How to make the most of your corporate social channels

Published May 18, 2021, 10 a.m. by Lara McCoy

Social media. Love it or hate it, it’s a necessary tool for business. But determining when, where and how to engage with a social audience is challenging. Spoon Helsinki’s Lara McCoy spoke with David Larsson, chief strategy officer of Trickle, about social media best practices for the B2B market.

What should B2B companies consider when deciding what social media platforms to utilize?

The company’s overall objective is key for social media as well as everything else the business does. Objective is so closely connected to message, timing, targeting and how to measure and optimize outcome. Without one you can’t have success in the others. 

Most B2B companies focus their social media activities on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Is that the right mix?

It’s a right mix, and for some it may very well be the optimal one. However, the clients that I work with that achieve the best results and learnings are the ones who are constantly questioning the performance and media mix, and are eager to try out new things.

If you are a B2B company that does engineering, Reddit can respond extremely well to that. Do you have an unique employer brand and corporate culture that could inspire others? Well, then Instagram might be a channel to consider. Do you produce visually engaging content with clear stories? Youtube could be good for you. Focus on choosing a channel with both audience and message in mind.

Are paid campaigns necessary to make the most of social media? What are the benefits of paid campaigns?

The reach of organic posts has really fallen off in recent years, and paid campaigns allow you to unlock the abundance of targeting and measurement features social platforms have available. But there are a lot of common misunderstanding regarding paid campaigns. The biggest one is that they are too expensive. To that claim, I argue that if you invest EUR 10 000 in a campaign film that gets an organic reach of 2 000 users, that’s a cost of EUR 5 per unique user reached. If instead you invested an extra EUR 500 in a paid campaign on Facebook, you would reach 25 000 users, at a cost of EUR 0.4 per unique user reached. In my experience, having an understanding of this cost/benefit ratio can really make or break your campaign, paid or unpaid. 

New social platforms are appearing all the time. When should a company jump onto a new platform?

You should try a new platform when you’ve got something to actually contribute or there’s something particular you want to tap into. I’m not too fond of advertisers jumping onto new social platforms too quickly and recklessly. It lessens the experience overall. 

Likewise, there are platforms that have been popular but are now fading. Are there reasons to maintain a presence on a less-popular platform or even start promoting your company there?

These macro trends of audience behaviors that show the fading popularity of a social platform are often skewed. Yes, perhaps Facebook isn’t growing at the same rate it once did, but users still spend plenty of time there. You want to be where your audience is, so if they’re on a platform considered ‘less popular,’ it really doesn’t matter. You want to be where your audience is and engage with them. 

There are plenty of examples of social posts being misinterpreted or hashtags being used in unintended ways. What can companies do to avoid these social media mishaps?

There’s no clear-cut formula, but you should take a gut check before posting anything so you don’t end up being a brand saying bae. I’d advise have multiple pairs of eyes from all demographics on all company communication, whether it’s a hashtag challenge or a fiscal statement. Your own perspective is often not enough, also you can’t see your own inadvertently biases.