It always seems to be the B2C campaigns that are talked about. Big branding campaigns with the goal of reaching hundreds of millions of people.
B2B marketing typically has a different goal. Reach a targeted audience and drive demand, leads or sales conversations.
That’s why we decided to highlight the best B2B social media marketing campaigns to learn from in 2017. B2B social media marketing is different. Here are the companies, brands, and people doing it best.
1. Marketo Uses Images with Quotes to Get More Buzz and Attention
This is a strategy that tends to work really well for B2B social media campaigns. Create an image with a thought-provoking quote from a customer, influencer or speaker to get more shares and drive traffic to your content. Here is a great example from Marketo using a quote image to promote their infographic. They even use the hashtag #WednesdayWisdom and make it a weekly campaign!
— Marketo (@marketo) November 8, 2017
2. HCL Technologies Delivers a Tweet Chat with Great Imagery and Panelists
Tweet Chats are a great strategy for B2B marketers. It creates a mini event on Twitter that spreads as more people add to the conversation. HCL did an amazing job with their #STinsights chat by inviting influential panelists and by using well designed imagery to bring more attention to the chat.
— CTO Straight Talk (@CTOStraightTalk) November 8, 2017
3. MarketStar Tells Their Story Like a Blockbuster Movie
Hollywood has had decades to perfect the art of storytelling. There is a reason a new superhero or zombie movie comes out every other year. They always seem to have the same characters and storylines, yet millions of people flock to theaters every year to go see these flicks. Can you apply one of your favorite movie categories to your B2B social media marketing campaigns? MarketStar does this with great success through the story of Zombie Leads! They created amazing graphics to tell the story and use language like “spread fear” and “disinfect.” All of this combined allows them to tell a B2B story by pulling at the heartstrings that Hollywood has been cultivating for years.
— MarketStar (@MarketStar) October 30, 2017
4. Qubole Creates Images with a Call To Action to Promote Their Webinars
Marketers have been perfecting the art of Call-to-Actions (CTAs) since the beginning of advertising. Social media marketers normally add CTAs to the text of the post and then use a generic image to accompany the post. Qubole takes it one step further in their campaign by designing an image that includes a big and simple CTA. Most social media users are quickly scrolling their feeds and looking at images first. Including the CTA in the image will guarantee more clickthroughs and conversions. Qubole gets extra credit for this one as they included the logo of their webinar partner (Amazon Web Services) to gain even more social proof in the post.
— Qubole (@qubole) October 31, 2017
5. Lenovo Leverages Their Relationships with Influencers to Penetrate the Education Market
Many B2B markets have organizations and associations that have already built a massive amount of trust and credibility with your audience. Build relationships with these influencers and then be sure to mention them in your social media campaigns. Lenovo does just that by partnering with NAF (formerly known as National Academy Foundation) and MIT’s App Inventor program. Educators know and trust these organizations, which means Lenovo’s social media campaigns get more attention when those partners are mentioned.
— Lenovo Education (@LenovoEducation) November 3, 2017
6. WTIA Highlights the People Speaking at an Upcoming Event
As marketers, we sometimes forget that social media is about people. Since the early days of Facebook, social networks have been all about sharing pictures of friends, family and the people in our lives. Here’s a great example from the Washington Technology Industry Association using pictures of the speakers at an upcoming event to get attention to their social media campaign.
— WTIA (@WTIA) October 30, 2017
7. Acquisio Uses the “In Case You Missed It” [ICYMI] Campaign to Leverage Event Content
Events and conferences tend to be the lifeblood of B2B marketing. A huge cadre of industry professionals get together to discuss the latest trends, vendors and strategies. Of course, massive amounts of content are generated but not everybody is able to make it. This is where the “In Case You Missed It” [ICYMI] campaign comes in. Acquisio does a great job using these campaigns to gain visibility for their brand from the events they have attended.
— Acquisio (@acquisio) November 3, 2017
In fact, social media and event marketing go hand-in-hand in more ways than promotion and visibility. Using the event hashtag to target leads can help increase the ROI of event sponsorship budgets – or even save the cost of sponsorship altogether! Dynamic Signal did this with a personalized event follow up strategy.
8. Jesse Randall is Brutally Honest to Earn Trust as a B2B Consultant
Your brand is yourself when it comes to B2B consulting. Growing a social presence as an individual instead of a brand allows you to be more honest and thought provoking than typical brands on social media. Jesse Randall, Founder of DripDrip and Deviant Strategy, is brutally honest in his social media campaigns to earn trust with his audience.
— Jesse Randall (@deviantstrat) September 11, 2017
9. Eventbrite Creates Dead Simple Content
There’s a reason the “For Dummies” books have stood the test of time through almost three decades. Everybody wants to find an easy way to learn complex topics. For event organizers, the wild world of Facebook Advertising can be daunting. That’s why Eventbrite created a dead simple cheat sheet for event organizers called Facebook Advertising 101. Simplicity stands out in the noisy echo chambers of social media. This is a great example of a simple campaign, with a simple title, simple content and a simple high contrast image to promote it.
— Eventbrite (@eventbrite) November 9, 2017
10. Search Marketing Expo Records Video at Previous Events to Promote Upcoming Events
Video is the talk of the town when it comes to social media marketing in 2017. Events provide a great opportunity to capture video. There tend to be interesting backdrops and lots of people to talk to. Search Marketing Expo provides a nice example of how simple one of these videos can be. Notice the backdrop they picked. It has lots of colors, signage and dynamic activity with people moving around.
