Knowing what to post on your B2B social media channels at this time is difficult. Striking a balance between positivity and empathy for people's situation is a fine line, as is how to try to continue with sales without being seen as profiteering.
Data from Econsultancy and Marketing Week’s phase three Covid-19 Business Impact Survey shows that as many as 75% of UK organisations are experiencing a drop in demand for their products and services.
You may be still undecided on whether to keep on course with your marketing efforts, cut budgets or increase them to gain market share. But one thing is clear: your approach on B2B social media channels will need to adapt.
Social posts need to become more human and focus on really listening to your customers and providing helpful information and tips that builds a community. Here’s how.
Inject The Human Touch Into Your B2B Social Media Channels
If there’s ever a time to become more human in B2B social media posts, it’s now. We’re all adjusting to a new way of working and how we react to this and rapidly changing news will affect us differently.
Pre-planned content and campaigns are therefore unlikely to still be relevant or reflective of your audience's sentiment. What people engage with now is changing. LinkedIn's data shows that, as well as coronavirus-specific terms, posts that mention “support”, “help”, “people” and “employees” are seeing the highest engagement.
Professionals are now turning to LinkedIn to share how they’re coping, to praise their employees for hard work – or their employers for the support they’ve provided - and to show their support for causes they hold close. They’re sharing personal tips and stories, instead of marketing-led ones, which give them an authentic human touch. Getting everyone onboard with employee advocacy has never been more important.
A great example is how Mark Gaisford from Red Sprout Recruitment ran a LinkedIn Live session looking at ways to cope during the lockdown if you have ADHD. It's a cause he is passionate about, as he suffers from it himself.
Even social media posts scheduled the day before may quickly become out-of-date. At the moment, social media management needs to be agile – checking, tweaking and even shelving any planned posts and curating third party content daily.
It may seem almost impossible to do that. Yet you may have people in your team that need flexible hours to juggle childcare, while others would relish embracing their early bird/night owl natural productivity tendencies. If so, you may be able to devise a social media rota to make it work for everyone.
Revisit Your Buyer Personas: Listen To What They’re Saying Now
With everything changing so rapidly, it's essential to understand what your buyer personas are talking about and caring about, now. Social listening tools will give you lots of insights but you may now find that clients/customers are more willing to have honest chats about issues such as:
- What’s frustrating them right now?
- What are they worried about, professionally and personally?
- What help do they need to come out of the other side of this?
- What content can you provide that will help them during this period?
The knowledge you gain from listening will help you discover the topics to talk about and whether you need to adapt your tone of voice to meet these difficult times. With the situation constantly changing, it's a good idea to use social listening tools daily and catch up with key clients weekly.
Focus On Customers’ Needs And Building A Community, Not Sales
You may be in the lucky category of businesses thriving in the current climate but many buyers will not be in the market to buy right now or in the near future. LinkedIn's data shows that there's been a 12% increase in crisis management engagement and 4% for business continuity but that doesn't mean that they've stopped caring about less topical issues.
By providing helpful content to help your audience weather this stormy period, you can build a strong community where buyers turn to you once they are ready to buy again.
For example, the CEO of Leadsift released a database of companies that are seemingly resilient to the current climate, as indicated by their marketing and hiring activities. As you can see it received a good level of engagement and highlights the insights that their database provides – even if businesses can’t afford the tools right now.
Right now, focusing on metrics such as engagement and followers will help you in the long-term.
The approach you take to your B2B social media channels may need to stay agile to adapt to daily changes. But, as always, it remains about keeping focused on your customers and their pains/challenges - it's just that they may have changed.
Hopefully, there will be an end to this crisis and so don’t lose sight of your long-term objectives but be realistic as to what is achievable now.