Posted 08.17.2022 by Tomori Uriel

How To Build and Grow A B2B Community On Social Media

Get the best step-by-step strategies to start, build, and grow a B2B community on social media. 👇

Imagine getting a 6,469% ROI for incorporating just one element to your B2B social media marketing strategy.

Too good to be true, right? Hear us out…

According to Higher Logic, that’s the average ROI that brands can generate from online communities.

Whether big or small, regardless of your goals and social media KPIs, every B2B business can benefit from an online community that lets them share and communicate with their target audience — and their target audience community with each other.

But increasing sales isn’t the only advantage to hosting your own community.

For marketers, online communities are crucial for co-creating products, gathering important feedback, and strengthening brand-consumer relationships.

Household brands like Apple, HubSpot, and Adobe already leverage online communities for all the reasons mentioned above.

For example, the Apple Support Community helps customers by providing a platform for feedback, self-service, and knowledge exchange through user-generated content (UGC) and gamification to incentivize consumers’ involvement.

In this guide, we’ve broken down everything you need to know about B2B community building and how to start, build, and grow your own B2B community in 2022.

Building A Strong B2B Community On Social Media

You’ve probably started hearing the term “community-led growth” more and more.

B2B communities are taking off as more businesses see their benefits.

One of the best places to build and grow a strong B2B community is on social media. A social media community is one that exists on social channels like Facebook Groups, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter — or private channels like Slack or Discord, among others.

If you want to start building a community for your B2B brand, we’ve laid out the steps to follow:

1. Identify the community’s purpose

Patrick Woods lays out 3 categories of communities: Product, Practice, and Play.

  • Communities of Product: Where members discuss product features and experiences.
  • Communities of Practice: Where members discuss professional and skill development.
  • Communities of Play: Where members discuss their common interests.

The best way to start is to determine the why of your brand community. And your goals need to be clearly defined as your community needs to offer clear value to its members.

An example of a community built on a specific goal is Salesforce’s Trailblazer. The purpose of the community is to bring users together to learn and collaborate with other Salesforce users (Trailblazers) to get the best out of Salesforce implementations.

A clear purpose is essential because you’re setting yourself up for failure without it.

As successful as they can be, 70% of online communities fail. And the reason a community is likely to fail is — you guessed it— lack of strategic planning.

Examples of business objectives you might associate with your B2B community include:

  • Improve customer satisfaction and retention through expert support
  • Generating product awareness/education and getting essential feedback
  • Identifying power users, net promoters, and passionate customers
  • Building genuine connections with and between users/customers.

According to the CMX Community Industry Report, the most popular objective for communities is providing support. When you set goals, it’s easier to provide lasting value, and see and measure results.

2. Choose your audience correctly

Once you’ve determined the purpose of your online community, choosing the audience for your community is the next step — and choosing your audience stems from understanding their needs. People want to get value from communities when they join.

Users join online communities for different reasons. Again, think back to the “3P” model of practice, play, and product as examples. Some more specific reasons include:

  • Learning and gaining skills
  • To build authentic connections and share experiences
  • To contribute to the growth of their favorite brands
  • To get problems solved
  • To gain exposure within a network.

An online community provides a platform for peer-to-peer communication. Understanding your audience helps you curate in-depth content to keep them engaged.

3. Identify the right channel

Social media groups are a great place to start online communities. But your social media community needs a place to reside. You’ve got many options, but you must choose the right one.

It’s essential to ask the following question: Do we want big, open-to-all public forums? Social media platforms that are especially useful in this case are:

  • Twitter
  • Reddit

Or are you looking for private, conversation-based communities? Consider:

  • A private Facebook Group
  • Slack
  • Discord

Looking to connect on a smaller scale? If you need a 10- or 20-person community at most, then a DM, WhatsApp, or Telegram chat community may suffice. While these platforms aren’t designed for community building per se, they can come in handy.

But if you’re looking for something bigger that has the potential to keep growing with new members, then you may want to consider Facebook groups, Reddit, or Discord.

While these platforms are controlled by third-party apps, you have the option to customize your B2B community and promote it on social media.

