Starting out on social media can be intimidating, especially for B2B companies in industries like telecom, IT, and cloud computing. It’s easy to say, “my content isn’t visual and my target audience doesn’t include Instagram-browsing consumers.” The truth is that even B2B commerce is moving to social media for at least some percentage of the purchase process.
For instance, a 2014 study by B2B software company Kitedesk found that 64% of sales professionals reported closing at least one deal because of social media. Also, a social buying study reported that 75% of B2B buyers and 84% of C-level executives use social media to support buying decisions.
With the growing popularity of B2B social marketing, it only makes sense to get on social to educate prospective leads and help inform their buying decisions. We’ll show you a few key apps and tools you can use to get started and create engaging, visual content for B2B social media.
Stay Informed: Follow the Right People
Following the right mix of influencers, key customers, partners, and colleagues is crucial for staying competitive and relevant. (If you’re new to social media, we’ve taken a more in-depth look at overall strategy in a previous post.) Here are some of our favorite ways to stay informed:
- Feedly: A free app that lets you put all the news and blog content sources that you want to follow into one organized feed. You can also organize articles into folders, save articles for later, and mark what you have and have not read. Feedly makes it easy to check in daily to see if there is any new info that you might want to use in your social channels.
- LinkedIn: A no-brainer for B2B social marketing, LinkedIn was built for businesses and professionals to interact with each other. It is also a publishing platform and content feed, providing updates from companies or people you are connected to, as well as a place for you to educate potential leads about your products or general industry news.
- Twitter: Twitter is a tried and true source of up to the minute industry news and opinions from key influencers. Taking advantage of Lists lets you organize the people you are following to avoid content overload and just focus on key connections.
Using these basic social media networks and tools can help you stay up to date with the latest industry news, connect with influencers and potential leads, and help inspire ideas for B2B social media content.
Anyone Can Create Visual Content
Visual content is increasingly becoming a requirement on B2B social media. Across the board, social networks report increased engagement for visual posts as compared to posts with text only. Many companies, especially in B2B, don’t have a visually focused brand or product, which can make the idea of getting visual on social media daunting.
Luckily, there are few easy ways to create visual social content even without an in-house photographer or design team.
Canva is a free or subscription-based app that guides you along the graphic design process with seemingly endless templates sized for specific social media channels. These templates can be customized with text, images, color, and designs. You can go as in-depth or stay as straightforward as you would like.
We made this recent Instagram post using Canva.
Besides Canva’s built-in image library, there is wide range of stock photography available — from tight-laced to out-there — at a variety of pricing options. One great source of free stock photos is Unsplash, which features photos that focus more on natural lighting and realistic scenes. Stock photos can be combined with quotes or stats to help convey a message or tone.
Share What You Know
As far as what to share, the ideal post is one that is both engaging and educationally valuable. Non-visual companies can share stats, quotes, or learnings that are relevant to their target audience, and format them for whichever social network they are targeting.
The post below is eye catching, has useful info for people in digital marketing or social media, and has a simple design. We are experimenting with Instagram, so we made it a square.
However you decide to get involved with B2B social media, learning the basic skills and tools to create relevant and visual content can only help your company be discovered by — and educate — customers and potential leads.
If you want to go beyond the basics, but don’t have the time or energy to do it yourself, our Web Triangle program is social, content, and search engine optimization in one monthly package. We can help you establish a B2B social media presence and start getting in front of leads earlier in the buying process.