09 Oct 3 Reasons Why Social Media is Important for B2B Executives
While many B2C brands incorporate social media as part of their digital marketing strategy, B2B companies have typically lagged behind in establishing a strong online presence. In certain heavily regulated industries, it is not uncommon to see top-performing companies have little to no content on their social media pages.
However, just as B2C executives benefit greatly from having a strong social media presence, the same concept applies to B2B executives. In this article, we discuss three reasons why CEOs in a B2B industry should be on social media and provide you with three expert tips on how to get started.
#1: Social media puts executives in front of their audience.
Many B2B brands have typically relied on referrals and other traditional marketing methods (e.g. sales agents) as their primary method for driving new business leads. However, as we have seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, certain industries that have relied on in-person methods to generate leads (e.g. conferences) have scrambled to find alternative ways to reach potential clients. Social media helps diversify lead generation methods while simultaneously allowing a business to reach other goals, such as increasing brand awareness.
Purchasing digital advertising space is one tactic to reach your business goals, such as driving leads or putting your company in front of a new audience. However, a B2B company’s paid ad campaign is just one part of the overall picture. A complementary piece to paid marketing is organic social media, which is free content posted to a brand’s social channels, such as posts on a Twitter page. Organic social media, particularly a program that uses a business’s leadership team, is a critical piece to complement an overarching digital marketing strategy.
Having a strategic and well-developed social media profile gives B2B executives an advantage over their competitors who may not have an online presence at all. Establishing a strong online presence through social media is one way B2B executives can get their foot in the door and help drive leads for their company.
For most B2B CEOs, we recommend starting with LinkedIn as the primary social media profile. For CEOs looking to establish their online presence, getting in front of the right audience means choosing the right social media platform. One audience study found that four out of five users on LinkedIn were responsible for driving business decisions.
Another interesting finding was that this platform’s audience had 2x the buying power compared to average internet users. LinkedIn as a platform is already geared towards establishing professional relationships, both on a personal and business level.
#2: Thought leadership content impacts both the company brand and the executive
Brand storytelling is a way for businesses to connect with their audience on a deeper level. Traditional marketing for B2B brands may have emphasized a product or service-centric approach, but more companies are making the switch to becoming more customer-centric.
One way to use a customer-centric approach is to provide audiences with valuable original content that seeks to inform them, rather than function primarily as marketing or sales material. As the public face of their company, B2B executives can establish their position within their industry by developing and sharing thought leadership content. The purpose of this type of content is to set them up as a knowledgeable figure within their field and establish their company as industry leaders.
On social media, this can take many forms, such as longer articles that engage the reader about a specific topic. Here is an example from Mondelēz International CEO, Dirk Van de Put, where he discussed the importance of equality and how this manifests at his own company.
Educational and valuable thought leadership content can also be delivered in shorter posts on Twitter. The tweet below is an example from Daniel Lubetzky, the founder of KIND Snacks.
Thanks @KINDSnacks team and our many almond suppliers who are leading the way in bee-friendly practices. Bees pollinate about 1/3 of the food supply, and we need to protect them. https://t.co/98RBaA7EY9
— Daniel Lubetzky (@DanielLubetzky) August 25, 2020
When developing thought leadership content, we recommend that CEOs create content based on what they want to be known for, such as being an inclusive leader or being an innovative mind within their field.
For readers who want to learn more about how to get started, we have developed a free in-depth Thought Leadership Strategy guide.
#3: B2B executives on social media help convert leads
The decision-making process is typically longer for B2B consumers than a B2C audience. The B2B decision-maker tends to focus more on researching the product or service and social media has become a key part of this.
One Forbes article found that 83% of executives surveyed used social media to choose a vendor for their company. For CEOs and businesses that have not established their online presence, they are missing out on netting potential clients who are expecting to see a robust social media profile.
There are many ways B2B executives can help capture and convert leads on social media, such as:
- Sharing original content about their company (establishing a brand story)
- Celebrating a new product launch (promotional content)
- Posting content that positively impacts brand image (brand building)
- Including strong CTAs (call to actions) that drive users to take specific actions, such as “visit the site,” or “pre-order today” (driving toward specific goals)
Now is the time for B2B executives to be on social media
B2B businesses face many marketing challenges. After all, they are not necessarily marketing to one individual or audience, but rather, the final purchasing decision often relies on a group of people.
Marketing differs between the B2B and B2C space, but what is true for both is that a company’s executive can play a pivotal role in the marketing funnel. When companies include their executives in their digital marketing strategy, this provides a variety of benefits, such as having an identifiable person as the face of the brand and being able to deliver authentic messaging from an individual versus the brand’s social media account.
To learn more about leadership and read interesting quotes from top CEOs and executives, follow Influential Executive on LinkedIn. In the meantime, if your B2B brand is ready to take your digital marketing to the next step, click the button below to set up a discussion with our experts.
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