The Role of Social Media in the B2B Buying Process



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    How social media marketing fits into demand generation efforts

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    Social media marketing's possibilities, challenges and best practices for driving demand outcomes

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    Example social media marketing campaign illustrating key concepts


Social media marketing (SMM) is a digital marketing strategy that involves the use of social media platforms, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram, to promote a brand. It encompasses activities such as community management, paid advertising, content marketing, and social listening.

This approach centers on the creation and sharing of content to engage with audiences and drive brand awareness—making social media marketing a core element of demand generation strategies.

According to the Content Marketing Institute’s research on B2B content marketing trends for 2023, 95% of B2B marketers utilized social media to distribute content in the last 12 months, with 85% of them having used paid promotion on these platforms.

Social media marketing duties for each sales funnel stage

10 strategic uses of social media marketing to boost demand generation outcomes

These are some of the most effective ways to leverage social media marketing in your demand strategies:

The rise of social selling


Social selling is a sales strategy in which SDRs leverage social media platforms to build relationships with prospects and clients. As these networks become increasingly ingrained in our daily lives, social selling offers SDRs the ability to reach prospects directly, wherever they may be, while also helping to avoid the complexities associated with buying lead lists—which often fail on delivering ROI due to outdated and unqualified contacts.

In addition, we must consider the undeniable changes in the way we approach buying, especially after the pandemic. More than ever, prospects utilize social platforms to acquire information on new brands and products—with 75% of B2B buyers relying on social media to inform purchase decisions, according to research conducted by LinkedIn. The same research reports that, as a consequence of these changes, 78% of SDRs who leverage social selling achieve greater performance than those who do not.

These factors highlight the importance of leveraging social media networks as channels in all sales strategies, catering to the evolving needs and preferences of buyers. For this reason, social selling has the potential to overcome cold calling as an outreach tactic, making the sales process more personal and convenient.

Top challenges in social media marketing

Here are some common challenges of social media marketing to be mindful of when building campaigns:
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    Lack of alignment between departments: Misaligned sales and marketing efforts create friction across the buyer's journey, which can be especially damaging considering the rising expectation for seamless experiences in their buying processes. Furthermore, good alignment avoids data silos and enables the sharing of data insights. It is therefore no surprise that, according to LinkedIn research on Customer Value, 87% of sales and marketing leaders state that aligning these departments is a crucial step towards business growth.

Best practices for B2B social media marketing

Below is a list of best practices social media marketing to tackle challenges and support performance:
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    Utilize a robust and up-to-date tech stack: Leverage the right tools and platforms to collect accurate data insights, reduce workloads, and ensure efficiency. Selecting software capable of tracking lead behavior and analyzing campaign results, as well as listening to your audience and competitor's conversations around your brand and industry, is crucial to gain actionable insights. There is a myriad of social media marketing management tools, such as Semrush, Outreach, Salesrobot, or the LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

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    Leverage your audience's preferred platforms: Although LinkedIn predominates as the standard for B2B social media marketing, it is important to analyze data on your audience's channel preferences, implementing multichannel and omnichannel approaches that leverage their preferred platforms to deliver personalized experiences.

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    Favor a personable tone: While mass communications such as press releases, statements, and articles should follow a more concise tone for the sake of professionalism, it is important for individual SDRs to make use of an amicable, warm tone in their communications with clients and prospects, fostering a sense of community, proximity, and trust. This is a particularly prudent strategy given the rise of H2H marketing and the importance of personalization.

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    Share insights from social media data across all departments: It is imperative to share collected insights across all departments that may benefit from them. Ensure open communications between sales, marketing, creative, and product development teams to make sure that data insights direct all efforts.

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    Review all social media content prior to publishing: The fast-paced nature of social media communications favors agile publishing. This trait of social media marketing, however, can also backfire: posts that give way to misinterpretations, comments in poor taste, and other faux pas may be quickly shared among your audience, leading to a significant impact on Public Relations (PR). Therefore, having an agile and in-depth content reviewal process is a must to mitigate such risks and ensure consonance with your brand voice.

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    Measure results, compare performance, and update strategies: As with other marketing strategies, it is crucial to keep track of your campaigns’ performance, selecting the most relevant KPIs prior to launch and accompanying their evolution. This enables marketers to locate improvement points to be actioned in future iterations of campaigns, ensuring maximum efficiency over time.

Example social media marketing campaign


Our INFUSE demand experts are experienced with content marketing for companies in 30+ industry verticals around the world.

Contact us to craft a B2B content marketing campaign that drives unparalleled engagement and demand among decision makers in your target audience.

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