According to this 2018 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, "more than half of marketers who've invested at least 3 years in social media marketing report that they gained new partnerships."
However, did you know that B2B marketers are more likely (57%) to use social media to grow partnerships than B2C marketers (45%)?
Yes, B2B marketing has changed significantly over the years. According to stats, 84% of C-suite and VP-level buyers are influenced by social media when purchasing. Another report says that 55% of buyers search for product/vendor information on social media.
Clearly, social media is no longer optional for B2B enterprises who want to succeed.
The Omobono What Work Where Report, 2017 reveals that, “UAE is home to one of the most mobile-friendly, digitally aware audiences on earth. Such high levels of digital engagement encourage and sustain a growing social influence too.”
Recognising the importance of social media for B2B marketing, the majority of B2B enterprises in the UAE plan to spend at least 20 per cent of their marketing budget on social media.
Are you a B2B marketer in the UAE looking for inspiration to boost your marketing ROI? Building a robust social media presence on the right platforms is key!
Choosing the Right Platform for Your Social Media Campaigns
Utilising the right social media platforms is crucial to the success of your B2B social campaign. According to the above mentioned Omobono report, in the UAE, LinkedIn is the preferred B2B platform used by 97% of local businesses, followed closely by Facebook (88%), and Twitter (69%).
But, which social media platform should you focus your marketing strategy on? Confused? Here are a few tips to kick start your social media strategy:
- The first step after you identify your target audience is to find out which platforms they are likely to use at various times of the day. Statista reveals that marketers find LinkedIn to be the most effective social media platform for B2B. However, that does not mean you can ignore Facebook. According to a recent report, in 2018, 97% of the population (over 9 million people) of the UAE was active on Facebook.
- Next, create engaging content for your audience that is informative and not promotional-oriented. Also, make use of pictures and experiment with content formats such as listicles and infographics to drive more engagement.
- In addition to posting original content, use your knowledge to take part in conversations on various social media platforms to establish yourself as a thought leader within your industry.
- Make use of paid options to expand your post reach. According to this report, 71% of the most successful B2B content marketers use paid methods to distribute content instead of relying on organic search to have their content seen.
And now, let’s dive into individual platforms.
Did you know that LinkedIn is responsible for 80% of all the B2B leads coming from social media?
LinkedIn’s power lies in the fact that it lets you connect with new people and forge professional relationships. From a marketing point of view, it allows you to run highly targeted marketing campaigns filtered by location, role, industry, company, and more. LinkedIn also happens to be the right platform to establish your brand authority by engaging in industry-specific groups.
Here are six ways to optimise LinkedIn for your B2B marketing plan:
- Complete your profile: Create a compelling and thorough business profile to increase your visibility in searches.
- Go premium: A small fee can unlock several features such as InMail that enables you to send messages directly to LinkedIn members, whether they’re on your network or not.
- Empower your research: Use LinkedIn as a research tool to find people who are currently at a company or those with specific job titles.
- Maximise your lead generation: Use the Lead Collection feature in LinkedIn ads to lead members directly to your landing page with a contact button.
- Join niche groups: Find a few groups that resonate with your customers’ industry sectors and make your presence felt by taking part in ongoing discussions with thoughtful comments. We also suggest that you post content at least once a week to stay top of mind with your prospects.
- Market yourself as an individual: Social networking is all about people. So, market yourself as the representative of your brand. Once you become a trusted leader in your industry, it will automatically lead to more trust placed in your brand.
How to do it?
By sharing relevant updates, posts and participating in groups. You can expand your reach by mentioning influencers in your posts, too. It could be a snippet of a chat with a leader or congratulating them on an achievement that will compel them to share or comment on your post, boosting your visibility.
Also, don’t forget to engage your readers by replying to their comments in a timely manner.
- Be regular: All the above tips are useless if you are not consistent with your social media strategy. Create a content calendar to keep your plan on track. Using a tool like Trello could help.
Now that you have aced LinkedIn, here's a little bit about Facebook and Twitter.
As mentioned before, there are millions of active Facebook users in the UAE. However, Facebook is no longer the best place to build a community for your brand using organic reach.
Recently, Facebook reduced its organic reach to less than 2% to do away with the clutter in their users’ feed. Therefore, if you want to make a presence on Facebook, paid advertising is your best bet. But, note that Facebook updates its ad formats quite frequently and you must remain in the know to derive the best results from your paid advertising campaigns.
Coming to Twitter, a recent report found that, “57 per cent of users turn to Twitter for news (61 per cent among daily users), with 81 per cent believing that news spreads faster on it, and 78 per cent saying they can follow developments in real-time. Users in the UAE and KSA also stated that they share information about products and brands on Twitter: they both publish (84 per cent) and read other users’ opinions about products and services (91 per cent).”
As you can see, Twitter offers a great opportunity to B2B enterprises to make announcements, share information, and interact with their customers in real-time. By tweeting in Arabic, local brands in the MENA region can further increase their engagement in the Arabic-speaking communities.
Social media is no longer an option for B2B enterprises who want to forge trusting relationships with their clients and emerge as industry leaders, it's a must. Consequently, in 2019, most B2B marketers in the UAE will focus on digital marketing as part of their marketing strategy, and most of their efforts will be concentrated on LinkedIn, followed by Facebook and Twitter.
However, regardless of the social media platform you choose for advertising, remember these points to succeed in your campaign:
- Start with a well-defined target audience.
- Set your targets for measurable results.
- Understand each social media platform to know how it can help you achieve your goals.
At Blue Beetle, we have helped several B2B businesses like you kickstart their social media advertising campaigns with measurable results. In addition to researching your audience and finding their favoured social media hangouts, we also help you craft a meticulous social media strategy aligned with your business goals. Get in touch to know how we can transform your business.