Social Media Marketing: What You Need to Know as a B2B Startup June 18, 2021 RICCentre Social media can be an incredible tool to use as part of your digital marketing strategy but it can be easy to get lost in all of the social media buzzwords – platform, content, frequency, hashtags, reels, etc. This blog is a crash course in Social Media Marketing and what you should know about it to market your B2B startup. According to Forbes’ research, “83% of executives that choose a vendor on behalf of their company use social media in their decision making and 92% of that segment says that social media influenced a purchasing decision within the last year.” This means that you not only need to have a presence on social media but you also need to be actively posting and engaging with your potential customers on said platforms. Start With a Social Media StrategyBefore you begin any social media posting, you need to develop your social media strategy. This social media strategy builds the foundation for everything you do on social media. It should include the following:Your Social Media GoalsPlatform Overview and Posting FrequencyContent Pillars or BucketsSocial Media GoalsMuch like anything in business, you need to be able to identify goals and key performance indicators to measure how close you are to achieving those goals. GoalKPIsBuilding Brand Awarenessfollowers, impressions, traffic, share of voice, reachGenerating Leads and Salessales revenue, lead conversion rate, non-revenue conversions, email sign-upsIncreasing Community Engagementclicks, “likes,” shares, comments, mentionsGrow Your Audiencementions (via social listening), followers, share of voice, engagement rate, followersIncreasing Website Traffictraffic, link clicks, conversions, email sign-ups, product trialsGoals provided from Sprout Social.Anytime you run a social media campaign, push out pieces of content or run social media ads, you need to analyze how well they worked. How much traffic did it drive to your website? What was the overall engagement? Did you grow your online presence? Most social media platforms have their own form of analytics and these should be monitored on a weekly basis to ensure the content you are creating is working to help you achieve your social media goals.Platform Overview and Posting FrequencyA lot of people feel like they need to be on all social media platforms in order to reach their target audience when that isn’t the case. Spend some time trying to figure out who your target audience is and outline where they live online. Do they spend their time scrolling through Instagram while eating breakfast or are they checking their Linkedin in between meetings? Once you’ve figured out where your audience is online, make it a point to build an online presence there.When it comes to posting frequency, it all depends on which platform you choose. See below for the top three B2B social media platforms and the recommended posting frequencies:LinkedinAccording to Content Marketing Institute, this platform is used by 95% of B2B marketers and generates 46% of B2B social media traffic. On this platform you would publish professional content like long-form content (long captions), podcasts, webinars, case studies and blog posts. The recommended posting frequency is 1-2 times per week.TwitterTwitter is ideal for engaging with potential customers, customer support and participating in important conversations within your niche. The recommended posting frequency is 8-10 times per week.FacebookFacebook is necessary to run social media advertisements and acts as a general search engine for businesses. It is used by 83% of B2B marketers, making it the third most used platform for B2B social media marketing. It is considered more casual than LinkedIn, therefore, it is important to humanize the brand. The recommended posting frequency is 1-2 times per week.Other platforms to consider are:YouTube (tutorials, interviews etc)Instagram (engaging with your audience on a more personal level)Medium Reddit (generating strong discussion in key areas of interest that pertain to your brand)Be realistic about how much time you actually have to dedicate to these platforms and pick two to three that you can spend time creating content for.Content Pillars or BucketsWhen trying to decide what content to create on the above platforms, focus on five main areas within your business. The goal is that anyone who comes across your profile, they will have a clear understanding of who you are, what your business is and how you can help them. We recommend focusing on your business (employees, team members, any company updates), your services (or products), events and media, fun/engaging content and education. These will change depending on what your company offers but we recommend having between four to five topics you cycle through on a weekly or monthly basis.Important 2021 Social Media TrendsSocial media trends change so fast… sometimes even weekly. As of today, here are a few social media trends you should be aware of.If they trust you, they will buy from you. Over the past few years we’ve seen a huge rise in the power of influencer marketing. The reason for this is because consumers feel more comfortable buying a product or service after one of their favourite influencers has shared about it. Businesses have started to notice this trend and decided to shift their advertising to influencer partnerships. The influencers are able to help the brand build trust with the audience which then converts to sales.This generation values experiences versus things. Generation Z is more focused on what experiences they can spend their money on. These experiences can be in the form of physical activities or it can also come in the form of a unique unboxing experience with your products. Remember that experiences are typically things they can share on social media which helps you build brand awareness.Consumers buy from businesses that care. People want to know what your business is doing to stand up for the things that matter. Does your business focus on environmentalism? What about social good? Consumers vote with their money and they are more likely to support businesses that are making an impact.Content needs to be agile. Years ago, you could create content for a month and get it published in a social media scheduling platform. Today, content needs to be agile. It needs to be responsive to things happening in the news. When creating content, you need to read the digital room – get a feel for how your consumers are feeling and create content that caters to those feelings. You don’t necessarily want your content to be the elephant in the room, but rather feeding that elephant.Customers first, business second. Create content your customers actually want to see, not what you think they want to see. Provide them with value by sharing educational pieces of content in the form of tips and advice, things to make them laugh, things they can relate to etc. At the end of the day, most of your potential customers use social media for enjoyment. They don’t want to feel like they are being sold all of the time. Give them something to enjoy.In ConclusionSocial media is a strong tool to help you grow your business. Start by creating a social media strategy which helps you identify clear goals and key performance indicators. From there, pick which platforms you feel like you want to focus on and start creating content for them. Make sure to analyze the content you are sharing and tweak your tactics accordingly. At the end of the day, make sure your customers (or potential customers) are your main focus and that you’re not just sharing content on social media to say you did. Be helpful, be informative, build trust and the sales will follow.If you are looking for marketing support for your tech startup, consider our MVP to Market and Incubator program for dedicated sales and marketing training or reach out to us and we may be able to support you. RIC Centre is all about helping businesses like yours succeed. On the Blog: Read More about Marketing for Startups Digital Marketing for B2B Startups Digital Marketing is important for getting your B2B startup off the ground and running, but a lot of people don’t really know what digital… Read more Building Out Your Marketing Funnel A marketing funnel is a representation of the steps a customer takes from the moment they first learn about your brand to the moment they convert. It’s… Read more Influencer Marketing Fundamentals Influencer marketing is a social media marketing strategy that involves collaboration and endorsement of online content creators… Read more About the AuthorKierstyn PareSocial Media Director, King Street MediaKing Street Media is a Toronto-based marketing and creative agency focused on purpose-driven growth. They supports entrepreneurs, businesses and nonprofits by providing dedicated services ranging from digital advertising and social media marketing to brand strategy and content creation.