Do you want to get started on social media as a B2B company? We tell you how you use the differences to the B2C business to develop strong content.
You think social media communication doesn’t work in the B2B market? That’s not true. But you are also a bit right: There are important differences to note in social media communication in the B2B area, which should affect your communication. We highlight some of them and give you seven tips on how to use them smartly and how to communicate well with B2B content on social media networks.
A survey of 5,726 marketing managers around the world shows that B2B companies are also increasingly interested in social media (Statista, January 2018). According to this, more than half of the B2B companies surveyed already use Facebook (54%), the second largest interest is in LinkedIn (28%).
However, B2B companies face other challenges in social networks. There are important differences in the customer’s motivation to buy, the requirements for communication, the type of decision-making for a product, the type of product and the target groups that need to be involved. Based on a few differences, we have derived tips that can help you communicate in a targeted manner on social media.
Explore purchase motivations and take them up on social media platforms
When a company opts for a B2B product or service, it often means that the decision-makers expect business added value, easier everyday life or an increase in efficiency. These motivations to buy can serve as the basis for your core messages on social networks. Shows why and how exactly your products or services contribute to this.
Practice : Use the core sentence method to address the purchase motives and pre-produce content! First, form core sentences that are as short and simple as possible and that contribute to this motivation to buy. If you sell business software, for example, a core sentence could be: “Software X takes over the creation of documents and saves employees time.” Only when you have all the core sentences together, do you start to implement them for your social media channels. Tries to develop multiple post ideas from each core sentence.
Partially outsource or demonstrate complex information about your product to the visual
In the B2B area, the communication requirements are different. We are often dealing with quite complex products that cannot be easily explained in two sentences. The need for information and advice is often immense, because it involves very high investments or tailor-made solutions. In comprehensive communication, B2B companies often solve this challenge with the help of analyzes, brochures, product comparisons or white papers – all long forms that are not really suitable for social media. Everything should be prepared as concisely as possible. Why?
The market for attention on social networks is competitive and the attention span of users is rather short.
The text of a post is often accompanied by a visual on social networks. Reason: The algorithms of the networks upgrade such posts and the users find them more appealing. So don’t underestimate the possibility of this visual for conveying information in social media communication in the B2B area!
Divide your complex information into aspects and play them individually on your social media presence!
In the tight formats provided by social networks, you cannot tell everything about your product or service at once. After all, depending on the platform, you only have a few lines and the visual available. But that is not necessary at all, because on social media we do not tell in a linear and incomplete manner, but in terms of aspects and (usually) mostly not fixed in time.
Practice: If your product has three USPs, for example, you create a contribution for each. The nice thing about it: you get a lot of content! It is only important that your aspect is as round as possible, that the statement can stand on its own and that the content is staged appropriately. And starting from the respective USP has another advantage: You know directly what you want to convey, because the statement is clear. If someone is really interested in one of the posts, it is likely that they will take a closer look at your social media presence, come across other posts or even click on the link to your website. Here, of course, you have the opportunity to fully present your products and services.
Tip 4: Emotionally captivate potential customers and search for storytelling approaches
A study by McKinsey – based on the survey of more than 750 decision-makers – has shown that “Risk Reduction” is the most important influencing factor in the purchase decision in the B2B area with 45%. This is followed by “Information Efficiency” with 41%. This means the quality of the information offered in the purchase process. “Added value / Image Benefit” is in third place. This is about additional benefits and image transfer. You can take advantage of these findings.
Neutral tonality and logical reasoning are often a good choice for social media communication in the B2B area. By the way, we explain how to find the right tonality here. In suitable cases, you can also make your speech more emotional. Traditional values such as credibility, experience, knowledge or reputation are often suitable for this in the B2B area. Of course, exceptions are the rule. The need for risk avoidance among decision-makers offers you the chance to spice up your content with emotion.