How to Develop a B2B Social Media Strategy in 4 Easy Steps

Karishma Borkakoty

January 17, 202413 min read

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When General Electric (GE) took its first steps on X, many were skeptical about this century-old conglomerate's fit in the world of social media.  

The company started out like most of us do when trying something new – a tad hesitant and a bit wary. But with time and effort, GE’s digital presence became nothing short of remarkable. 

Today, this multinational company aims to be a brand that listens, adapts and connects genuinely with its audience. It has positioned itself as the leading digital industrial company. And looking at the love it’s getting from all over the world, it feels like it has already mastered social media. 

The best part? This 122-year-old company even made its mark at the Shorty Awards, which recognize the finest entities in social media. The company won the Best Brand on Vine award and even received nominations for "Best Fortune 500 Brands on Social Media.” Talk about a transformation, right? 

Yes, GE’s journey ought to inspire hope in any brand that’s looking to establish itself through social media 

But if you still need a push, then chew on this: There are 4.89 billion people on social media worldwide. Among these users, thousands, if not millions, could be part of your B2B target audience. And this number pretty much explains why you can’t put social media marketing on the back burner anymore.  

It’s time to fire up your engine and thrust your B2B brand into the social media space. And to help you do that, we’ll be walking you through the steps involved in creating a B2B social media strategy, along with a few best practices and practical examples.  

But before we jump into all the good stuff, let's get the basics down by asking ourselves the question of the hour. 

Table of Contents

What is a B2B social media strategy? 

B2B social media strategy refers to the practice of businesses using social media platforms to connect with other businesses and professionals. This approach differs from B2C (business-to-consumer) social media, which directly targets individual consumers. Now, you might be wondering, how do you put together a good social media plan that really gets your audience's attention? Well, let's break it down and start with the essentials you need to nail before you even start posting on your B2B social media channels.  

How to build a B2B social media strategy in 4 easy steps 

Growing a following on social media isn't easy — it demands hard work, dedication and persistence. To get started with B2B social media, follow these 4 easy steps. 

Step 1: Take baby steps but have your social media goals in place 

Every social media marketing strategy begins with a goal. Goals help pinpoint your desired achievements on social media over a set timeframe. With a set goal in mind, it won’t always feel overwhelming if new social media platforms emerge. Some questions to have in your mind before starting your social media campaign include: 

A. Do I want to increase brand awareness?  

Increasing brand awareness is the process of making your social media customers more familiar with your brand as well as your products. This is an important goal to have if you’re a new brand or just announcing a product launch. 

B. Do I want to boost engagement?  

If you notice that your social media posts aren’t getting as much traction or as many likes or shares as you used to, boosting engagement should be your top goal. Boosting engagement can be as simple as leading conversations with questions, engaging your audience with polls or running informative myth-busting sessions alongside an expert in your field. 

A Sprinklr dashboard displaying the total engagement and reach of a brand-s campaigns

C. Do I want to direct traffic to my website?  

Social media serves as an effective channel for funneling visitors to your website through targeted social media advertising. These ads work a lot like the ones you see in search engines. They can be easily tracked and measured. You can aim them at specific groups and see how they perform so you know if your efforts are paying off. Plus, you can easily switch up who you're targeting whenever you need to. 

Step 2: Take time to understand what your audience wants when they are not talking

Imagine this scenario: It’s the monsoon season, and you plan to visit a salon to get a haircut. You’re unsure if taking your bicycle would be the best idea. But then, you look outside and see a clear blue sky with scattered clouds. So, you don’t look at the weather app and decide to visit the salon on your bicycle instead of taking your car. Moments later, it starts raining cats and dogs, and you very much regret not traveling in the shelter of your car.  

This brief scene is something that occurs too often with B2B brands (of any size) in their approach to social media strategies. It's not about the rain here; it's about leaning on guesswork instead of solid data — for example, “This kind of audience looks like they will like our product; my gut tells me to target them.”  

Gut feelings, assumptions and social media don’t go together. Only data helps both marketing and social media. This is why there are capabilities like social listening that can help you analyze a particular audience and get a wealth of demographic data in minutes.

Sprinklr-s AI-powered listening capability in action.

