"We are a boring B2B provider; social media doesn’t work for us."
I wonder how many times I’ve heard that when meeting potential customers. They claim that it’s impossible to create shareable content.
It’s bullshit (pardon my French).
Too often B2B providers start imagining the content from the product point-of-view. It’s a typical problem for all the content marketing that fails and social media marketing isn’t an exception. B2B products aren’t typically sexy, and the sales funnels are long. Therefore, B2B social media marketing must focus on building awareness and trust with the audience.
I love how Neil Patel puts it: your marketing team’s job is to figure out an unboring angle.
But how do you create an unboring angle?
To me, the easiest way is to use the same language I’d use when describing our product to a potential customer at an industry event.
For example, the product-focused pitch for us would be something like this:
“The Flockler platform helps brands to curate, display and analyse user-generated content”.
It doesn’t work very well - unless the person happens to be using a similar product already!
The better approach is to talk about the benefits to the customer. So I might say:
“Have you ever seen product feedback and images from other customers when buying something online? Flockler helps brands to gather and display the experiences of other customers on their website”.
See the difference?
I might go on and say that displaying user-generated content campaigns on website increases conversion rates – because authentic images from others, similar to us, are far more powerful than stylish pixel-perfect photos.
If you tell a story about the benefits from the customer's perspective - then suddenly you'll have plenty of content ideas.
How do you create social media content that is focused on the benefits instead of a product? Here are five ways to come up with content ideas for B2B social media marketing:
- Analyse customer feedback and questions
- Follow competitors’ social media channels
- Listen to Quora, Linkedin and Facebook groups
- Feature a partner
- Create behind the scenes content with employees.
1. Analyse customer feedback and questions
Are your employees meeting customers or chatting with them on the phone and online?
That’s a silly question: is it even possible to run a company without a single touchpoint with customers?
The first step, then, is to gather everyone inside the organisation who's in contact with customers to a brainstorming session. Ask everyone to share the typical questions customers are asking. Which ones are related to your products? Are there questions that you haven’t been able to answer?
Sometimes using your product requires basic knowledge of a particular topic - or the product is just a part of a complex solution. Tap into those questions that aren’t directly related to your product but are critical to answer to get the sales over the line.
Take a broad view and think about the questions your customers will see as an obstacle to buy. Removing those obstacles with content will rocket your sales.
To give you an example, using Flockler requires basic knowledge of social media marketing and we might share tips and tricks on how to run a successful Facebook competition. On the other hand, many customers like to see how others are using our product and posts like 10 inspiring examples of a social media wall highlight some of our favourite clients.
When it comes to gathering ideas and feedback, live chat on our website is the number one channel. What are the best channels for your organisation to generate social media content ideas?
By the way, if you are just about to start your business, interviewing potential clients is an excellent way to source content ideas.
2. Follow competitors’ social media channels
I’m sure there will be someone reading this and thinking "we don’t have competitors".
Well, lucky you. But you can apply the same logic with other companies in a similar field or serving the same customers.
Some of the posts from your competitors on social media are likely to create engagement and are publically viewable by everyone. Follow competitors' channels and pay attention to the reactions, comments and questions by their customers. Maybe gather the most interesting comments into a Google sheet and share with your marketing team.
Also, there might be content ideas elsewhere that seem to resonate with the same audience you're targeting. Follow other companies providing services to your target customers, analyse the most engaging content, and see if you can apply a similar concept to your content.
And hey, don’t limit yourself to social channels your company is active on – follow the best practices on all major social media channels.
3. Listen to Quora, Linkedin and Facebook groups
For B2B social media marketing ideas, Quora and groups on Linkedin and Facebook are a great source of content inspiration.
Just like following competitors, there are plenty of Facebook and LinkedIn groups for B2B social media marketing in general, but there are also industry-specific groups too. Again, you don’t need to start creating your content straight away – follow what others are talking about and the questions that your content might answer.
To give you an example, I actively follow SocialMediopolis group on LinkedIn to generate content ideas.
Quora, with 200 million active users each month, enables you to reply and ask questions. I can’t imagine more straightforward access to real challenges faced by your customers - even if you were just starting your business from scratch.
4. Feature a partner
Are you actively collaborating with other organisations?
Most companies deliver their product or service as a part of a complex solution and featuring a partner is an excellent source of content for your blog and social media channels. Your partners serve the same customers but they often view the solution from another perspective. Maybe your partner can showcase your product as a part of a complex solution or share insights on a niche topic?
To give you an example of featuring a partner, we interviewed Digisome to share tips on Facebook Live broadcasts.
5. Create behind the scenes content with employees
Employee advocacy programs are an excellent way to increase the reach of your brand – the algorithms of social media channels prioritise the engagement between personal profiles over the content posted by companies.
How to get started?
It all comes down to the company culture and the key pillars of your marketing strategy. What are the key topics that you’d like to become an opinion leader on and cut through the noise with? Is there something that employees are already sharing naturally? If not on social media, how about internally? What are the aspects of your company culture that you’d like to promote to attract talent?
For inspiration, take a look at Sprout Social's Instagram account and how they promote the joy of working for the organisation.
WIth social media aggregation tools you can gather all your social media marketing efforts in one place and display social content on all digital channels.