Make Your B2B Social Media Headlines Compelling and Clickable

Every B2B company wants their social media posts read, clicked and shared. These are not just tweets, Facebook posts and LinkedIn updates, but the blog posts, ebooks and webinar offers they lead to. A couple of the following articles focus on the art, science and data of writing the best headlines to make followers, and casual passersby click. Social media headline writing is part marketing, part journalism, part SEO and part sensationalism. And all of them need to pay off expectations with the article itself. That is how you build credibility, authority and ultimately, trust.

As you are creating content for your B2B company, especially blog posts, you need to know what kinds of posts to create. Move beyond company news and product announcements with the below guide to types of blog posts. And finally, we share a review of the next stage of storytelling called storydoing and how it elevates companies to be more productive and to drive business results.

These Five Astonishing Headline Writing Secrets Will Make You Cry, Or At Least Click
For most of us in the online journalism business, writing headlines basically amounts to guesswork. Will people click on this? Are there enough nouns in here for Google to find it? Does this line break look weird? Should I use a question mark? An exclamation point? For Upworthy, it’s more akin to a science — and not one of those mushy sciences like anthropology or psychology, either. We’re talking straight-up particle physics. For every article they publish, its writers come up with 25 headline options. They then A/B test the four most promising before settling on a winner.
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5 Data Insights into the Headlines Readers Click
With the growth of online marketing, both the channels and volumes of content competing for our readers’ attention has exploded, making it increasingly challenging to stand out. Given how significant a headline can be to click-through rate in both search and social online channels, here at Conductor we decided to test different headline types to determine those that resonate most with readers.
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Which Format Is Right for Your Next Blog Post?
When it comes to choosing the right format for your next blog post, there’s quite the smorgasbord to choose from. Perhaps how-to posts are your forte. Or maybe you just can’t resist the list. But just because you have a signature format, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily right for the topic you’re blogging about.
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Good Companies Are Storytellers. Great Companies Are Storydoers
Discussions about story and storytelling are pretty fashionable in marketing circles. I have ambivalent feelings about this. On the one hand, as a lifelong advocate for the power of story in business, I find this very encouraging. For all companies, having a story and knowing that story are crucial steps to achieving success. On the other hand, I’m worried that too many marketers think that telling their story through advertising is enough. It’s not.
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4 Ways to Use Storytelling for B2B Social Media

B2B companies who embrace social media to connect with prospects and customers need to understand storytelling as a means for communication. No one wants to hear about your products. They want to hear about solutions to their problems. One way to get there is by sharing compelling stories. As many B2B marketers still struggle with this change in marketing focus to a customer-centric model, we offer the following suggestions for storytelling ideas. Keep in mind that each of these story types can be told in words, images, audio and video, depending on their use.

1. Company History

Every company has a history that is worth talking about. Whether your B2B company was started 80 years or 5 years ago, it was done so with an idea in mind. Present your origin story through the lens of customer solutions to better connect with your target audience. Company transitions from the analog world to the digital world can be told in this manner as well. In this story type, as well as all others, be authentic and avoid business buzzwords. Look for compelling events in your company history as sources for individual stories. Consider how any of this content can be added to your B2B company Facebook timeline.

2. Customer Successes

Prospects and customers really like to hear from successful customers. While it is always clear that only the positive experiences are shared, people are always looking for their own situations in these type of stories. If you want to make it more authentic, pick a customer that struggled through the implementation process. Depending on your product or services, showing the hard work involved may be a benefit.

3. Employee Activities

Customers and prospects want to know more about the face behind the Twitter account or email address. This is especially true with B2B relationship based sales. We know that people do business with those that they know, like and trust and this is a great way to build up the trust with your team. While your sales team, and maybe some executives, have a lot of interaction with your prospects and customers, these may not be people they will be working with day to day. Let your people tell their stories and share what they are passionate about. This is the first step to building these after-sale relationships.

4. Community Support

Many B2B companies are involved in their communities because they care. Show this compassion by sharing a story about your community efforts. This is the kind of story that shows something about the leaders of your company, as well as your employees. People want to feel good about their business partners, and it is easier to do business with a company that makes a difference in their community. Don’t underestimate the emotional part of business purchase decisions. These stories contribute to that emotional response.

How are you telling the story of your B2B company?

Photo credit: Flickr

The Long Tail Story of B2B Social Media

B2B marketers who are new to social media frequently take a traditional approach to messaging and carefully craft every message as if it were the final version of a print brochure. Using social media to engage with customers and prospects is much more about the long journey, not the quick trip. Every piece of content created, whether a tweet, blog post, ebook or white paper is one part of the larger story that communicators are telling about their B2B organization.

The tradition of storytelling has been around in marketing for a long time, but sometimes B2B marketers forget about its importance. The best way to connect with customers and prospects is to tell them a story. A story elicits an emotional response in the listener. It creates a connection. No one ever had an emotional response over the product specs of a 2×16 Copper Gigabit SPAN Physical Layer Switch (except maybe your network admin). But if you tell a story about how the device made his life easier so he could go home and spend time with his one-year old son, that creates an a memorable emotional connection.

Long Tail Search
An important element of content are the targeted keywords included in the titles and throughout each written piece. Keywords should also be used in photo captions and video descriptions. Each time these keywords are used, it builds up the bank of content that customers and prospects can discover through search and social sharing. Quality content that can be found is an important part of search engine optimization. And the more of it that you publish, the better your chances of being found.

Success in social media does not solely rest on pushing out great content. B2B companies need to have processes in place to engage with prospects and customers online. Whether it is answering a product question on Twitter or responding to a comment about an ebook, companies need to listen and engage on social platforms. It’s critical that companies embrace the two-way nature of social media.

Marketers need to build online networks for their companies using Twitter and Facebook. They can also build their personal networks on LinkedIn that can be used to help spread the message of the company. Every online connection creates a bit more reach for your company’s story. Telling a story, bit by bit, over time needs an audience. Fans, followers and connections are that audience who can help spread your stories that resonate with them.

Testing Content
And finally, socia media provides the best method of testing content. With the proper metrics in place, you can post updates to your company’s social profiles with different headlines and get feedback from your target audience based on what they click and share. This information can be used in other projects. Testing blog post titles can help you title an ebook. Testing tweets can help you determine email subject lines.

What elements of social media are you using to tell your B2B company’s story?