While social media may be the darling of retail and B2C brands, due to its ability to get in front of a wide range of shoppers and consumers, the best B2B brands on social media know they can’t ignore the power of a channel that is growing in importance.
66% of B2B marketers report that LinkedIn is effective, 66% say they plan to boost their organic use of Instagram, and 56% rate YouTube as important to a brand’s success (Articulate). This is likely due to the fact that decision-makers across industries are active on social media. In fact, 84% of C-level and VP-level buyers are influenced by social media, with many spending about 760 minutes a week on Facebook.
The best way to reach these critical B2B decision-makers is to consider their habits, behaviors, and needs, just as you would with a B2C audience. By taking the time to craft a B2B social media strategy that will resonate with your demographic, you can use social channels to drive lead generation, consideration, and purchases – but first, you must understand what message to send when, and how best to deliver it.
Did you know that 39% of B2B industry professionals list the inability to reach the right people at the right time as their biggest obstacle in using social media effectively?
If your brand is one of those 39%, or you are looking for new ways to target and engage your audience – read on for successfull campaign examples from six of best B2B brands on social media right now.
#1 Hubspot is a Resource for Marketing Decision Makers
Source: Hubspot Facebook
It is often difficult to market to marketers – they know the tricks of our trade, and aren’t as easily influenced as other consumers. But Hubspot understands their target audience, and focuses their marketing around providing valuable resources to their consumers. The tactic of using social ads to promote their “gated content” and drive lead generation may seem commonplace now, but Hubspot leveraged this tactic early on – helping them position themselves as the go-to destination for marketing resources like content calendars, the latest trends, and free webinars. As a result (at least partly) of their ability to drive brand awareness and leads through social media, the company has seen impressive results, with sales growing from $255,000 in total revenue in 2007 to $15.6 million in 2010 and $513 million in total yearly revenue in 2018.
PRIORITY PLATFORM: Facebook and Instagram Advertising
TAKEAWAY: Be a resource. Hubspot has been successful by providing value with free resources, productivity tools, and thought leadership for their target audience. In turn, marketers identify Hubspot as a go-to source for this valuable information, making Hubspot widely known as one of the best b2b brands on social media today.
#2 Slack Appeals to Different Audiences
Source: Slack Twitter
Slack is a workplace communication and collaboration platform that appeals to companies large and small. Like many brands, Slack uses their social media to appeal to different subsets of their target audience. They craft content that covers a number of different topics, including event coverage, third-party articles on work/life balance, productivity tips, and company news – and they leave out topics that could possibly alienate parts of its audience. For example, Slack doesn’t post about managing large teams, since this wouldn’t be relevant to small businesses.
PRIORITY PLATFORM: Twitter
TAKEAWAY: Strive for inclusion. Companies are frequently trying to reach multiple audiences on their social channels. The best b2b brands on social media with wide demographics are careful to stay away from content that will turn off any one particular segment of their audience.
#3 Shopify Makes a Splash with Video
Source: Shopify Facebook
Shopify is an e-commerce and point-of-sale platform for both small and enterprise businesses that makes selling online easy. Like Hubspot, they provide a large bank of educational content on their website that aims to help entrepreneurs get started with e-commerce and digital marketing.
On social media, Shopify shares a wealth of video content to their audiences on YouTube (over 200,000 subscribers) and Facebook (3.5 million followers), and then uses a multichannel approach to increase their reach. Content is shared across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. For example, in the post shown above, Shopify engages their audience with a Facebook ad that links to a landing page inspiring entrepreneurs with how easy it is to start a t-shirt business.
PRIORITY PLATFORM: Facebook and YouTube, with multichannel distribution
TAKEAWAY: Prioritize video. Shopify used their large body of video content to generate leads and grow their customer base. B2B brands can really stand out by providing educational – and entertaining – video for their customers and clients.
#4 Square Makes it All About Their Clients
Square is another platform that attracts entrepreneurs, thanks to making it easy for businesses to accept credit card payments. As the largest mobile payment processor in the world, Square caters to a variety of businesses, including cafes, restaurants, boutiques, and more.
Square offers plenty of appealing features, like competitive rates, but rather than touting their products and services, Square puts the focus of their content on the customers. Square taps into the #shopsmall trend by highlighting their customers’ businesses and talking about their customers use Square products. This positions Square as a supporter of the little guys, and helps build positive brand sentiment on Instagram.
PRIORITY PLATFORM: Instagram
TAKEAWAY: It’s Not About You. Show how much you care about your customers by promoting them on your social channels.
#5 Airtable Masters the Balance Between Aspirational + Behind the Scenes Content
Airtable is a cloud-based service that takes the pain out spreadsheets. Their aesthetically pleasing and intuitive platform allows users to build spreadsheets easily, and collaborate and organize their work.
It can be tempting for B2B brands on social media to spread their message everywhere, but Airtable takes a more strategic approach. Their Instagram profile page features 10 static posts that explain who they are, who they serve, and why visitors should care. This evergreen content also serves as a landing page for their Instagram ads, which all reflect a similar creative aesthetic.
The second piece of Airtable’s Instagram strategy is more about showing the personality behind their attractive branding. Airtable frequently publishes Instagram Stories, sharing behind-the-scenes content, staff features, and in-the-moment posts that humanize the brand and connect with audiences.
PRIORITY PLATFORM: Instagram (Paid and Organic) and Instagram Stories
TAKEAWAY: Show your personality! The most engaging brands show more than one side. Use different platforms and features to build out a 360° view of your brand.
#6 Shutterstock Shows Customers What Can Be Created with Stock Photos
In early 2019, we were all talking about the disaster that was Fyre Festival. Shutterstock capitalized on this trending topic with their social media campaign, Fyrestock. Fyrestock was a video parody of Fyre Festival’s promotional video – made completely with Shutterstock’s own creative assets. The 30-second campaign featured just over $2,000 worth of stock photos and video and earned over 2 million views in the first week alone.
While this timely video earned Shutterstock the award for Best Limited Budget Campaign in The Drum’s 2019 B2B Awards, it is just one part of a larger initiative to show just how much can be created with stock photography. The overarching tagline, “It’s not stock, it’s Shutterstock” articulates that customers can achieve high-quality, low-cost creative solutions with Shutterstock.
PRIORITY PLATFORMS: YouTube, with multichannel distribution
TAKEAWAY: Inspire your audience and show off a little. Any B2B brand on social media that helps people create can use their marketing to inspire their audience. Clients are more likely to purchase your goods or services if they have a good idea about what they can achieve.
While using social media to market to other businesses can present some challenges, it is impossible to ignore this omnipresent marketing channel. With 42% of the world’s population now using some form of social media, there is a good chance that decision-makers in your industry spend time on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Twitter.
Reaching those decision-makers requires a strategic approach to content and distribution that provides value to your target audience. When done well, 62% of enterprise employees “agree that social selling enables them to build stronger, more authentic relationships with customers and prospects.”
The best B2B brands on social media who achieving stellar marketing results do so by using attractive creative, well-rounded content, educational resources, and a focus on their community and customers.
What B2B brands do you follow on social media? Are there any that you would add to this list?
Looking for even more inspiration on B2B social media marketing? Check out our article on the 10 Best Brands on LinkedIn. And to learn more about the latest social media platforms, join us at one of our upcoming social media strategy conferences.