With almost 4 billion people on social media, the audience scale and exchange of information on this digital medium provides an enormous opportunity for leaders and organizations. B2C organizations and leaders were the first to adopt social media extensively, but B2B players have increasingly entered the arena over the last several years. As B2B organizations navigate how to create and refine their social media marketing strategy, it’s also important for B2B executives and leaders to be included in the mix.
Many buying processes start with research and social media plays a big part in the beginning stages of the buyer’s journey. In fact, 81% of buyers are more likely to engage with brands that are active on social media channels. The presence that executives have on social media is also important. 77% of people noted that they would rather purchase from a company where executives were active on social media. While these statistics alone are compelling, there are many other reasons why B2B executives should have a social media presence. Here, we explore some of those reasons, what types of content to post and additional considerations.
Why B2B Executives Should Be on Social Media
Social media is an excellent place to further establish yourself as a thought leader. Social media offers succinct opportunities to introduce others to your thinking and provides a pathway into deeper dives of topics that you address and have expertise in. These three things can help get you going in the right direction.
Awareness and Engagement
Social media platforms help you start and facilitate conversations. Begin a thread on a topic of interest to you and your audience or jump in to provide value-added thoughts or encouragements on conversations already in motion. Social media groups are also great ways to communicate with others. On Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other platforms, users can form groups that center on a topic or theme that matches the interest of someone. For example, there are many B2B marketing groups on LinkedIn that users can join and interact with.
Starting conversations and communicating with others is a first step to building relationships and adding new connections. For B2B professionals, LinkedIn is a foundational place to be for growing one’s network and opening the door to more and more opportunities.
A strong social media presence for an executive also benefits the company they lead. As an extension of your brand, you can communicate key company values. Through posts and engagement, your connections and potential prospects can gain a better understanding of who your company is and how it may help them address challenges they face.
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What B2B Executives Should Post on Social Media
As mentioned before, thought leadership content shapes an individual’s, and by extension, an organization’s brand. Whether via sharing original content and positions or adding thoughts and commentary related to content contributed by others, social media is a tool that help you inform how prospects, customers and the broader market perceives you. Take positions on topics and questions and back them up with evidence and your practical experience.
Articles That Resonate
B2B leaders consume a variety of content daily, both internally and through external publications such as Forbes, The New York Times and industry-specific publications. Share articles that resonate with you and your brand or even share your perspectives about articles that you may disagree with. Show your prospects and customers how you think and that you value their perspectives too. This could include current trends, strategies to consider or tips and tricks.
Company News and Content
Sharing or resharing company content and posts can help drive traffic to your company’s website. You might have a following that surpasses the amount your company account has, or it might be that your network reaches a wider, more diverse audience than those that follow your company pages. This can help to increase awareness for and support your brand.
Periodically sharing content related to your personal life can help to humanize you in the minds of those you interact with on social media. This could be a job update, a trip you’ve just taken or an accomplishment by someone in your family. People want to follow people, not robots.
Additional Things to Consider
Being real and open with your followers matters. Not only is your social media a reflection of yourself, but also your company. Being authentic ensures that your audience is getting to know the real you.
While social media may not be at the top of your to-do list, it should still be a priority. You don’t have to post every day but do stick to a schedule that is manageable for you. Many find it helpful to create multiple posts in advance of publishing them. Additionally, there are numerous tools that allow you to pre-load posts and have them automatically published on the dates and in the outlets of your choosing.
Lastly, be thoughtful. Social media can be a great place to connect with others and share useful content. Consider what others want to see in their newsfeeds and what they might find interesting. Thinking about others can help you in knowing what to post and when.
Social media will continue to be a channel that B2B organizations utilize. With an executive presence, you can easily increase awareness and create a positive brand reputation with the content that B2B executives share and create in this powerful channel for communication.