As another option, you could build a community platform on your website where customers can visit and get information or connect with other users.

Here are things to look out for when choosing a platform:

  • User experience – Is the platform easy to use and accessible from different devices?
  • Relevance/accessibility – Is your chosen platform relevant to your audience? If you’re using a free social media platform, is most of your target audience there?
  • Personalization – Is there room to organize user interests and personalize the experience with tags and sections that help people find helpful information?
  • Flexibility – Can the platform keep up with modern developments and improvements?

4. Welcome new members

You’ll need to do this for each new member. To help users connect, build genuine relationships, and feel a sense of belonging right from the start, you can use:

  • Welcome messages
  • A pinned “Read Me” to describe what the group or community is about (including what to post and where)
  • Messages to welcome new members to the community.

It is possible to extract email addresses from some social media community platforms, including Facebook groups during onboarding. Welcome emails have a 50% open rate. So, they’re a great way to kickstart relationships with new members.

For example, the first post you see when you join Later’s online community is the one that welcomes you. Adobe also sends a ”Welcome to Adobe” email immediately after people join.

Another way to welcome new community members is by tagging all new members for the week in a post and encouraging other members to make them feel welcome!

5. Embrace rituals (language/hashtags)

Hashtags are a large part of branded communities. Hashtags help you to build a community around your customer base. Your users can easily connect with your brand.

Hashtags help:

  • Users find relevant content easily
  • Drive customer advocacy
  • Monitor customer loyalty
  • Track customers’ feedback.

Hashtags improve customers’ experiences because they make it easier to find the topics they’re interested in.

Apple uses the hashtag #ShotoniPhone to showcase video and photos shot on the iPhone.

Other successful community hashtags include Lomography’s #heylomography and GoPro’s #mygopro. Using brand or niche-specific terminologies helps you create more profound connections with your users.

6. Post consistently

Your community can quickly become redundant if you don’t provide the value you’ve promised regularly. Consistent content management is key to social media marketing success. It’s a way of understanding an issue or concept in-depth and helps you communicate effectively.

You’ll achieve the ultimate benefit by showing up regularly — you become the brand people trust. And people always buy from the brands they trust.

Some benefits you’ll get when you post regularly include:

  • Increased brand awareness: Every time you post, you put your brand in front of your audience. Post often, and you’ll stay top-of-mind.
  • Cutting sales costs: We mentioned how communities help you cut costs, like saving money on support tickets. Consistently posting helpful information that solves specific problems on your community platform reduces your support team’s time and effort to field similar complaints.
  • The go-to value provider: If you regularly post genuinely valuable information people can use, then users are likely to check your community and social media pages for more. If you demonstrate your awareness and that you care about your customers, then over time, They’ll come to trust you. And people who trust your brand are more likely to become customers.
  • Accurate metrics: It’s easier to evaluate what works and doesn’t when you regularly post regularly. A few key things you can determine are:
    • Do you receive more engagement on some posts than others?
    • Do you get more attention when you post four times weekly instead of two?
    • When are your customers most engaged? The metrics associated with these questions are easier to calculate when you post regularly.
  • Boost customer experience and satisfaction: Posting regularly shows you are available, active, and ready to help.
  • You stay relevant: It’s a no-brainer. The more you post, the more relevant your brand is to customers. Your content reminds them why they joined your community. So, keep your community active and your audience’s attention with new and valuable content.

7. Engage your customers where they are

Without interactivity, social media is just media without feedback.

CMX found that online communities’ external engagement was the most popular objective for businesses (CMX Community Industry Report).

Your audience will likely not appreciate being talked to — most audiences prefer to join conversations. That’s why a social media strategy that only involves advertising is unlikely to be successful.

People use social media to interact. Then, when they join communities, they want to engage with like-minded people. Make it a habit to post community-focused and entertaining content that invites discussion.

One tool that can power your connection to your audience is Slack. Slack is a business collaboration tool that more than 600,000 companies use daily to reach out to B2B clients.

