It’s common for B2B education brands to push social media to the side, believing it’s just for B2Cs. For those that do think this way, they tend to see it as a playground to connect with consumers rather than a place to build relationships with other businesses and professionals.
But, in a recent survey by HubSpot, 75 percent of B2B buyers said they use social media to support their purchase decisions. With more than three-fourths of buyers tapping into social media in one way or another, it’s safe to say that it’s an increasingly influential part of marketing.
However, 70 percent of B2B brands are now pushing out content on social media, making it more and more difficult for education brands to stand out. One of the best ways to do this is to showcase your authority by sharing educational (pun intended) content and really digging into what your prospects want and need.
Here’s how to boost your authority through savvy social marketing.
First Things First…
Before you start creating and publishing content on social media, there are a few things you need to figure out in order to make your strategy successful.
Start by thinking about:
- What your overall goals are within your business
- How social media will help you reach those goals
- Which social media platforms are the best fit for your business (basically, where do your buyers hang out the most?)
- What resources you already have available
- Whether your in-house team will be able to pick up the slack or whether you’ll need to outsource some of the work to an agency
- How many times per week you’ll post and when you’ll post
- How you’ll measure your social media results
Choosing the Right Platform
It’s absolutely vital that you choose the right platform to promote yourself on. A lot of B2B brands assume that they need to have a presence across all social channels, but this just isn’t true.
In fact, spreading yourself too thin across a multitude of channels can actually be detrimental: you’d rather be an authority on one or two channels than struggling across many, right?
It’s worth taking the time to consider the platforms that are most popular with your target buyers and then to explore the kind of content they interact with on those channels.
In the B2B education world, providing useful, informative content is far more effective that being entertaining, so a platform such as LinkedIn might work better than the likes of Snapchat.
Some platforms you might consider include:
- Pinterest: This one is often overlooked by B2B education brands because it’s such a visual platform. However, in an MDR survey, 74 percent of teachers said that Pinterest was their No. 1 channel for professional use.
- Twitter: This is a great platform if you want to share bitesize pieces of information and is also regularly used for professional purposes.
TeachThought shares compelling visuals on their Twitter feed to try and connect with teachers and professionals in the industry.
- LinkedIn: This platform was literally made for connecting with professionals. If you’re trying to reach administrators and higher level decision-makers, it can be a good place to have a presence.
Once you’ve figured out what social media platforms you want to focus on, it’s time to create your savvy strategy.
There are several ways you can boost your authority on social media:
1. Share Content Geared Toward Your Audience
B2B social media is more about sharing knowledge and educating buyers than evoking emotion. If you want to boost your authority and be the go-to brand for education content, you have to share thought leadership pieces.
But, more importantly, you need to answer the key questions that buyers have rather than simply spouting off about your product. To do this, you need to identify the key problems your target buyers have that your product helps solve and then provide content that alleviates some of their struggles.
2. Create a Unique Tone of Voice
Social media is all about personal connections, and this still rings true for B2B brands. Even though you’re sharing educational content and thought leadership pieces, you also want to establish relationships with your target buyers.
The human connection makes up a large part of the buying process for both B2C and B2B customers.
A great way to spark relationships is to establish a unique tone of voice that people associate with your brand. This will then fuel what you write on social media and how you write it.
Newsela shares fun facts with its audience to engage them and show off their knowledge.
3. Track and Measure
In order to create a successful social media strategy, you have to know what success means for you. This involves tracking and measuring your results. First, you need to determine how you’re going to measure the results.
This might be:
- How many shares your posts get
- How many new followers you get
- How much interaction you get on your posts
- How many sign-ups you get through social media
You can then track your results and tweak parts of your strategy to enhance the outcome.
Are You Social Media Savvy?
If you’ve been brushing social media to the side, it’s time to stop. It’s the perfect place to share informative, thought leadership content and to connect with potential buyers.
Start by determining which platforms are best for your audience and then think about the kind of content that will help solve the biggest issues your target buyers have. Finally, don’t forget to measure your results so you can keep improving your strategy.