With nearly 4 billion people on social media, the audience reach and information sharing through this digital medium presents a tremendous opportunity for leaders and organizations. B2C organizations and executives were the first to embrace social media extensively, but B2B players have increasingly entered the arena in recent years. As B2B organizations learn to develop and refine their social media marketing strategy, it is also important that B2B leaders and executives are included in the mix.
Many buying processes start with research, and social media plays a huge role in the early stages of the buyer journey. In fact, 81% of buyers are more interested in brands that are active on social media channels. The presence of executives on social media is also important. 77% of respondents said they would rather shop at a company where executives are active on social media. While these statistics are compelling on their own, there are many other reasons why B2B executives should have a social media presence. Here we examine some of those reasons for what types of content to post and additional considerations.
Why B2B executives should be present on social media
Social media is a great place to further establish yourself as a thought leader. Social media provides incisive opportunities to introduce others to your thinking and provides a route into deeper insights into topics you address and experience. These three things can help you go in the right direction.
Awareness and commitment
Social media platforms help you start and facilitate conversations. Start a thread on a topic of interest to you and your audience, or jump in to offer valuable thoughts or encouragement on ongoing conversations. Social media groups are also great ways to communicate with others. On Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other platforms, users can form groups that focus on a topic or topic that suits a person’s interest. For example, on LinkedIn there are many B2B marketing groups that users can join and interact with.
Starting conversations and communicating with others is a first step in building relationships and adding new connections. For B2B professionals, LinkedIn is a fundamental place to expand their network and open the door to ever more possibilities.
Having a strong social media presence for an executive also benefits the company they run. As an extension of your brand, you can communicate important company values. Through contributions and engagement, your connections and prospects can gain a better understanding of who your company is and how it can help them overcome the challenges they face.
What B2B executives should post on social media
As already mentioned, thought leadership content shapes the brand of a person and thus also the brand of an organization. Whether by sharing original content and positions, or adding thoughts and comments on content provided by others, social media is a tool that helps you inform how prospects, customers, and the wider market perceive you. Comment on topics and questions and back them up with evidence and your practical experience.
Articles that resonate
B2B executives consume a wide variety of content on a daily basis, both internally and through external publications such as Forbes, The New York Times, and industry-specific publications. Share articles that appeal to you and your brand, or even share your views on articles that you may disagree with. Show your prospects and customers how you think and that you also value their perspectives. These can be current trends, strategies to consider, or tips and tricks.
Company news and content
Sharing or re-sharing company content and posts can help drive traffic to your company’s website. You may have a following that exceeds the size of your business account, or your network may reach a wider, more diverse audience than those who follow your business pages. This can help increase your brand awareness and support it.
Regularly sharing content related to your personal life can help make you too human in the minds of those you interact with on social media. This could be a job update, a trip you’ve just been on, or an achievement from someone in your family. People want to follow people, not robots.
The email copy should be a general overview that provides a quick introduction to your content offering and the value it offers. It should be enough to get your recipient to read more, but not so much that they take a look and decide they don’t have time to read it.
Additional things to consider
Being genuine and open with your followers is important. Social media not only reflects you, but also your company. Being authentic ensures that your audience gets to know the real you.
Even if social media isn’t high on your to-do list, it should still be a priority. You don’t have to post every day, but stick to a schedule that is manageable for you. Many find it helpful to create multiple posts before posting. In addition, there are numerous tools with which you can load articles in advance and have them published automatically on the dates and in the outlets of your choice.
Finally, be thoughtful. Social media can be a great place to connect with others and share useful content. Think about what others would like to see on their news feeds and what they might find interesting. Thinking about others can help you know what to post and when.
Social media will continue to be a channel that B2B companies use. With an executive presence, you can easily increase awareness and build positive brand reputation with the content that B2B executives share and create on this powerful communication channel.