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02.01.2019

Social Media  |  5 min read

Do B2B businesses need a social media strategy in 2019?

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Dustin Pearce

Generating sales from social media can be as easy as posting photos of delicious food or enticing experiences. But what about businesses with products and services that aren’t as glamorous? Is it worth it for B2B companies to have a social media strategy?

In short, yes. While it’s true prospective customers may not first discover a B2B company on social media (over traditional B2B strategies like email marketing, cold calling, SEO, and Google Ads) it’s likely they will eventually find or seek out social media accounts as proof of validity during their buying journey.

Having little or no activity on social media for months at a time may signal to potential customers that a company struggles to stay current, and could be the difference in winning or losing a sale.

Implementing a B2B social media strategy and scheduling posts in advance not only saves time throughout the year for other marketing tactics that actually lead to sales, but also lets businesses create consistent content that reinforces their brand to customers.

The following is a step-by-step guide for creating a B2B social media strategy for 2019:

Step 1: Decide what to post

The first thing B2B companies need to do to create a social media strategy is decide what they are going to post about. The goal is to create consistent, rotating “categories” of content that people will begin to associate with the brand.

For example, Makeshark, a small business marketing agency in Worthington, Ohio, decided on six rotating categories: 1) sharks photos; 2) business quotes; 3) team photos; 4) video segments; 5) design mockups, and 6) brand images.

Deciding which categories of content to post doesn’t have to be an exact science, just make sure it’s consistent.

Step 2: Decide how much to post

Next, you’ll need to decide how many posts you are willing to create since again, this is for validation, not sales. A good baseline would be one post a week, or four posts a month on each of the major social media platforms—Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, and Google Business (automation tools make this easier, which are discussed in step 7).

Step 3: Make a spreadsheet

There are a lot of fancy social media calendar tools out there, and a B2B company can easily spend large dollars on premium accounts, but a simple spreadsheet will do just fine.

In your spreadsheet, create the following columns: “Month”, “Order”, “Content Type”, “Text”, and “Hashtags.”

“Order” is the sequence of that post within a given month. So if a company decided to posts 2 times a month, the order will go from “1” to “2” and repeat each month.

Example:January | 1 | Sharks | “New stickers are in! DM your mailing address to get one for free while they last!” | #614 #columbus #columbusohio#sweetcarrot #foxinthesnow#hotchickentakeover #sharksJanuary | 2 | Team Photos | “Meet Dustin with Makeshark” | #columbus #teamphotoFebruary | 1 | Video Segments | “Small business marketing agency” | #614 #digitalmarketing

Step 4: Create hashtags

Hashtags help people find new content from pages they don’t already follow on social media. Instagram lets businesses include up to 30 hashtags, and since users can follow hashtags, it is recommended to use all 30, or as close to 30 as possible

Display Purposes is a great tool for finding related, high-traffic hashtags. Just enter a hashtag, and Display Purposes shows 30 related, high-traffic hashtags. However, not every hashtags will be relevant to your needs, so try combining a few different searches. When done, paste the hashtags next to the corresponding “Content Type” in your spreadsheet.

Example:January | 1 | Sharks | “New stickers are in! DM your mailing address to get one for free while they last!” | #614 #columbus #columbusohio#sweetcarrot #foxinthesnow#hotchickentakeover #sharks

Step 5: Create images

One of the easiest ways to create consistent, original content in bulk is through Adobe Illustrator. Start by creating a new Illustrator file with the same number of “artboards” as the number of posts that were decided on. Then, once inside the file, rearrange the artboards and set the columns to the same number as your Content Types—this way each type is in the same column.

Another great option for the less technically-inclined is Canva. Check out the video below for a quick tutorial to get you started.

Step 6. Create text

After creating your images, it’s time to revisit your spreadsheet and add words to your images in the “Text” cell. These can be witty or informative, as long as they correspond to the image you use.

Makeshark IG example

Example:January | 1 | Sharks | “New stickers are in! DM your mailing address to get one for free while they last!” | #614 #columbus #columbusohio#sweetcarrot #foxinthesnow#hotchickentakeover #sharks

Step 7: Schedule posts for the year

Once you’ve created the content for your social posts, the final step is to schedule all posts for the month/quarter/year to free up time for more sales-oriented marketing strategies.

Socialpilot is a great go-to scheduling software because it can post to all of the major social media platforms, including Google Business, which is key for local business SEO.

Dustin Pearce is a Digital Marketing Expert at Makeshark in Columbus, Ohio. Dustin has helped small businesses to increase SEO 414% and grow online sales by over $500,000 annually. Previously Dustin helped build national brands like Hulu, Kroger, Huffy Bikes, and Orbit Gum.


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