— SearchMarketingExpo (@smx) November 8, 2017
11. KuppingerCole Retweets Their Analysts to Create a Flywheel Effect for Promoting Their Content
In 2017 every social network gives more visibility to content that receives more engagement. B2B marketers have an advantage to get that flywheel spinning since many of our employees are sharing the same content that our brands share on social media. ReTweet your employees and internal influencers to get even more traffic to your content. KuppingerCole does an awesome job with this type of social media campaign. You can see they’ve ReTweeted their co-founder’s Tweet about an upcoming webinar to get even more exposure.
— Joerg Resch (@joergresch) November 9, 2017
12. Heinz Marketing Gives Their Content a Longer Life with the “From Our Archives” Campaign
Social media is a whirlwind of real-time and newsworthy content. But most B2B marketers are not doing enough to share their old content. We put so much time into creating great content, then promote and share it for about a month. You already have data on your old content. See what pieces have done the best and are still relevant. Then share them! Heinz Marketing does this via their “From Our Archives” campaign. It’s pretty clear that a marketing plan and budget template should have a much longer shelf life than just a few months.
From Our Archives: A marketing plan and budget template for you https://t.co/FSZ50z2guj
— Matt Heinz (@HeinzMarketing) November 10, 2017
13. SCIEX Uses Templates to Ensure All of Their Blog Posts Have Good Imagery to Share
B2B marketers tend to invest heavily in blogging. This is an easy type of content to create since the bulk of content in a blog post is text. Social media campaigns are a necessary channel to ensure those blog posts get traffic and visibility. The challenge is that your social media campaigns need to have good imagery in order to get attention and drive traffic. SCIEX has solved this by coming up with a template that they use to promote all of their blogs. They take the photograph that they use within the blog post and add a header with the blog title, subhead and company logo. This template can be used for all of their blog posts and will always look different because the underlying photo changes.
— SCIEX (@SCIEXnews) November 2, 2017
14. John Ferguson Smart Nails the Pinned Tweet
Twitter allows every handle to pin a Tweet at the top of their profile. We highly recommend every B2B marketer has a pinned Tweet at all times. This will be the most viewed of all your Tweets and gives you the chance to highlight your most important content. John Ferguson Smart uses the Pinned Tweet flawlessly to promote one of the latest blog posts for his consulting practice. He came up with a great title for his blog post that is relevant to almost every professional team. This title is used for the Tweet text. More important is the image he used. He uses the maximum width supported for an in-stream photo (506 px) and has a large height. The post basically takes up everything above the fold on his profile. The image content is great as well. A simple venn diagram that makes it really easy to understand what readers will find in the blog post. Also notice how none of the image is cut off in Twitter’s rendering.
— John Ferguson Smart (@wakaleo) May 2, 2017
15. Digital Signage Today Makes the Most of Halloween
You typically see this more in B2C social media campaigns but that doesn’t mean B2B marketers can’t take advantage of the buzz surrounding holidays. Digital Signage Today shows us a well executed campaign a few days before Halloween. The image is amazing with a simple “Happy Halloween” message that is relevant to their brand. They use the #digitalsignage hashtag to gain attention in their industry and even tie in the “horror story” message. A campaign like this is hard to miss when everybody is already thinking about Halloween.
— DigitalSignageToday (@DigSignageToday) October 23, 2017
16. John Maxwell Team Live Streams Their Lunch & Learns
Live streaming is massive on social media these days. All of the major social networks are ensuring that live streams get the most visibility in their news feed. Many B2B marketers are already doing live video content via webinars. Can you take that same content and put it on a live stream? John Maxwell Team does this to get maximum visibility to their Lunch & Learns. Lunch is a great time to do these live streams as many professionals eat at their desk and are looking for some content to consume during that time.
Gaining leadership insight is a lot like mining for gold. You don't set out to look for the dirt. You look for the nuggets. We invite you to discover Leadership Gold, one of John’s books for every leader at every level. REGISTER NOW » https://t.co/SgnbsmoMJ6 « pic.twitter.com/D06NmXNYex
— John Maxwell Team (@JohnMaxwellTeam) November 13, 2017
17. Salesforce Tells the Story of Their Customers
Case studies are at the core of almost any B2B content creation strategy. Salesforce changes the game by going way further than a case study when talking about their customers. They highlight the personal biographies of their customers and talk about how Salesforce changed their life. Case Studies typically talk about the results a business saw from a product or service. This Salesforce campaign focuses on the person who actually uses Salesforce. Remember that social media is about people. We come to social networks to learn about the lives of our friends, family and colleagues. This social media campaign does just that!
After high school, Stephanie's first job was in the cotton fields. She felt a responsibility to herself and her family to strive for a bigger future. This is her Trailblazer story. 👇 pic.twitter.com/zgtrAcTMZD
— Salesforce (@salesforce) November 13, 2017
Key Tips and Takeaways
Social media marketing is an ever evolving beast. Follow these leaders in B2B social media marketing to ensure you are using the latest best practices for your campaigns. I’m sure 2018 will bring a whole new slew of tactics and strategies. For now, focus on the following ideas to take your B2B social media campaigns to the next level:
- Create and share images with quotes.
- Host Tweet Chats using well designed imagery.
- Wrap your story within Hollywood’s major movie categories.
- Post images with clear calls-to-action.
- Leverage your relationships with influencers.
- Highlight the people speaking at your events.
- Create “In Case You Missed It” content after events.
- Be brutally honest from your personal profile to build trust.
- Come up with dead simple content like the “For Dummies” books.
- Record video at the events you attend.
- Retweet and share your employees’ posts.
- Post old content “from the archives”.
- Use templates for easy imagery to promote your blog posts.
- Have a great Pinned Tweet.
- Share stories relevant to upcoming holidays.
- Live stream your webinar content.
- Tell the personal story of your customers.
Crafting highly engaging campaigns is half the battle when it comes to B2B social media marketing, but make sure your content is reaching the right audience. Find out how Socedo can help you build a targeted following in a free 7-day trial.