For example, when you go through Slack’s Twitter pages, you’ll see different instances where they engage with followers.
HubSpot does this across multiple platforms.

If you’re stuck, and trying to come up with ideas that generate engagements, here are some ideas to help:

  • Ask and answer questions
  • Create exclusive content for community members only
  • Share your members’ stories (like SproutSocial’s case studies, for example).
  • Create contests that require members to submit user-generated content.

Here’s another reminder: If community members feel they are only being spoken to rather than engaging in a discussion, they will perceive your company as self-serving.

Engaging your audience in a genuinely helpful way through your content humanizes your brand and strengthens your bond with your customers and potential customers.

8. Listening is Key

While posting content regularly is essential, listening to your audience is equally important. Social listening is the fastest way to get feedback from your community, and it’s one of the best ways to grow customer retention.

No matter what (or how much) market research you do, you can never be 100% sure of what your customers want. But your customers are certain of what they want — so if you listen closely, you’ll recognize their pain points.

Through social listening, you get to first-hand see what they’re struggling with, and you can resolve it quickly before they move on to a competitor. Personalization is king.

According to research by Salesforce, 84% of consumers say being treated like a person, not a number, is very important to winning their business. And when you adapt to their needs, you’re strengthening customer-brand relationships. It’s also easier to get brand ambassadors and advocates when you listen.

Let’s consider an example. In 2017 on Twitter, a Tesla owner asked for a change to the steering wheel once the car is parked.

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX responded himself and made the requested change a reality:

A quick look at that owner’s Twitter page shows he’s essentially become a brand advocate for Tesla over the years.

Listening also makes you a fantastic brand.

For example, Slack took a lighthearted approach to social listening by promoting one of its products through a popular meme among social media users:

The Facebook post reads: “It could’ve been a huddle,” which is a twist on the popular “It could’ve been an email.” The post adds a human feel to their brand and shows humans are posting to their social media, not bots. The post was their second most-liked post on Facebook in August 2021.

9. Keep it fresh

One secret to a thriving online community is keeping things fresh.

Your audience craves newness. It’s one of the reasons many people join communities in the first place. They want to get the latest information, see what’s new, and how to jump on it.

Not only should you post regularly, but you should also change things up. What you post shouldn’t be the same thing over and over again. Mix it up with user-generated content, polls, contests, and compel people to want to check out what’s new.

So look to offer new ways for your audience to interact with your brand.

Here are some tips to keep your community fresh:

  • Create a periodic series: The series could be daily, weekly, or monthly, allowing you to interact with your audience regularly. For example, Sprout Social has a Stories series on Instagram called Sproutouts. They start the week by sharing motivational and helpful content on Mondays. They end the week on Fridays with Sprouttakes that provide highlights of any content people may have missed during the week.
  • Give your customers the spotlight: Another example comes from Sprout Social’s way of highlighting case studies. Doing this shows appreciation to the people who use your product, improves your chances of making them your brand advocates, and significantly aids client acquisition.
    Share, retweet, and pin content from your audience: And finally, focus on consistently sharing user-generated content (UGC) to encourage higher engagement.

10. Give rewards and incentives to community members

Customers who join communities generally want to discuss and learn more about topics and the products they use and care about. Additionally, community-specific benefits can add an extra layer of attraction for community members. These could be giveaways, discounts, and prizes — with special rewards for the most active members.

A referral program is another option. Give members rewards for referring new people to your community. Your members will know people around them who will be interested in joining your community. Attaching a prize or reward can motivate them to spread the word.

Referral programs work — Hubspot research shows 90% of people trust a business when a friend or family member recommends it.

Several examples of B2B brands whose referral programs have excelled include:

  • Mainstreet – an enterprise Saas platform. (Their referral program exceeded $3 million in six months!)
  • Zoho mail – a secure email solution for businesses.
  • Ubindi – a booking and administrative solution for independent instructors and small studios.
  • Airtable – a low/no-code platform that allows for accessible database and application creation.
  • Even Google has a referral program to reward users!

11. Define your members’ journey

Knowing the different stages community members will go through when joining your community is essential. Setting benchmarks makes your community more interesting for new members.