For instance, according to a 2021 study published by Pew Research Center, about 51% of LinkedIn users in the U.S. have a bachelor's degree or higher. This suggests that content on LinkedIn might resonate better with a well-educated audience. Based on this data, you might want to aim for this demographic and consider creating more in-depth, research-backed content on LinkedIn to potentially engage more of this educated user base. 

Step 3: Figure out your most important social media metrics and KPIs and track them 

To really see if your social media plan is working, you need to keep an eye on certain social media metrics and KPIs (key performance indicators). If you don't, you might not even notice when you reach your targets.  

Here are some important metrics to watch when you're putting together your social media plan: 

Clicks: This is the number of times consumers have clicked on your social media content. If you’re able to identify what makes your customers click, you can replicate it in your future campaigns. 

Engagement: Engagement is nothing but any kind of interaction your audience has with your content. Delving deeper into this social media KPI can help you identify how your audience perceives your brand and how much they love your content. 

Reach: This is the number of social media users who have seen your content on their feed but have not necessarily interacted with it. 

Hashtag performance: This metric focuses on the most popular hashtags your audience uses on social media when talking about your brand. You can implement social listening in your social media marketing strategy if you want to get detailed reports on hashtag performance. 

Follower growth: Measure your followers over time on social media by tracking follower growth, which provides a useful indicator of whether your content and engagement efforts resonate with your audience and your social media presence is growing.  

Leverage a social media management platform that offers built-in reporting features. These tools can automatically gather data about different KPIs, including follower growth, from your social media accounts and build comprehensive reports with just a few clicks. Check out the best social media management tools for 2024. 

Brand mentions: The social media monitoring of brand mentions can provide valuable insights and perspectives on how your product or brand is perceived by your target audience. It also opens up chances to connect with your user base and respond to any criticisms or issues that come up. 

Interesting Read: Top social media KPIs for every business 

Step 4: Create content that captures the fleeting attention of your audience

Here we are, at the heart of it all: content. Whether it’s B2B or B2C, content is the silver bullet of your social media strategy. By using the steps mentioned above, you can scrutinize what content works for your brand and what doesn’t. 

If you’re still unsure of how you can go about your content, here are some proven strategies that have worked for most B2B brands:  

Short-form videos: From 2023 eMarketer’s reports, it's clear that online video viewership has gone up for everyone. More than 75% of US adults spend up two hours watching short-form digital video content each day. With attention spans shrinking for all of us, short-form videos are becoming more popular, making them a smart choice for engagement. 

Stories: Stories have steadily gained traction, especially on platforms like Instagram. Back in 2019, 500 million users engaged Instagram Stories every day, so you can only imagine how many must be tuning in today. Overlooking this new way of engagement could become a missed opportunity for your brand. So, make sure you create interactive stories and post questions for your audience to watch your engagement soar.  

Content calendar: Having a social media content calendar in place will let you plan what to post and when to post in advance and based on your chosen content theme. By planning ahead, you can map out topics for the entire month, ensuring they're both timely and relevant. Instead of the daily scramble for post ideas, you'll have a clear roadmap. 

Sprinklr-s Unified Marketing Calendar showing planned publishing activities for various social media channels in a day-to-day view.

Commonly used social media practices for the B2B industry 

These are some of the standard social media practices used by B2B businesses. 

Never take consistency for granted 

Being consistent is important when it comes to social media. Posting regularly with engaging and relevant content will establish your brand’s presence and credibility. It tells your audience: "We're here, dependable and on top of things." 

Focus on LinkedIn

LinkedIn offers B2B businesses a platform to interact and showcase their expertise. Consider it as your social powerhouse. It's tailored for business and that's where decision-makers gather. Dive in, share insights and let the audience recognize your brand's prowess. 

Look for opportunities to establish yourself as a thought leader 

Think of showcasing your authority and expertise in your industry as more than just a flex — it’s a strategic move with tangible rewards. So, when you publish thought leadership content — we're talking in-depth whitepapers, engaging webinars and insightful articles — you're doing more than just flashing your knowledge badge. You're drawing in leads.  

As you share your expertise with thought-leadership content, your followers aren't just passively consuming it. They're learning, growing and beginning to see you as more than just a source of information. You transition from being just another name online to the name they trust and rely on. It’s about making your expertise work for you in the best way possible. 

