B2B Writers International

Succeed Online with the 5 New Rules of B2B Social Media

4 minute read

Do you realize — social media is over 20 years old now?!

Hard to believe, but most major platforms were started in the early 2000s, making social media over two decades old.

As the social ecosystem has evolved, so have the people using it. People vote with views and clicks as they spend nearly three hours a day on it.

And with nearly half the global population on social platforms, it’s one of the most effective marketplaces for brands wanting to connect and interact with customers.

B2B brands know there’s a link between these platforms and their potential audiences, so 53% are increasing spending on social advertising. Yet, because of the long sales cycles, B2B marketers struggle to figure out how social media fits into their overall marketing plans.

Here are a few tips you can use to help your B2B clients alleviate their challenges and discover the benefits of social media.

Align Social Media to Marketing Goals

While B2C social media marketing typically drives sales, B2B social is more of a top-of-funnel channel, meaning prospective customers are just beginning to look for solutions to their needs. That makes sense, given B2B’s longer sales cycles. However, B2B brands may not understand how social channels can support their existing marketing and help them reach their marketing goals beyond the TOFU objectives.

You can help your B2B clients with this by matching social media activities with their marketing goals. For example, short videos can show how they differ from the competition, identify their core values, and increase brand awareness. Tracking codes placed in social media messages and links can identify new traffic sources and track referrals and sign-ups just like any other marketing campaign.

Dive into the Company’s Culture

A company’s brand voice goes beyond the words it uses and the content types it publishes. It’s an extension and expression of the company’s culture and can be powerful when used on social media.

Help your B2B clients figure out their culture and how to describe it with these questions:

  • How do people at the company talk about the brand with each other?
  • How do they talk about it with clients?
  • Are there specific topics that are important to the brand’s mission?

Then use the answers to guide the content they publish on social media. For example, is their culture youthful, on-trend, established, traditional, risk-taking, warm, academic, etc.

Know the Audience

Understanding the audience a brand speaks to and engages with is vital to crafting the right messages and tones on social media. Brand personas are a good starting point. Many social platforms offer audience listening tools like Facebook Insights they can use to discover more.

Other social media audience tools, like Semrush’s Audience Intelligence App, Sprout Social, and BuzzSumo, are also available for more advanced information. 

Use these tools to discover which platforms a brand’s audience uses most, how they access social platforms, and the type of content they like. Channel these insights into helping your B2B clients develop and distribute content that reflects the brand and resonates with the audience.

Be Authentic

Social media content serves a brand’s voice and allows it to tell its story while forging meaningful connections with people. People don’t just want a sales pitch; they want to connect and engage with a brand, even B2B ones. They can spot insincerity immediately, and while a B2B audience might expect sales pitches, they also crave authenticity through non-promotional, transparent social content.

Some ways to infuse authenticity and sincerity into a B2B brand’s social media are:

  • Be honest and transparent by sharing behind-the-scenes stories about how products are made or services are delivered.
  • Skip the sales talk. Brands are trying to engage with audiences on social, talk to them as people and not accounts.
  • Own up to any mistakes. Most social media mistakes are small, like a typo or link that doesn’t work. But if it’s a big one, get the PR team involved and do some damage control.

Get Creative

B2B brands are known to be boring, but they don’t have to be. Develop a new angle to the brand, products, and services to make it understandable and appealing to a broader audience. For example, a company that sells industrial machinery to mining companies might not have a big audience for their social messages on industrial machines. But they may find one with people interested in mine reclamation projects using those machines or increasing mine safety with more modern machines. That’s the creative angle.

Brands can also get creative by publishing unique or unusual content types on social media. If everyone always publishes text messages, publish short videos on Instagram Reels. If everyone only distributes white papers, create infographics based on the white paper. Think of different ways the brand can zig where everyone else zags, and they’ll be ahead of the competition.


Social Media Success Starts with Goals and Plans

B2B brands are often challenged in their social strategies because they lump in their social media marketing with the rest of their sales and marketing efforts.

Just like content marketing is about more than just publishing new press releases or blog posts, social media marketing is about more than publishing updates on X (formerly Twitter) or Facebook twice a day and links to landing pages on LinkedIn.

For maximum success, B2B companies should set specific goals for their social media and make specific plans to develop a movement, shape their brand’s voice, and expand their reach. It’s about identity creation on social media rather than simple messaging. It’s also about connection and engagement — and it can be very effective when in the hands of a skillful writer.

There’s tremendous potential for B2B social media marketing right now. More data is available than ever before, allowing marketers to understand and respond to their audience in ways they might not have thought of before. Use these tips to help your B2B clients build an engaging and creative social media presence so they stand out.

And if you’re interested in picking up new social media writing and marketing skills, you can check out AWAI’s social media self-study program, How to Make Money as a Social Media Marketing Expert.