For example, in the Barclaycard Travel Community, members can share their travel stories and experiences, and the brand ties participation to points. With those points, members can earn Amazon e-certificates by engaging and being active in the community.

In Salesforce’s Trailblazer community, members can earn badges whenever they complete a project or module. Salesforce reported in 2019 that 25% of Trailblazer users indicated that a badge got them a new job. (As of this writing, Salesforce’s community boasts nearly 2 million members.)

12. Collaborate with community members

Another way to foster a better community is by collaborating with members.

Besides wanting to learn, people join communities to be a part of the brands they love. Customers feel a sense of belonging and ownership when welcomed into a vibrant community of like-minded peers where they can share their experiences. They want to feel connected to the businesses they buy from and see their values mirrored in their products.

For example, B2B businesses can learn from the Lego Ideas community. It’s successful because it gives users the chance to have a say in product development.

Imagine the physical realization of your idea sitting right on your shelf. You would develop an affinity for a brand that makes you feel essential to their success more than the one that doesn’t.

Work hand-in-hand with some of your community’s members to create something unique. Look out for active community members who genuinely believe in your brand and work with them.

13. Measure KPIs

None of your community-building efforts make sense if you’re not measuring your progress. Your goals determine your KPIs. We mentioned that the first steps when building a B2B social media community are to set a goal and to identify the purpose of the community.

If growth is a goal, you need to evaluate whether you’re meeting your targets, and determine whether adjustments are necessary.

According to the CMX Community Industry Report, these are the top metrics that community owners measured based on their goals:

  • Active users
  • New customers
  • User-generated content
  • Conversion engagement
  • Feature adoption.

More precise KPIs like comments, likes, and shares can help you measure whether you’re hitting the bullseye of your engagement target.

Other KPIs you can measure include:

  • Signup rates
  • Logins
  • Retention
  • Conversions
  • Click-through rates.

Again, your metrics depend on why you’ve built the community.

14. Have community rules and guidelines

Laying ground rules that all community members must adhere to is crucial to every B2B community strategy.

If you’ve used social media for the past decade, you know that trolls, abuse, hate speech, misinformation, disinformation, and more can rapidly pollute interactions. Therefore, solid guidelines and moderation are crucial to growing a healthy and positive online community.

For example, banning profanity and offensive topics is usually a top priority. Advertising personal products will likely be another.
It’s also essential to have a community manager. Currently, 88% of communities have at least one dedicated manager.

Lastly, include a link to your community guidelines so members can easily reference them.

Why Are Communities Important For B2B Businesses?

Promotional one-way marketing is no longer enough. People want something more personal. They want conversations, and they want to have a genuine connection with the brands they use. Forward-thinking businesses know how vital online communities are. A branded customer community offers more than just revenue or customer support.

For example, before SAP became a $162 billion business, they knew they had to do something that connected users. And they chose to create an online community. Today, The SAP community has more than 3 million members who create and share content, organize events, innovate, and help each other. Community engagement has been critical to their success.

No wonder almost 80% of founders have said community building is vital to their business; 28% of founders even described a community as their moat!

With an online community, you have more chances of spotting problems early so they can be fixed faster. This means you’ve got a better and improved product, and you’ve improved the customer experience.

1. Builds stronger connections and loyalty

Happy customers stay. Communities boost brand loyalty; 60% of customers are more loyal to a brand when they have access to an online community. Online communities help your brand’s customers to explore helpful resources, network with other customers, discuss similar experiences in forums, ask questions, and get helpful feedback. All of these strengthen customer relationships. They also boost the value customers derive from using your products. Loyalty leads to referrals and brand advocates, which will help promote your product or service.

Did you know? Advocates are about 3x more effective than regular, satisfied customers in motivating others to purchase. Just a 12% increase in brand advocacy represents a 200% increase in revenue growth! Besides generating high-quality referrals, they also help increase retention and improve products by providing high-quality feedback.