Engage your audience 

Social media isn't just a platform for posting; it's a space to have meaningful conversations with your audience. Engaging with your target audience helps build relationships and trust. By responding to comments, messages or reviews promptly, you show that you value your audience's voice and are always there to listen and assist. Create more illustrations and visual content Visual content such as infographics, images and videos can make your content more engaging and shareable while communicating complex ideas in an easy-to-consume format. 

Dedicate time and resources to influencer marketing 

Establishing relationships with key influencers or thought leaders within your industry can increase brand recognition and credibility while expanding your reach to potential new customers. Partnering with influencers allows your brand to tap into their audience to attract new potential clients.  

Read More: Influencer marketing strategies to improve engagement  

Examples of effective B2B social media strategies from popular B2B brands 

Brands that have invested in setting up a strong social media presence have reaped rich rewards in the form of increased customer loyalty. Let’s see how these two B2B brands, apart from GE, are slaying the social media game and what you can learn from them. 

IBM on X 

IBM utilizes X to engage its audience and participate in industry conversations. Here’s what makes IBM’s social media strategy popular among all software companies: 

  • Bite-sized learning: It crafts concise X posts that break down complex tech topics. 

  • Engaging content: It leverages infographics and videos to simplify and break down dense information. 

  • Hashtag mastery: It actively incorporates relevant industry hashtags that are associated with significant events in the tech space. This could include conferences, product launches, or any notable gatherings or discussions happening in the tech world. 

Adobe on Instagram  

Adobe’s Instagram handle is a celebration of creativity. Recognizing that its products cater to a creative audience, it spotlights user-generated content (UGC), turning its page into a digital gallery.  Here’s what makes Adobe’s social media strategy shine: 

  • Community engagement: It hosts regular creative challenges, fueling user participation. 

  • Interactive stories: It makes use of quizzes, creator tips and event highlights to engage with its audience directly. 

Implementing artificial intelligence to up your B2B social media game

Artificial intelligence (AI) has quickly become an invaluable asset for B2B social media campaigns. By harnessing AI, businesses can gain insights into their target audience, improve content strategy and strengthen their overall presence on social media.   

Here are a few ways AI can assist your B2B social media efforts:  

Tailored content: You know how everyone has their own tastes? AI can figure out what those are. By analyzing social media interactions, AI learns what your audience likes. It'll then give you recommendations on the type of content that gets attention from specific groups of people or demographics. 

💡Pro-tip: With Sprinklr AI+, you can generate content instantly by brainstorming content ideas and getting creative, channel-specific content for social media posts. 

Reading the room: By analyzing phrases, words and the general tone, AI can identify whether people are raising a toast to your brand or giving it some side-eye. With this intel, you can step in and respond when necessary, showing you're a brand that listens and cares.  

💡Pro-tip: With Sprinklr Insights, you gain real-time insights into audience engagement with your content and brand, getting an ear to the ground on conversations that are attracting the most traction. 

Tracking campaign success: The importance of a high-performing campaign is only as good as its measurable results. AI-driven tools, such as Sprinklr Reporting, offer a detailed look into crucial metrics, spanning from engagement and reach to conversion rates. This ensures that your strategies pivot from merely being data-informed to genuinely being data-driven — all aimed at achieving concrete business results. 

Dive Deeper: Social media reports: Basic to Advance Level Guide

Streamline your social media strategy with Sprinklr Social  

Managing customer interactions across various social channels, including chat and messaging, is a hefty task, particularly for growing B2B brands. Balancing strategy creation, execution, monitoring and optimization while keeping an eye on social media updates and responding to every comment and query manually is a challenge. Sprinklr Social offers a solution to ease this burden. It centralizes and simplifies these tasks, removing the heavy lifting from your team.   

It comes packed with comprehensive features to simplify your B2B social media management strategy, such as: 

  • Integration with OpenAI's ChatGPT for AI-assisted chat suggestions 

  • The capability to interact with customers over 35+ social and messaging channels 

  • Integrated listening tools to identify and engage in conversations relevant to your brand, which opens avenues to showcase thought leadership 

  • AI-powered automated message sorting, which helps prioritize conversations based on intent 

  • Comprehensive tracking of brand content from inception to execution across digital channels, which facilitates cross-team collaboration and visibility on a unified dashboard 

  • Account-level permissions and governance controls to avert PR crises and ensure that your content aligns with brand guidelines 

So, give its free 30-day trial a shot so you can start creating deep-impacting B2B social media strategies in no time. 

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