In a digitally-transformed world, your ideal prospects are likely to meet your company on social media long before they meet one-on-one with someone from your sales team.
For many companies, this massive change in behavior presents many challenges. But for the companies that are at the top of their game on social media planning, you’ll be able to attract the right people, in the right places, at the right time, and most importantly: in the right context.
But where do you start?
Understanding Just How Pervasive Social Media Is
TechTarget defines social media as “a collective term for websites and applications that focus on communication, community-based input, interaction, content-sharing and collaboration.”
And the latest research from the Pew Foundation showed how Americans use social media:
- YouTube (81%)
- Facebook (69%)
- Instagram (40%)
- LinkedIn or Pinterest (30%)
- Snapchat (25%)
- TikTok, Twitter, or WhatsApp (21%)
- Nextdoor (13%)
So given this context, social media planning needs to be on the front-burner for most B2B tech startups.
Social Media Strategy vs. Social Media Planning
A social media strategy should be based on customer insight research: buyer personas, buyer's journey mapping, and jobs-to-be-done.
A social media plan gets way more tactical, based on what was learned from the customer insight -- especially buyer personas -- and details
- buyer persona
- buyer's journey stage (awareness, consideration, decision)
- format (video, audio, image, text)
- length (long-form, short-form, micro-content)
- internal/external subject matter expert(s)
How to Develop Your Social Media Strategy and Plans
Social media strategy input comes from customer insight research.
Social media planning input comes from your marketing strategist (either internal or freelance/agency) and your internal subject matter expert(s).
The strategy and plan should focus on setting and achieving SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timebound) and building your brand by primarily promoting your thought leadership content offers.
The Social Media Platforms Prioritized by B2B Tech Startups
The smaller the marketing team and resources/investment level, the more you need to be hyper-focused about your process.
For example, which of your buyer personas is your true primary buyer persona? (typically, which has the most economic value)
And from the customer insight research, especially the buyer persona research, what is the dominant social media platform?
Then within that platform, which dimensions matter most in terms of hashtags, group memberships, and other defining parameters?
Most tech startups will find their buyer personas on LinkedIn and YouTube, but where on each of these platforms should you focus your efforts?
And if you were to add one or two additional social media platforms to the mix, which ones?
Let your buyer persona research give you a data-backed answer.
When sending visitors from a social media post to a website URL, you should know what you're trying to accomplish (the goal) and how you'll measure success.
A Few Cautionary Notes
A lot of social media branding is harder to measure.
Right now, we're living through an era where much of the venture capital flowing into startups is chasing easy to measure vanity metrics that don't move the needle on actual demand generation that leads to revenue growth.
The retirement of third-party cookie tracking (Apple already there; Google next) will force this issue and bring about way more prioritization of brand building starting on social media.
To be effective on social media, your company culture really needs to support a desire for your company to be seen as the go-to subject matter experts and thought leaders in your space. Without this, much of the social media planning and strategy will be driven by egos, internal politics, and braggadocio.
How do you plan social media for your B2B-focused tech startup? Let me know in the comments.
Topics:- B2B Digital Marketing Strategy