12 Social Media Tips to Drive High-Quality Traffic to Your B2B eCommerce Site
Social media should play an important part in the marketing strategy of any eCommerce brand – regardless of whether they are targeting consumers or businesses.
Yet many B2B eCommerce brands can be quick to dismiss social media platforms as being only relevant for consumer-focused businesses.
In this article, we’ll look at why social media is important for B2B eCommerce, the social media platforms that are most commonly used in B2B, and finally some tips to help drive traffic and leads from social media.
In this social media for B2B eCommerce guide you’ll discover:
- Why is social media important for B2B e-commerce?
- Which social media platforms should B2B businesses focus on?
- Tip 1: Understand the difference between B2C and B2B buyers
- Tip 2: Align your social media strategy with your business objectives
- Tip 3: Understand the competitive landscape
- Tip 4: Understand the needs of your audience
- Tip 5: Don’t forget your existing eCommerce customers
- Tip 6: Choose your social media channels, and create a social media content plan
- Tip 7: Make sure you have an interesting angle, and add value to your audience on social media
- Tip 8: Enhance with images and videos
- Tip 9: Be consistent
- Tip 10: Social media should be a two-way conversation – make sure you and your team are ready for it
- Tip 11: Make it easy for your audience to engage and share your content
- Tip 12: Always be analyzing and optimizing your posts
- Frequently Asked Questions about Social Media Marketing for B2B
Why is social media important for B2B e-commerce?
Social media is not just a channel for B2C companies - it can be used effectively by B2B companies to reach their target audiences and achieve their business goals.
Social media is important for B2B eCommerce because it helps businesses connect with customers and prospects, build relationships, and drive sales.
Some of the benefits of social media for B2B e-commerce include:
- Increasing brand awareness and reach
- Generating leads and driving sales
- Building relationships with customers and prospects
- Gathering insights about customer needs and preferences
- Enhancing customer service and support
Which social media platforms should B2B businesses focus on?
LinkedIn is often seen as the go-to social media platform for B2B businesses. And it makes sense – LinkedIn is a platform where professionals can connect with one another, and it provides an ideal environment for networking and building relationships.
But that doesn't mean that other platforms can't also be beneficial for B2B businesses. In fact, depending on your goals, you may find that established social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook are more effective for reaching your target audience. Or perhaps a more visual platform like Pinterest or Instagram is better for your brand.
The important thing is to understand where your audience is spending their time online and to tailor your social media strategy accordingly.
For example, if you're looking to engage with professionals and generate leads, LinkedIn might well be the best platform to focus on. But if you're looking to build brand awareness or drive traffic to your website, other platforms may be more effective.
It’s not recommended to spread yourself too thin across too many social networks.
Quality is better than quantity, and it’s better to invest your time in developing consistent high-quality content on a small number of social networks than producing lower-quality content across every social platform.
It’s also important to be realistic about where your business can add most value with the budget and resources you have available. TikTok may seem like a great opportunity to reach an audience with engaging vertical video content – but have you got the right people and experience to make this work for you as a business?
Play to your strengths, and make sure you choose channels where you feel confident in delivering consistent high-quality content.
Tip 1: Understand the difference between B2C and B2B buyers
It’s important to understand the difference between B2C and B2B customers and the type of content that is most relevant to them on social media.
B2C customers are typically individual consumers who purchase products for their own personal use. On the other hand, B2B customers are usually businesses or organizations that buy products or services to use in their own operations.
The common differences between the two types of consumer are:
- A B2C customer only has to consider themselves. A B2B customer may have a more complex decision-making process, that involves multiple people and departments.
- A B2C customer is more likely to be influenced by time-limited offers or emotional appeals. The typical B2B customer has a longer-term mindset and will often need logic and rationale to underpin their decision.
- A B2B customer is likely to be making a higher value purchase than a typical B2C customer, so the fear of making an incorrect decision is magnified.
So, when you're marketing your business on social media, it's important to keep these differences in mind. You'll need to tailor your approach accordingly in order to appeal to each type of buyer.
It's also important to remember that social media is just one part of the larger eCommerce picture. In order to be successful, you'll need to integrate your social media strategy with your overall eCommerce strategy.
Tip 2: Align your social media strategy with your business objectives
It’s important to make sure your eCommerce social media strategy aligns with your business objectives before you choose your social platforms and begin posting.
