How to do B2B social media marketing effectively

B2B social media marketing is hard work. Creating regular, enticing content to fill your social media calendar on a monthly basis is not something not to be taken lightly, just ask our marketing managers.

You aim for a business seen as trustworthy and credible yet approachable, avoiding excessive casualness. Ensuring frequent content without over-saturation is crucial. Balancing helpfulness and persuasion, you aim to avoid being too pushy. The language used should not alienate your audience or sound overly patronising. Minefield!

It can also take a lot of work and requires a multidisciplinary approach that covers marketing skills, design, copywriting and potentially video production!

But as a small business with limited resources, where do you start? How do you ensure your social outreach actually works?

Here are our top tips for planning B2B social media marketing that works

1. Know what you want your social media marketing to achieve

As with any marketing project, it’s important to set out your goals. Are you trying to generate awareness of your brand/ product service? Are you trying to capture leads? Or build a following?

And set achievable targets. If you want to generate 20 leads a month organically through social activity but you currently drive zero, then start small, see what works and build from there. Have realistic expectations on what you can achieve after 1, month, 6 months etc. 


2. Have a budget in mind

There are two ways to plan your social media marketing activity. The first is by understanding your current performance, your goals and your audience needs and listing activities that will help you meet these goals. The second by starting from your available budget and prioritising the activities you can achieve within this.

Obviously we would advocate the first option. However for small businesses, we understand budgets can be limited. Really the sweet spot is somewhere in the middle. Ask yourself the following:

Goals – How quickly do you want to achieve these and are you prepared to invest to achieve the best result? Good social content is an investment in time if done internally, and budget if you are working with a 3rd party, you also may want to consider paid social ad spend to supercharge your organic marketing efforts. 

Budget – As a benchmark, businesses spend on average between 2.5% – 5% of total revenue on marketing, with a quarter of that on content marketing and social, what budget does this give you per month?



Your social media marketing needs a channel specific strategy. Not all platforms are made equal and your audience needs won’t all be the same.

3. Understand who you are speaking to and where they hang out on social

Your social media marketing needs a channel specific strategy. Not all platforms are made equal and your audience needs won’t all be the same. It’s important you understand who your audience are and how they use your social channels. You may work with consultants and directors who consume long form posts on LinkedIn or small business owners who prefer content in the form of Facebook or Instagram stories.

It’s important to understand how your audience needs change per platform, and how to utilise the native functionality and formats they expect to maximise reach and stop the scroll.

Without an investment in audience research it can be difficult to know the answers to this exactly. But speak to your sales team or your best customer, look at the content that works on your social channels currently, look at competitors and make an educated assumption. Every plan has to start somewhere and the idea is to test and learn from your content as your social media marketing plan evolves.


4. Create a social media calendar

A social media calendar is a central plan of all social content you intend to post for any given month. 

Planning your social output is a team effort that requires collaboration and organisation. Which is why investing time into creating a detailed social media calendar can keep you and your team on track, your content fresh and your channels leagues ahead of your marketing competition.

It can be as simple as a spreadsheet that includes planned posts organised by channel, target audience and goal. They often include post details such as image or design requirements, hashtags and mentions, post copy and importantly, schedule date. 

Planning in this way allows a business to see the social output across all channels at a glance, make sure there are no clashes in content, there is a good spread of content topics that meet audience needs and see if there are any gaps or hold ups in asset or post creation.



Gathering content ideas for your social media calendar 

1. Market inspiration

What are others in your space doing? Look at your competitors’ social channels, what topics get the most likes and shares? Identify the trends happening in your industry, how do these relate to your customers? 

2. Brainstorm topics

An initial brainstorm with your sales or customer service teams can help you to come up with topics your audience cares about. What questions do your sales or customer service teams get asked most frequently? 

3. Look at Google

Search for the key topics related to your business in Google, what are the recommendations that drop down as you type? Also in Google, what other ‘related searches’ feature in the panel at the bottom of the page? You’ll soon build up a list of content ideas.

4. Content audit

Look at any existing content on your channels, what works, what gets the most attention? Do more of the same. What existing content do we have that isn’t being read? You can give these articles a new life with some thoughtfully executed social posts and a little rewriting to make them fresh and current. 

5. Native formats

Sometimes ideas can be generated through an understanding of the formats that work best on the channels your audience uses most. For example, short form videos on Instagram Reels that show an unpolished behind the scenes look at how your business works. Take a look at the mediums that work best on each channel.

6. Content types

Similarly, identify the types of content your audience responds well to – ebooks, opinion pieces, how to videos, quotes etc. to give you inspiration. Also, what types of content will support our audience at different stages of the buyers’ journey? Case studies? Long form articles?

7. Tactical posts

What fixed dates, holidays, promotions and events do we need to make sure we make space for? Of course, there’s the usual Christmas post in December but maybe your company is holding a customer or employee event in a few weeks? Leave gaps in your calendar so you can guarantee promotion of the event closer to the time. These posts can bring a little bit of relatable humanity, but these shouldn’t dominate your schedule.

Check out our content marketing services for more information

Don’t forget! 

Automate your workflow 

You can use publishing tools such as SocialPilot and Sprout Social to schedule your posts.  This will have them ready to go out automatically on the dates, times and platforms you wish. Or you can do this manually on the native platforms. However you distribute your content, make sure your workflow supports an effective sign off process, so images, links and copy are all checked and correct. 

Add tracking to your social media campaigns

Lastly, adding tracking links to your campaigns (UTMs) can help you to distinguish between different content topics and their performance in your analytics.

Take advantage of Google Analytics and its UTM link-building tool. Both of these are free and can help you to step up your social media marketing game in a number of ways. By applying UTM tracking links to your campaigns can help you to distinguish between different content topics and their performance in your analytics. This information can help you determine what is working well with your posts and what needs to be improved for the future.

Like this one:

Campaign – Social Media Calendar

Source – Social

Medium – LinkedIn

Create a content balance

  • Sales messages vs informative posts
  • A balance of topics tailored for different audiences 
  • Different types of content/ media to keep it visually rich and interesting
  • Some links to content on your website vs some more engagement driven posts
  • Lead generation posts


Wrapping things up

Your content calendar should now be full to the brim of exciting, forward thinking content. A social media marketing plan will take away the worry of last-minute post panics and create a forward-thinking content plan focused on your customer, ultimately driving revenue for your business. And remember it can always evolve over time so no need to get too hung up on the details, just get started! Or contact Think and we can do the leg work for you!…


Written by

Luke Wilkinson

Strategic Marketing Manager

Luke brings his creatively strategic talents to the team, helping our customers produce bespoke strategic marketing campaigns to suit any audience.

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