Maximizing User Engagement on Social Media in B2B

In the ever-evolving world of B2B commerce, social media has emerged as an indispensable platform for building relationships, increasing brand awareness, and fostering customer engagement. While social media has long been associated with the B2C sphere, its relevance in the B2B sector cannot be underestimated.
The key to harnessing these platforms in the B2B context lies in creating strategic and engaging content that resonates with key stakeholders while maintaining high credibility and trust. In this article, we will delve into the nuances of social media engagement in B2B, drawing on key insights from recent research and industry experts. Let’s explore how businesses can navigate this dynamic landscape to forge meaningful connections.

First and foremost, to fully understand social media engagement in the B2B context, it’s important to contextualize its social environment. In B2B, social media users can be categorized as internal or external.
Internal users are professionally connected to the company and can be further divided into company users and employee users. Company users serve as spokespersons for the company and are not limited to a single individual; they can represent a department or even the entire company. Employee users are individual contributors associated with the company. They engage in content creation and have the ability to communicate in a less formal manner on social platforms.
External users can be categorized into four distinct groups: companies that utilize their organizational identity for content generation;  individuals working for current or prospective customers that represent a particularly valuable target audience for B2B marketers since they are potential influencers and decision-makers; professionals are other business-related stakeholders; civilian are individuals who have a personal interest, but not a professional interest in the company.

Marketers can leverage the presence of this large user base to create a wealth of content. In this context, in B2B, discussions about content that take place on social media generally come from credible sources, more so than in the B2C context where such comments can come from individuals unrelated to the company and may not necessarily be reliable. Along the same lines, credibility and trust are even more critical in the B2B context, so B2B companies should adopt a helpful rather than a sales-oriented approach in their social media messages and should always ensure that their content is tailored and made appealing, useful, and timely, regardless of the context or platform.

In summary, interactions and discussions on social media are even more crucial in B2B, and marketers should maximize them. It’s also essential to engage the conversation with as many users as possible.
Maximizing user engagement and interaction on social media is important because it creates social contagion effects and leads to greater brand awareness, increased preference, and better consideration. Social media discussions can also help companies strengthen their relationships with businesses that are already among their clients.

It’s clear that increasing engagement on social media is an important goal to pursue in B2B. To foster engagement, several techniques and strategies are useful. To guide you, here are some key components for a successful social media strategy:

  • Monitoring and listening to the social space.
  • Empowering and engaging employees, to extend the social media strategy beyond the marketing department.
  • Creating captivating content, including giving a “face” to the company.
  • Stimulating eWOM (electronic word-of-mouth) through influencers.
  • Evaluating and selecting channels, taking into account the characteristics of each channel and its audience.
  • Integrating social media marketing into other marketing strategies.

Sources :

Huotari, L., et al. (2015). “Analysis of content creation in social media by B2B companies.” Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing 30(6): 761-770.

Andersson, S., & Wikström, N. (2017). Why and how are social media used in a B2B context, and which stakeholders are involved?. Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing, 32(8), 1098-1108

Holliman, G., & Rowley, J. (2014). Business to business digital content marketing: Marketers’ perceptions of best practice. Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing.

Hine, M., Ji, S., Wang, Y., Deng, Q. (2020). Understanding consumer engagement with brand posts on social media: The effects of post linguistic. Electronic Commerce Research and Applications.

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