If you're a B2B brand, chances are you've been considering the idea of leveraging social media to boost your business. But how do you know if it's worth it? What's the ROI on social media for B2B brands?

In this article, we'll explore why it's time for your company to invest in social media, how to measure success on social, and what strategies have worked best for other companies.

10 Practical Ways B2B Brands Can Leverage Social Media

1. Know your audience

When you're trying to leverage social media for your B2B brand, it's important to know who you're talking to.

The first step is identifying your target audience — and there are plenty of tools that can help with this process. For example, if you're marketing a new tool for managing businesses and want to reach people who work at those businesses, you can use Facebook's Audience Insights tool. With it, you can find out what kinds of businesses are using Facebook (and where they're located), how old they are, and how many people in each age group use the site.

You can also look at LinkedIn's Analytics feature to see how many members work at companies like yours.

By knowing where your target audience lives online — and what kind of content they engage with most often — you'll be able to market yourself strategically across different platforms so people will see your brand when they're looking for products or services like yours.

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2. Identify key objectives

Before you begin to create a social media strategy for your B2B brand, it's important to define what your goals are.

When setting goals, think about how they align with the overall vision of your business. Are they clear and concise? Do they align with the company mission? Will they be achievable in three to six months' time based on the resources available? If so, great! If not, simply adjust them accordingly until they meet those criteria.

Social media can be overwhelming if you're unsure of where to start or what the end goal is supposed to look like. But when you have a clear idea of what success looks like — and how far away it is — you can start planning out exactly how much time and effort will go into achieving this success.

3. Choose the Right Channels

When it comes to social media, the most important thing is to choose the right channels for your business. Social media is a broad term that encompasses many different social media channels — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram are some of the most popular.

For each channel, there are unique features and functions that make it great for certain kinds of businesses. That being said, not every kind of business will find success on any given platform; it’s important to do your research before committing time and resources into building out a presence on one channel or another.

Social media isn’t just about posting content online — it’s also about connecting with potential customers like never before with real-time engagement tools like live chats and direct messaging tools like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp.

4. Establish a tone of voice

Tone of voice is a way to establish the personality and tone of your brand. It's the communication style you use when talking with customers, as well as how you present yourself to them. Tone can be conversational or formal, casual or serious — whatever suits your brand best. A good example of this is H&M’s Twitter account: they are playful in their responses and always have a sense of humor, even when responding to negative comments about their clothing.

5. Build trust by sharing value

To build trust with your audience, you need to give them something they can use. This could be an article or presentation about a topic relevant to your brand or industry, like how to write better copy in B2B marketing. You can also write a blog post about how you solved a problem that many people face within your industry. The content doesn't have to be long; just make sure it's valuable and helpful!

When you share this kind of content, there are two things that happen: firstly, people will appreciate what you've done because they can learn from what you've created; secondly, when they see all the time and effort that goes into creating good quality content like this, then they'll begin trusting you more; eventually becoming loyal followers.

6. Highlight your expertise

Social media is a treasure trove of information, and it can help you establish your brand as an expert in your industry.

The key to this strategy is to focus on your expertise and use that expertise to help people solve problems.

When using social media, approach each post with the mindset of helping someone else — whether it's giving advice or showing how you've helped someone else achieve success.

To highlight your expertise:

  • Be helpful
  • Be entertaining
  • Be inspiring
  • Be honest — and authentic
  • Be empathetic — listen carefully before speaking

7. Set the right KPIs

Setting the right KPIs is critical to the success of your social media marketing strategy.

You can't just set arbitrary goals or use generic metrics like "likes" and "followers." You need to measure the right things in order to know if you're succeeding.

The following are some of the most important KPIs for a B2B company:

  • Revenue generated from each platform
  • Customer acquisition costs from each platform
  • Customer retention rate from each platform
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8. Track results and make adjustments

Social media can be a great way to build brand awareness and generate leads. It's also a great way to stay on top of trends in your industry, learn about what other businesses are doing, and see what your competitors are doing.

But it can be difficult to manage all of these things at once. That's why we recommend setting up a social media report template and using social media analytics tools to track where you spend your time — and how effective each activity is at driving results.

9. Stay focused and consistent

A key element of social media marketing is staying focused on your target audience. There is no such thing as being everything to everyone, so find out who your customers are and how to reach them.

You also need to be consistent in how you message them. Your messaging, tone, visual brand identity, and content should remain consistent across all platforms where you engage with customers.

10. Aim to build relationships, not sell products

When it comes to creating content around your brand, it's important that you take a step back and consider how your audience views what you're doing.

If they see you as a business, they'll probably be interested in learning more about your products and services. But if they view you as a person — or even better yet, as one of their own friends — they’re more likely to trust the information and advice that comes from your social media channels.

Final thoughts

Following these tips will not only help you stay on top of the latest trends in social media marketing for B2B brands but also ensure that your brand is positioned for success across all digital channels.

Are you doing big things with social media for B2B? Maybe you've seen some great examples out there. We want to hear about them!

Join the conversation with a global network of CMOs and marketing leaders on the CMO Alliance Community Slack channel.