Social media can play a vital role in marketing for manufacturing, demonstrating your authority within your industry and connecting you with prospects who are looking to buy.
But how can you be sure that you're devoting your company's valuable time and resources to the social media platforms that are going to be the most beneficial for your business?
In this blog post, we debunk five myths that may be standing between you and your B2B social media success.
1) We need to have a presence on ALL social media platforms
Time is precious so don’t waste it focusing your efforts on social media platforms that aren’t connecting with your prospects and bringing you tangible returns. Far better is to find which channels your prospects are active on and focus your efforts on them.
Think about your buyer personas. What are their challenges or pain points? Where do they tend to search for information? And what sources of information are they likely to find most useful? Considering these key questions will help you to position yourself where you can achieve the most engaging presence.
2) Our customers don’t use social media
According to a 2017 study, 75% of male internet users, and 83% of female internet users worldwide are active on Facebook. And with 100 million people using Instagram worldwide every month, 328 million monthly users on Twitter and 500 million monthly users on LinkedIn, the chances are high that your prospects are active, in one way or another, on social media.
If you are a HubSpot user, your Social Media Tools or Sources Report offer precious insights into your prospects’ social media habits. If you do not have HubSpot, there are a number of social tools available, some of which are free. Detailed analysis of your social tools tells you which leads originated from which social platforms and which of those leads resulted in conversions.
3) We can’t measure our ROI
Analysing the performance of your B2B social media efforts is not only doable - it’s crucial to your strategy. And a tool such as Hubspot’s sources can be the ideal place to start measuring your social success, helping you to dig down into four key metrics:
- Reach – While reach can be broadly defined as your total potential audience, it’s best to focus in on your ‘net’ followers, i.e. those people that actively follow you and who have signed up to receive your updates.
- Engagement – The indicator of how many people are interacting with the content you post, and in what ways - whether that’s in the form of likes, comments, replies, mentions, retweets, favourites etc.
- Traffic – The measure of how many people are visiting your website as a direct result of your social posts- and another metric that can be easily measured in Hubspot’s sources tool. It’s advisable to be cautious of traffic results though. While traffic is an indicator of your success, it’s are also part of a much bigger story, so unless you can demonstrate that your social media strategy is in line with your business’ goals, then it’s all too easy for these measures to become vanity metrics.
- Leads – The most significant indicator of any successful ROI-focused social strategy is the number of useful leads that your efforts generate. These are the people who have found you on social, interacted with one or more piece of your content and then willingly provided their details in exchange for information.
4) The more we post, the better
It’s all very well to post your content frequently, but if you're speaking to an empty room - or worse still to a room of people who simply aren’t interested in interacting with you - then what’s the point?
While it can be tempting to think that more frequent posting will equal better results, be wary of favouring quantity over quality.
Sure it’s important to maintain a social media presence, but one well-timed and well-targeted Facebook post per week could be just as effective in cutting through the ‘noise’ than barraging your prospects with multiple posts a day that doesn’t address their specific interests or needs.
5) Social is better suited to products with a short sales cycle
If you’re selling a high volume of small-ticket items, then a well-targeted social media strategy could be the perfect way to put your product in front of prospects who are ready to do business.
Equally though, social can play just as valuable a role as part of a slow burn approach, enabling you to grow a following of meaningful contacts, to gain the trust of your audience and to build authority.
Without a doubt, a well-targeted B2B social media strategy requires focus, commitment, analysis and effort. But in choosing to build and nurture your social presence, you can develop vital brand awareness and establish your company as a thought leader in your industry.