Without this agreed alignment at the start, you are unlikely to get the most out of your efforts, and your activity is less likely to produce the results that the business is looking for.
Questions you might want to make sure you have answered before you plan your social media campaigns include:
- What is the expectation of the social activity? What would the business like it to achieve?
- Is it an awareness campaign, a traffic campaign, or a lead generation/sales campaign?
- What are the expectations for leads/sales, and over what time period?
- Is there a particular industry or type of audience your posts need to be relevant for?
- Are there any key messages that should be included? Or things you should avoid?
Tip 3: Understand the competitive landscape on social platforms
Competitor monitoring on social media is a valuable practice for all B2B eCommerce brands – whether you’re new to social media or not.
There are tools such as the Facebook Ads Library that can help you see which ads a competitor has live at any one time, and if you don’t want to manually check – there are other tools are available that can help you monitor competitors’ organic social posts.
By keeping tabs on what your competitors are doing on social media it can help you inform your sales team on any current promotions or product developments.
But from a social media management perspective, monitoring the engagement (likes, shares, comments, retweets, etc) of competitor posts, can help you gain an understanding of what is working and what is not – which may help inform the direction you take your own social content plan.
Tip 4: Understand the specific needs of your audience, and create buying profiles and personas
When it comes to B2B social media eCommerce, understanding the specific needs of your audience is key.
With B2B eCommerce, there are likely to be a number of different decision makers within a prospect’s business.
A useful exercise is to work with teams across your business to try and understand:
- The typical buyer profile (the type of business that would be a good fit for you)
- The typical buyer personas across this buyer profile (the characteristics and needs of the people involved in the decision-making process)
For example, your typical buyer profile might be “Clothing eCommerce Businesses”.
You might create typical buyer personas for everyone that is likely to be involved in the decision-making process – such as a budget-focused CFO, an efficiency-focused Operations Manager, and a growth-focused Head of Marketing. You should include all their needs, pain points, and things that are important to them.
By putting together an overview of what is important to each of your common decision-makers, you can help ensure that your social media content plan covers everything that it needs to.
It’s telling that 87% of the most successful B2B businesses surveyed by the Content Marketing Institute said they prioritized their audiences’ informational needs over their own promotional messages.
Tip 5: Don’t forget your existing eCommerce customers
It’s all too common for businesses to focus efforts on the acquisition of new customers when they are planning their social media eCommerce strategy.
But social media is a great place to engage and build relationships with your existing customers.
Acquiring new customers costs 5 times more than retaining an existing customer – so there is absolutely a commercial benefit to using effective channels such as social media to engage with existing advocates of your brand.
Assuming you have the correct permissions from customers, some social media platforms allow you to upload your own first-party data so you can specifically target existing customers with loyalty promotions via social media ads.
Tip 6: Choose your social media channels, and create a social media content plan
You’re ready to choose your social media channels and start putting together a social media content plan when you have:
- Your business objectives for social media
- Your buying profile and audience personas
- The competitive landscape on social media
- Potential opportunities to engage with existing customers
As we touched on earlier in this article – when choosing which social media channels to post on, quality is better than quantity. It’s far better to be consistent in posting high-quality content on two or three channels than it is to spread yourself too thin.
One of the most important things you can do when you agree on your social channels is put together a social content plan that you can share within your team and across the business.
A social content plan or social content calendar is a place where you can plan in advance what you’re going to post on each social channel, each day.
Planning your social content in advance has a variety of benefits, including:
- Providing visibility across the business about what is being posted
- Helping with consistency and quality control, by avoiding rushed last-minute posts
- Improving efficiencies across the social media team
- Helping to come up with ideas, and spotting potential gaps
- Easier to delegate and share work across a team, or with an outside agency
Despite the clear benefits of planning your social content in a calendar, the 2022 report from the Content Marketing Institute suggests that only 40% of brands have a documented content plan.
Tip 7: Make sure you have an interesting angle, and add value to your audience on social media
Media consumption on mobile devices has skyrocketed in the last decade, with the average US adult spending 252 minutes on their mobile devices each day in 2021. A lot of this time is spent on social media.
It’s more likely that your B2B eCommerce customers will be viewing your social content on a mobile device rather than a desktop. This has implications.
