Here we are more than a decade past when B2B companies started using social media as a promotional channel and we still haven’t figured out the best way to manage it. Looking forward, our approach needs to be about enabling all marketers in the process to add their expertise in order to create relevant social posts that your target audience wants to click through. To sum it up—we need to socialize social.
But, We’ve Come So Far with Social Media!
There is no question that we’ve come a long way since the days of wondering if social media was just a fad and whether it would ever apply to B2B. But I’d argue that we haven’t got it figured out just yet.
Let’s explore what we marketers have tried so far:
- In the beginning, we couldn’t get the approval to hire so we hired interns to handle it. Lot’s of horror stories resulted from that one!
- When social became accepted, we got the budget to hire a social media expert (or a part-time freelancer) and have them collect information from the rest of the marketing team and keep up a regular cadence, filling the blanks when needed. The result of this was a cold channel that didn’t engage the target audience.
- Next we tried to bring our channels to Hubspot’s 10:4:1 rule. This would typically last 1-2 weeks before the social media manager would run out of enough 3rd party or thought leadership content to balance each promotional post.
- In further attempts to enrich our channels, we tried training social media managers to better understand the product, having content writers take a stab at writing social posts in a Google doc for the social media manager to schedule, social campaign planning and much more. It’s all a step toward improving the channel, but it really isn’t getting the engagement you should be getting.
Why Isn’t Social Promotion Working?
Let’s get into the weeds to find the core problem with social promotions. Let’s say you’ve got a new whitepaper you want to promote in social media.
Here’s a typical process for promoting an asset:
- The product marketer who wrote the paper sends it to the demand generation team who skims the intro of the paper and creates a landing page.
- That demand gen marketer then checks the right boxes to let the social media manager know it is ready to promote and to give them the link to the landing page.
- The social media manager skims the landing page and decides what your target audience will care about. They don’t open your whitepaper to read it. They don’t even know why you wrote the paper in the first place. Or more importantly, why your target audience is going to want to read it.
The result is a social post that has the right title, the right link to the landing page, but likely little else to grab the interest of your target audience. Furthermore, the whitepaper might only get a few posts total. You spend ridiculous amounts of money and resource time creating these, shouldn’t they get multiple posts, multiple angles and repeat sharing over time to give them the best chance at having people read it?
How Can I Get More Out of Social?
The answer is to socialize how you are doing social media. And that means distributing social media to content producers. I know, that sounds like a disaster, but hear me out! There is a tool that makes this possible and drives incredible results. I know, because I use it myself. It’s called CoSchedule.
Let’s revisit our example to demonstrate this socialized approach:
- The product marketer who wrote the paper goes into CoSchedule, opens the whitepaper social campaign template and writes the post intro for each post in the campaign. They then set the campaign to a Draft state and assign a task to demand gen to review them.
- The demand generation marketer creates the landing page and inserts the link into the top of the campaign template, which automatically updates it to all posts. They then set the campaign to a Pending Review state.
- Now the social media manager can review the campaign and individual posts, make sure the right hashtags, links and pictures are in as well as edit wording to make it noticeable.
- The posts automatically are published according to the campaign. Then, the most popular posts are reposted during slow times in the calendar according to the rules you put in place. That means the social media manager never has to go back to find good posts to reuse.
This CoSchedule explainer helps visualize how socialized social can work!
In this scenario, everyone is focusing on what they do best and working together for the optimal outcome. And CoSchedule enables that collaboration while intelligently automating social tasks so that you get the most conversions from your content.
Social Investment Improves Content ROI
Let’s face it, there isn’t a social media manager out there who can have a product marketing level of expertise in all of your products/topics/markets. If that person exists, they are likely your Chief Evangelist, not tucked away doing social media. It’s time to distribute social so that everyone is contributing their expertise in order to get the best results.
Invest in the right tools, like CoSchedule, and you can let the shared calendar, built-in approvals and easy to create templates facilitate this new collaborative approach. Since using CoSchedule, I get compliments on how relevant my posts are and people are amazed that I have the time to post as much as I do. When the reality is that I spend about 1 hour a month on social media. Take a look at CoSchedule – I promise you’ll never go back to how you do social today!