As one example, Hubspot has a section in their community that is solely dedicated to advocacy, featuring groups, advocate spotlights, and blogs. Just a 12% increase in brand advocacy represents a 200% increase in revenue growth!

2. Increases customer support, retention, and lifetime value

Have you ever heard of the leaky bucket analogy? If not, here’s a quick explanation: Imagine water flows into a bucket (new customers), but there are holes in the bucket (lost customers). Any water left in the bucket is your customer base.

It’s challenging to have a reliable customer base if you don’t plug those holes, right?

So a branded online community is the best way to plug the holes in the bucket because better support and improved customer experience lead to customer retention. And retaining customers is 5x cheaper than acquiring new customers.

An online community is an effective way to scale customer support without compromising the customer experience. An online community will also provide Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). A study showed that customers spent 19% more after joining the brand’s online community (UMICH).

Community building will increase CLV by boosting cross-sells, upsells, and add-on purchases through product awareness, customer engagement, and data-driven sales.

A study by Salesforce found that high-performing sales teams are 1.5x likelier to leverage data-driven insights for forecasts. Data-driven sales work when your sales team knows the pages that customers often visit, their engaging discussions, and what products they’re interested in.

When they have this info, it makes it easier to understand customer needs — and when they’re ready to buy, you can offer stellar customer service that helps your customers make the best choice.

3. Save on customer support costs

An online community creates a crucial space for customers to share ideas, resources, valuable tips, and ask and answer questions. Self-service via an online community could save up to $3M annually on utility costs.
And that’s not all — 49% of businesses with online communities record cost savings of up to 25% yearly. And a live chat with an agent can cost up to $12 per interaction. But self-service can cost as little as 25 cents per interaction.
Or nothing at all.

How? Customers can help other customers in communities with expert blogs, comments, and product documentation. The HubSpot community, for example, has several user-generated blogs. Every time a customer creates one to provide answers and simple how-tos, the community grows its helpful information. It becomes a go-to resource where struggling customers can go and get solutions.

Do you struggle with support tickets?

Jama Software has experienced a 28% reduction in support volume tickets, which they attribute to their resource-filled community. According to Jama’s Manager of Technical Support, Kristina King, most of their support tickets begin with, “I searched in the community, but couldn’t find the answer.”

4. Provide essential feedback on user experience

Feedback opportunities are endless with online communities. They provide a perfect platform for customers to report glitches, provide user experience feedback, and suggest ways to improve. And as previously discussed, all that gives you the chance to effectively pinpoint issues, and concerns, resolve bugs quickly, and respond with improvements faster.

For example, Thinkfic credits its community for some of its product improvements. One is the connection they made with Constant Contact, which resulted from customer insights.

But it’s essential to remember that you don’t always have to wait for feedback. You can ask for feedback using polls, questionnaires, and Ask Me Anything (AMA) forums.

Everybody wins if you’re making your customers happy with quick fixes and investing in product improvements.
Feedback can help you earn new customers as well. You’ll easily win new prospects because you have better solutions. Don’t just leave feedback-gathering to customer success managers.

Did you know that the ‘L’ in Apple’s 5 Steps of Service stands for “Listen for and Resolve Issues or Concerns?

Apple is invested in hearing from customers — not just listening but also resolving issues. Customers know what they want to experience, and their ideas will help you keep up with their changing expectations and other ongoing changes in the market, which occur faster and faster today.

What’s one way to be proactive about feedback in a community forum? When you spot a feature request and notice multiple supportive responses, that’s a real opportunity to use feedback to your company’s advantage.

5. Build direct communication with customers

Companies that have online communities create links between their customers and their employees. If open-door communication is a top priority, you can create your forum so that struggling customers can tag any relevant person up the chain — up to the CEO — in a conversation. On a more standard level, you can create a community where customers post a question and wait for a response from a customer support agent.

Online communities and forums offer transparency that is difficult to achieve elsewhere. The space also contributes to building and maintaining a sense of personal accountability between customers and the organization.
For example, after SpaceX’s BFR announcement, Elon Musk hosted an AMA on Reddit’s r/space sub to provide more details to enthusiastic fans.