Not only are your posts fighting for attention with other posts in your customers social feed – but your customers can also be interrupted by notifications from other apps and things happening in their surroundings.
To keep your audience’s attention, it’s important to make sure that your content provides genuine value to your audience, that the flow of your content is engaging, and that the content you share is not dry or over-complicated.
Tip 8: Enhance your posts with images and videos
Twitter estimates that tweets with video get up to 10 times the engagement of tweets without. It’s also suggested that adding images to your tweets can increase your retweet rate by up to 150%.
Buzzsumo estimates that Facebook posts with images get up to 2.3 times the engagement than those without.
Adding relevant images and videos is clearly important to supercharging your social media eCommerce strategy.
When creating images or videos, try to use a consistent colour scheme that is appropriate for your brand. It can be useful to agree brand guidelines for the team to adhere to, to make sure that there is an element of consistency to the images and videos you publish.
Tip 9: Be consistent
It’s easy to underestimate the importance of consistency when publishing on social media.
However, if you want to build credibility with your audience, you need to be consistent in both your posting schedule and the style and tone of the content you post.
If you're inconsistent with your tone, style of content or leave a social media platform without an update for several weeks or more, people might question your credibility as a business.
Luckily, it’s easy to put some simple processes in place to help deliver consistency across your social media channels:
- Don’t spread yourself too thin. Focus on a small number of social media channels that you can consistently post high-quality content on.
- Implement a social media content calendar, so you’re always planning for the future.
- Work across the business to implement a style guide for your tone and imagery across social media, and other marketing channels.
Tip 10: Social media should be a two-way conversation – make sure you and your team are ready for it.
The importance of engaging with your audience and replying to comments cannot be overstated.
By engaging with your audience, you are showing that you care about their feedback and that you are interested in having a two-way conversation. This builds trust and strengthens the relationship between buyer and business - which is critical for B2B eCommerce.
Comments also provide an opportunity for businesses to learn more about their customers.
By reading through the comments and taking note of common issues or concerns, businesses can better understand what their audience wants and needs. This information can then be used to improve products, services, and the overall customer experience.
40% of consumers expect a business to respond within an hour of them making a comment on social media - so make sure your team is ready to engage with your audience!
Tip 11: Make it easy for your audience to engage and share your content
When you're creating content, it's important to think about how you can get customers and prospects sharing your content with their own networks on social channels.
With the content you produce on social channels, one way to do this is by including a CTA at the end of your posts. This can be something as simple as asking your readers if they agree with you, or if there is anything they would add to the points you raised.
On your website or blog, you can also make it easy for your audience to share your content with sharing buttons. This will allow people to share your content with their network in just a few clicks.
Tip 12: Always be analyzing and optimizing your posts.
It’s important that you review your social media performance at regular intervals and take stock of which posts have worked the best, and which maybe haven’t performed as anticipated.
If you’re monitoring and recording results, it can help you learn which type of posts you should do more of, and which type of posts you should potentially stop publishing.
It’s also worth looking at tools that can help you analyze and optimize your social media posting around particular times of the day, and days of the week for optimum engagement.
Frequently Asked Questions about Social Media Marketing for B2B
How often should B2B brands post on social media?
It depends on your brand, your goals, and your audience. There is no one-size-fits-all answer.
Quality and consistency are the most important factors. If you decide to post three times per week on each social platform, that is great – and preferable to posting every day for two weeks, and then posting nothing for a week.
The ‘etiquette’ for how often you post will also depend on the platforms you decide to use. For example, posting 10 times per day on Twitter isn’t too unusual. But posting this frequently on LinkedIn is less common.
What is the best social channel for generating B2B leads?
There's no easy answer when it comes to the best social channel for generating B2B leads. It really varies by industry and what type of products or services you're selling.
However, LinkedIn is generally a good platform to start with for most businesses – although it's important to consider the pros and cons of other available social media channels also.
What are the biggest challenges in social media marketing for B2B brands?
Social media can be a great way to connect with potential customers and build relationships for B2B eCommerce businesses.
However, it can also be a challenge to stand out from the crowd and make sure your social media marketing is effective. With so many brands competing for attention, it can be difficult to cut through the noise and ensure that your target audience sees your content.
But by following the tips in this article, your social media marketing for B2B eCommerce has a stronger chance of delivering success.