Guest post by Brad Richardson.
Social media marketing has come a long way over the past decade. It’s matured as a discipline been embraced by companies of all size, across industries, around the world.
Creativity and engagement are essential for a successful B2B or consumer brand social strategy. Here are four key benefits of social media marketing.
Build Brand Awareness
Research consistently finds the top two objectives for B2B marketers are generating more leads and increasing brand awareness. Companies are always looking to build up the brand name and image, and sharing informative, useful content in social media networks where your leads, prospects, and customers hang out is excellent for accomplishing that goal.
Social media allows your brand’s voice and content to reach and engage with people—customers, prospects, influencers, and industry media—who you want to know more about your company.
By posting content, tracking and responding to topical discussions and questions that matter to your prospects, and being helpful whenever possible, you can build a lot of equity in terms of brand awareness and loyalty.
Grow Inbound Traffic
There are ways to drive traffic to your company’s websites using social media to your advantage. Each of your company’s profiles should have a backlink to its homepage or a page that visitors would find helpful and relevant for a specific reason.
Post and link back to content on your site or blog that is informative or intriguing to your prospects. Being authentic and human with your company’s social content, liking and sharing posts that resonate, and being likable can go a long way towards earning valuable inbound traffic.
Traffic coming from social media sites is often very targeted. Social media visitors typically spend more time on your site, and are more likely to take some sort of action, versus arriving from other traffic sources.
Increase Conversion Opportunities
For the most part, it’s best to post how-to and thought leadership content on social media channels that provide value to your target market. But once in a while, you can sprinkle in some posts that takes potential customers to a landing page with a strong call to action (CTA).
When doing the latter, take a look at click-through rates to see which CTAs perform the best and double down on similar ones in the future. As for how often to post CTAs, some sources recommend a 6-3-1 approach: six curated posts from other sources relevant to your industry, three posts promoting your own content, and one CTA. Wyzowl suggests a slightly different 5-3-2 model.
Ideally, your company should have a documented content strategy in place with a content creation calendar that drives regular execution. Every blog post, video, image, and other pieces of content you create on publishing platforms present an opportunity to promote through your company’s social media channels.
You shouldn’t be using social media only as a content distribution channel, but cleverly using it to promote content from industry publications and key influencers is a productive marketing practice.
You can get more out of content creation efforts by repurposing content. For example, let’s say your company produces branded videos and you create one on “How To Get More Views For Your Company On YouTube.” In addition to promoting the video directly, you can also use those ideas to write a blog post and create an infographic—and then promote each of those pieces of content, over time, across your social media channels.
Done right, B2B social media marketing is time-consuming. Social networks are not a broadcast channel. This effort requires continuous monitoring and engagement as well. But the benefits in terms of increased awareness, opportunities, and leads make it well worth the investment.
Brad is a regular contributor to numerous websites within multiple industries and is frequently hired by webmasters to write about specific topics for their sites. He also loves writing about video games almost as much as he loves playing them. Brad is also the founder and creator of littlestbookshelf.com, where children’s books are regularly reviewed.