How To Promote Your B2B Community On Social Media

Once your community is set up, you’ll need to get the word out and invite new members. You can start by sharing on all your social media channels and partnering with influencers.

To accelerate your efforts, the following is a comprehensive B2B community strategy to help you effectively promote your new online community on social media. You’ll also find great content marketing ideas for B2B businesses from brands you know, such as Mailchimp and HubSpot.

1. Ask community members to promote for you

People usually join online social media communities for the brands they already like or are interested in, and each one of those communities will have a social media page. So, asking community members to promote your community on their personal social media pages can significantly boost reach. Note: For this to work, people usually need to get something back in return.

Rewards are great, but the value is crucial, too. No one will proactively promote your community if you’re not offering the value they expect to get. It’s easy for people to talk about your brand community with others when they’re happy with what they receive.

To make the process easier, use branded hashtags.

Retweets, regrann, share, and like posts from active community members on social media. (user-generated content).
They’ll feel more connected, which fosters the purpose of a community. It can close the gap for those who love your brand, but don’t necessarily feel inclined to do so publicly.

2. Feature the community prominently in your customer-facing touchpoints (website, emails, blogs)

Talk about your brand community on all fronts. Always.

Feature your online community on your website’s landing page, in emails, and in the blogs you create.

For example, HubSpot has a section on their website tagged “Resources” where people can find a link to the HubSpot community.

It’s important to let your audience know you have an incredibly helpful community of like-minded people. You can use examples of how common issues were solved in the community.

You should also email your customer.

Consider creating a newsletter. Send a short newsletter to your customers to let them know what’s new in the community. It could be weekly or bimonthly. Highlight new members and give a heads-up about upcoming events, contests, and promotions.

3. Cross-promote the community in channels

Part of growing your online community requires cross-promoting across multiple channels. Get the word out wherever you are. You could visit forums and other groups where your target audience is likely spending time.

Introduce yourself, join conversations, and be helpful (without marketing). Then, once you become an established community member, you can casually suggest a post or piece of content in your community that may be helpful. You should also mention your community’s benefits, features, and milestones in social media posts.

Here’s an example on Twitter of Later Media sharing how their TikTok community reached 50K followers:

Your target audience is scattered across multiple platforms. Get through to them by promoting your community, its benefits, features, and milestones on other social media platforms where they can be found.

4. Run sponsored ads

Sponsored ads are critical if you want to grow a B2B business with social media. It’s no different with B2B community building.
But many people are weary of sponsored ads. They scroll quickly once they see advertisements on their feed or webpages, and they can become irritated when it appears the product is being forced on them.

But if the ads are not for pure marketing and are simply a way for them to connect with their favorite brand, have interesting peer-to-peer discussions, and find help quickly — perceptions will change.

So, add sponsored ads to your social media strategy budget. You can use them to target your audience with keywords and search terms. Then, it becomes easier to find people who want to be in your community based on the value you offer. In addition, consider using Facebook Custom Audiences and Facebook Ads Manager to promote your community page’s updates and links to your website.

5. Host AMAs

An AMA (ask me anything) series, which is popular on Reddit, is a great way to educate, engage, and connect with your audience.

AMAs are simply Q&A sessions in which you can share your knowledge, experiences, and ideas.

Events like these can be engaging for both audiences and brands. They’re a way to talk about success stories, case studies, and personal challenges.

Many B2B brands have hosted AMA sessions. HubSpot hosted an AMA that lasted 6 weeks in 2019.

Take a look here:

Why should you host an AMA? Besides giving you a golden chance to create an engaging, interactive, and thriving community, AMA sessions tick the following boxes:

  • They’re a chance to boost brand awareness and market products without being salesy or pushy.
  • You get to show your human side. It’s always good to put a face to the business.
  • You get to learn more about your audience’s concerns, pain points, interests, and suggestions.
  • They’re a great chance to bond with your audience and make you, your employees, and the entire company appear easily accessible.

6. Host community contests

The word “free” turns heads. People just can’t resist freebies. And hosting community contests is an effective way to boost ROI.

