grabbing photos. Hootsuite excels at helping all of us get our social media messages out, so why shouldn’t they have a great Instagram page?
LifehackerOk, this one might not be considered a B2B, but they’re close and they crush it on social media, so here they are on my list. They cover such a broad range of topics, even the most obscure specialist is sure to find useful information here.
If you’re new to social media, hopefully this information will inspire you to plan a social media campaign for your company. If you already have a few accounts, perhaps now is the time to experiment with new and different kinds of engaging content. Today’s digital landscape is ever-changing and the best way to keep up with current trends is to be active on social media platforms and check out what other companies are doing. The next time your boss asks why you are on Facebook, you can say you’re doing your homework! And that’s the truth.