When it comes to social media marketing, much of the content available online is geared specifically towards business-to-consumer (B2C) brands, which sell their product or services to consumers. This often forces business-to-business (B2B) brands, which sell their products or services to other businesses, to fend for themselves when it comes to marketing guidance.
For the most part, the primary B2B social media strategy that's circulated online focuses almost exclusively on LinkedIn. While LinkedIn was ranked as the most effective platform for B2B marketing (as reported by the Content Marketing Institute), there are loads of other strategies these companies can implement without putting all their eggs in one basket. Here are a handful of LinkedIn alternatives to consider.
1. Create a Lead Magnet
Buying decisions for B2B companies typically have to pass through a lot of hands (the board, advisers, the CEO, etc.) before a conclusion is made. Because of this, credibility in a given industry through thought leadership is perhaps even more crucial to marketing success for a B2B company than it is for a B2C company. Your content must convince everyone in the boardroom that you're the right person for the job.
This is why, no matter what your social media strategy is, you should have a piece of content you drive your leads to, such as a whitepaper, an ebook or online course. This sort of content is known as a lead magnet. If you don't have a lead magnet already in place, creating one is the first step to developing a bulletproof B2B social media strategy.
2. Use YouTube Pre-Roll Ads
As annoying as many YouTube pre-roll ads are, over the course of the last year there have been a number of thought leaders out there who have proven the medium is a powerful way to generate awareness. In the marketing industry alone, figures like Tai Lopez and Billy Gene have become well-known names as a result of YouTube pre-foll ads, and with YouTube's robust user data, the targeting capability is first-rate which makes it easy to zero in on your audience.
3. Post on Medium
Medium has been dubbed, "the YouTube for writers". Whether you choose to publish directly on Medium or republish pre-written blog posts on it, the platform is a great venue to showcase your knowledge as a B2B brand since Medium's readership is made up of everyone from CEOs to poets.
To get the most out of Medium, be sure your work gets published on a publication versus being self-published. To become a contributor to publication, search for their submission guidelines on their respective home page. If you're unfamiliar with Medium's top publications, visit toppub.xyz for a curated list.
4. Manage a Facebook Group
Creating and managing a Facebook Group is a great way to position yourself as a thought leader while simultaneously building a community of like-minded individuals within your industry. Some of the keys to running a successful Facebook Group are not being over-promotional, consistently publishing high quality content (whether that's an article, YouTube tutorial or an ebook), and drumming up engaging discussion with thought-provoking questions.
5. Create Infographics for Pinterest
Pinterest is an often overlooked social media channel that can drive results for B2B companies. The platform works particularly well if your company is in the fashion, travel, home decor or lifestyle space. A style of content that tends to circulate well on Pinterest are infographics.
Next time you create an article or video tutorial, consider reformatting it into an infographic for Pinterest. A tool like Canva can allow you to easily create infographics, even if you have little to no graphic design experience.
6. Answer or Post Questions on Quora
While engagement has certainly dropped on Quora over the past year due to the initial hype of the platform tapering off, it's still one of the most powerful ways to showcase your knowledge in the most non-promotional, authentic way: helping others out by answering their questions.
7. Use SlideShare
While SlideShare is owned by LinkedIn, it's often forgotten within a LinkedIn marketing strategy. If you frequently give talks or presentations on a topic in your industry, then upload the slides to SlideShare and your insight could spread like wildfire.
One of the advantages SlideShare has over other types of content on LinkedIn is giving you the stage to be a know-it-all. When someone clicks on your SlideShare presentation, they're giving you permission to blow their mind with your knowledge. Don't let them down.
If you own or work at a B2B company, it's easy for you to feel left out when it comes to social media marketing content being published online. Don't lose hope though, there are plenty of ways for you to leverage social media to gain massive results if you're strategic, calculated and patient enough to do so. If you use these tips laid out in this article, you'll be starting out strong. Best of luck.