Social media for business can be daunting when you're tasked with creating relevant, engaging posts that will draw your audience to your site. We all know the feeling of sitting in front of an empty Facebook post composer, not sure where to go next!
When you get stuck, use this checklist guide to keep your gears moving, and your leads flowing.
Social Media for Business: 3 Best Practices
1. Define a Specific Target Audience
Rule #1 of social media for business is defining a specific target audience (alternatively, building your buyer personas). You're not trying to get EVERYONE'S attention, so don't make that your end goal. Aim to get the attention of your best buyers above all else.
2. Create + Share Interesting Content
Rule #2 of business-focused social media activity is creating & sharing interesting content that is valuable to your target audience. The content you share doesn't have to be created by you - in fact, research shows it's best to do a 10-4-1 split of social media content (10 pieces of other people's content, 4 of your blog posts, 1 of your premium offers).
Sharing content created by others demonstrates humility and a true desire to help your customers, not just promote your own content.
3. Be Consistent
Rule #3 is consistency. Consistent updates, consistent sharing, consistent branding, consistent voice. You want your posts to be easily recognizable and unique. Use the checklist below to make sure you're posting frequently and consistently.
You don't have to be posting frequently on ALL of the networks below - if you're short on time, try to focus on the ones your buyer personas use (for example, manufacturing clients are extremely unlikely to be browsing Pinterest every night). The ones you do pick, however, should be handled with all of these best practices.
Social Media for Business Checklist
Below is information to act as a checklist with tips for the following social networks:
Additionally, we've included some general tips and guidelines to ensure success across all social media platforms.
Check These Boxes Before You Post:⬜ Define your target audience including items such as:
- Age range
- Industry / Company
- Education Level
- Company Revenue
- Company Size
⬜ Identify the problems that they might be having, and be mindful of your products / services that could solve their problems. This is a good way to decide where to begin with content production.
⬜ Outline commonly asked questions, and brainstorm ways you could utilize social media platforms to answer those questions.⬜ Create informative content to share.
- Outline a content strategy that maps out how frequently you'll be posting, as well as the topics that you'll be writing about.
- Plan out longer form, downloadable premium content offerings to share on your site (think: whitepapers and eBooks) to capture leads.
6 Boxes to Check for Optimal B2B Facebook Posting
⬜ Post your created resources to Facebook AT LEAST weekly.
⬜ Promote these posts using the boost tool on Facebook to expand the reach.
⬜ Tag relevant people and pages in third party posts to expand reach and grow a network.
⬜ Use the events tool in Facebook to promote company events and encourage attendance.
⬜ Engage with the audience in a timely manner when they comment on your posts.
⬜ End posts with a question to help increase the likelihood of engagement.
Check These 7 Boxes to Kill it on B2B Twitter
⬜ Optimize your Twitter bio utilizing relevant industry hashtags to be seen by members of your industry exploring Twitter.
⬜ Use videos and graphics frequently to capture your audience's attention.
⬜ Retweet posts from industry thought leaders and your followers. Be sure to quote tweet when you can add something valuable to the conversation!
⬜ Use hashtags provided for industry events, like trade shows.
⬜ Use tools like Twitter polls to increase engagement.
⬜ Include a clear call-to-action when posting resources from your company site.
⬜ Monitor your mentions, responding when helpful to encourage engagement.
Check Off These 5 Boxes and Stand Out on B2B LinkedIn
⬜ Establish LinkedIn profiles for your business and important thought leaders at your company. Have individuals share company resources to their personal networks.
⬜ Connect with prospects as a means of social selling.
⬜ Re-purpose your blogs on LinkedIn's native publishing tools.
⬜ Research and utilize relevant industry hashtags to join the conversation.
⬜ Film informational, informal 1:1 videos to share information.
3 Important Boxes to Check to Demystify B2B Pinterest Posting
⬜ Follow 2-3 new boards weekly in your industry to find content to re-purpose / share for your audience across multiple platforms.
⬜ Add infographics, videos, and images to your company's board weekly.
⬜ Link all pins back to content that is native on your website.
B2B Instagram: 7 Crucial Boxes to Check
⬜ Optimize your Instagram bio to include relevant industry hashtags.
⬜ Use relevant hashtags on each post.
⬜ Share posts from thought leaders in your industry on your page's story.
⬜ Post branded graphics to stand out in the feed.
⬜ Utilize video when / wherever possible.
⬜ Showcase your company's brand identity and culture through fun posts.
⬜ Share written resources on your site with tools like Linktree.
Start Checking the Boxes Now
Social media will only grow in usefulness for business as we continue to integrate the Internet into our daily lives. Expect to see the Internet of Things have an impact on social media for business - especially the Industrial Internet of Things for manufacturers.
Don't neglect your social media presence. If you don't currently have profiles on the first four networks listed here, you're lagging behind. Now's the time to catch up; it'll just get more difficult later on.
Editor's Note: This blog post was originally published May 27, 2016 and was updated on October 3, 2019 to reflect additional insight and resources.