B2B Social Media Agency – it all comes down to this
Social media is key to high-impact, successful digital B2B marketing. Social networks have the power to reach billions of consumers with a company’s message and to offer the general public a way to talk about the company.
An essential contact with a platform’s account managers
But the problem is that it isn’t the company that is looking for the account manager, but the account manager who is looking for the company or its B2B social media agency. The reason being that, at the beginning of a quarter, the account managers assemble their portfolios from the advertising companies in the sector for which they are responsible.
They assess the companies or B2B social media agencies that come into play based on various factors. Indicators can include the advertising sales over the past months as well as the performance of the campaigns. However, there are no key figures on which sales lead to a contact. This varies depending on the industry.
The most important B2B social media channels today
One reason for the uncertainty is that products and services in B2B marketing of course require more explanation or advice than in B2C. But the good news is that even seemingly heavy topics can be communicated quickly, easily and with high impact on social media platforms.
After all, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube and the like are not only home to a large part of the population, but also to virtually all relevant decision-makers. The opportunities that open up there are too good to be left unexploited. Important to keep in mind, however, is that decision-makers are very intolerant of clumsy corporate advertising, and expect high-quality content.
Also, the channels are in a non-stop state of flux: Facebook is maturing, Instagram remains colourful, TikTok reaches the younger ones and YouTube continues to amaze with high numbers of followers. Even in the case of videos for the products or services of high-tech companies. But nothing is set in stone here.
The ideal B2B social media agency understands the current state of algorithms to achieve the highest reach for its clients. What functionalities are new and which are currently being sorted out by Facebook and the like. Yes, it is extremely challenging to keep an eye on the many available channels and to feed them using a targeted approach:
With more than 47 million monthly users in Germany alone, Facebook is one of the most important social media channels. Its potential reach is enormous – and yes, many decision-makers also use the platform. In addition, Facebook offers many business tools such as various ad products that can be used to generate targeted leads.
With some 32 million users, Instagram is the number two in Germany. The preconception of the colourful image channel is quite simply wrong: With many successful campaigns in product communication, branding & awareness, employer branding & advocacy. It is very much worth considering using Instagram for influencer marketing.
The microblogging service is often underestimated, although many journalists and decision-makers spend time here. This opens up a wide range of possibilities especially for corporate PR. The medium is not only interested in creative hashtags, but also in expert content. This represents an opportunity to position yourself as a thought leader in the industry.
With 706 million worldwide, the business network has long been one of the big players. And many network members have the right B2B mindset. The network also offers text ads for more reach, dynamic ads, sponsored messaging and sponsored content. Could be just the right thing to trigger discussions and generate interest.
Wherever LinkedIn is, Xing is not far away in the DACH region. The professional social network also offers exciting potential for social media marketing in B2B. With special business pages as well as classic company pages that can be used extremely well for recruiting professionals.
If you have the right suitable content and value a cross-channel strategy, YouTube is the place to be. YouTube is also considered the second largest search engine in the world after Google - not to mention the fact that Google itself prominently displays tagged videos in search results.
TikTok is undoubtedly today’s hot social media channel and enjoys great popularity, especially among Generation Z. This is where you meet tomorrow’s professionals and decision-makers. With creative films and posts for which the B2B social media agency needs to really get creative – since the audience here is extremely discerning.
WhatsApp is not a classic social media channel, but it is another interesting digital information tool that is set to replace email as an information and acquisition tool in the future. Simply because of the high level of attention, because 90 percent of all messages are read within 15 minutes, according to experts. Every successful B2B social media agency knows this.
WeChat is something like the Chinese WhatsApp and more: A lifestyle and a world of its own for a billion users around the world. To chat and to call, to share and post favourite moments, to order or pay for products and services. In Asia, nothing works without WeChat.
Weitere wichtige chinesische Apps
Sina Weibo is the Chinese alternative to Twitter, which is blocked there. Xiaohongshu is the Instagram equivalent. Douyin is the more advanced alternative to TikTok, with many more features than TikTok here in Germany. Or Bilibili – a magnet for animes, comics and games. The target group is mainly teenagers and students.
How to measure success in B2B social media marketing
SMM controlling & monitoring
Social media monitoring – what exactly does it mean?
Social media monitoring is often confused with similar-sounding terms such as social media tracking. Simply put, social media monitoring monitors conversations that are already taking place around key terms. For example, following a brand name, a product name or a slogan. Subcategories are:
Social media listening
Social media analytics
Social media intelligence
Social media management
A social media strategy is essential in the B2B world
Nothing is more important than an exact understanding of the market and target group. Who are the customers and what are they looking for? Who are the brand advocates and influencers? Who praises? Who criticises? How to best answer product and support inquiries posted on social media?
The first step to effective social listening is to create a list of keywords to be monitored. As well as which conversations about the brand, its products and services, the industry, competitors or its products need to be monitored.
Keywords can also be identified relating to recent marketing campaigns or phrases used by people who need the company’s product or service product to be promoted.
Monitoring can begin once this list is on the table, which can take time. It can be quite straightforward since most social media networks have a search function such as #tags and @tags, which makes it easy to display exactly the results you want.
When planning a social media marketing strategy, the next step is to determine which channels to focus on. Limiting yourself to a few channels is not an option when it comes to monitoring what others are saying about the company and its offering.
Social media monitoring and listening tools are indispensable
In fact, a recent survey found that 83% of B2B companies and 85% of B2C companies believe that social media listening and monitoring tools – such as those available in Salesforce's Social Studio – are essential. Because only those who are aware of the conversations can keep on top of them and react to them.
Is the brand being criticised? Is a message being forwarded to the PR team? Is there a positive response? Should marketing be informed that the company has just been given a new brand advocate. Those who can keep ahead of the bad and capitalise on the good will most definitely benefit from social media.
Your B2B social media agency should fulfil the following
To succeed, a B2B social media agency has to immerse itself in the respective industry and evolve from being a marketing agency to an industry insider. It needs to become one with the product, history, philosophy and culture of its client – and understand the market and its needs as thoroughly as it does:
- It has to be professionally and technically up to speed with the client: Understand the problems and wishes of its clients. Live and love interactivity. Create the necessary content strategy including topic plans and relevant content. Know and supply the channels. And be extremely target-group-oriented.
- It needs to conduct market research: Because market research is still underrepresented in the B2B sector and is mostly replaced by experience and gut feel. To ideally serve the buying centre, which is usually made up of management, operations management and operators. If you forget just one of them, you have already lost.
- It has to know that YouTube is also an important channel for B2B special topics: Because highly relevant target groups spend time there. For example, mechanical engineers with 20,000 followers are not uncommon on YouTube. With this in mind, the B2B social media agency has to develop high-quality footage to significantly increase the number of followers.
- It has to be able to create relevant posts and know how to promote them with advertising: Entire campaigns linked to the homepage to achieve a high conversion rate. Have the right analytics tools: Which post was successful with which followers – and link the data with CRM tools such as Salesforce.
- It needs to have the right licences: For example, the Sales Navigator licence and the Personal Marketing licence on LinkedIn. It needs to place a lot of volume for many clients in each channel to get the personal contacts on Google, Facebook and LinkedIn. The ones who will then make the impossible possible.
We at the Ruess Group have been doing this together with Facebook, Google and LinkedIn for more than 15 years. For demanding and discerning clients, complicated topics and markets. Worldwide. We speak German, English, Chinese, French, Italian, Indian, Spanish… in short: all the world’s languages. In the digital as well as in the real world. Wherever you need us.
Let us know what questions you have and what your objectives are. We will be happy to prepare for an initial meeting with you.