The numbers support this. According to Small Business Trends, Contests generate a 30%-plus conversion rate ,higher than any other content. And data from Tailwind shows that 91% of Instagram posts with over 1,000 likes or comments are connected to a contest.

And accounts that run contests regularly grow 70% faster than those that don’t. Those are crazy numbers!
Not only will you get increased engagement with contests, but you can also boost your ROI. Some examples of creative and successful contests from B2B brands include:

  • Hootsuite’s #IWorkFromHere – Not only did this contest help their brand generate more leads, but it gave Hootsuite emotional and powerful real audience stories to share.
  • Cisco’s #InnovationGrandChallenge – This contest helped Cisco understand their audience better, it revived their brand personality, and helped them stay relevant — thousands of entries were submitted.

If you’re just starting, you don’t need hundreds of thousands of dollars as a reward. You only need a promise of something valuable to the audience for free in return for invites to the community or engaging in posts.

7. Keep it fun or funny

We know marketing is a serious business. But by throwing in a bit of fun, you’ll stay alive in the minds of community members and prospects, stand out in the marketplace, and drive engagement.

Whimsical content can show off a humorous, yet intelligent corporate culture.

You can choose to create content that incorporates beautiful design and takes a unique approach to popular trends. A colorful, engaging image could be just the piece to entice a new follower to discover more about your company.

People use Instagram, for example, for aesthetics and to be inspired, and they often scroll passively through their feed until something catches their attention.

Additionally, consider using memes. While using memes for marketing isn’t for everyone, social media is a breeding ground for satirical and humorous images.

Your audience will still see the value in artistic content even when it’s obvious the content is still marketing-focused.

8. Be hyper-specific and helpful

Be sure to create precise and helpful content. You’ll drive more engagement if your content solves a particular problem or pain point, rather than trying to solve every issue in one post. So look for one case, and create super-specific content that solves it.

Embrace educational content. It could be a video that shows your audience how to do something or a static image that breaks down a new concept.

Here’s an incredibly helpful example from Later, raising awareness of mental health:

The right content can substantially boost your product positioning and deliver the value your audience will appreciate.

How To Create Engaging Content That Helps Build Community & Boosts ROI

Content is crucial to a thriving community. Intelligent marketers know creative content is vital for anyone looking to grow a B2B business with social media.

If you’re stuck, here are some tips to create interactive content that will drive community growth and boost ROI.

Content should be relatable to people who work in that field: As a rule of thumb, if the content is not relevant to the audience, it should never go live. Your audience should be able to relate to your social media posts. Your posts should affect them in one way or another.

Here are tips on creating relatable content:

  • Understand, develop, and use customer personas.
  • Personalize content for each segment, company, or stakeholder in your audience. (This depends on how deeply you can go.)
  • Let your content focus on your audience’s pain points — the problems they try to solve or the need they’re looking to satisfy. Speak directly to their pains.
  • Ask yourself: Where are they in the buyer’s journey? For example, audience members at the awareness stage could use a blog, while an audience in the considering stage could use a case study or a how-to guide.

Other things to note:

  • Tell rich and compelling stories.
  • Make the content easy to read. Consider using large blocks of text in images. (This could be particularly useful on Instagram, where you can post multiple images in one post.) Hootsuite, Mailchimp, and Slack are some examples of B2B brands that do this.
  • Use visual content. Did you know that 67% of B2B buyers prefer highly visual and interactive offerings? (DemandGenReport)

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Get the 6-Step 2022 Social Media Strategy Framework + Examples

Best B2B Social Media Community Examples

Product School Community Case Study

Product School is the largest community of product managers.

Since it was founded in 2014, the Product School community has grown to over 1 million product managers globally. While Product School’s major focus is educating and certifying product managers, it also conducts 1,000 events and 5 conferences yearly.

Surprisingly, 90% of its resources are free.

Takeaway: Product school chose Slack as its preferred platform. The community functions as both a learning and discussion community.

Later.com/Later app Community Case Study

Later describes its community as a place where its users and social media movers can connect, learn, and exchange ideas.

Just three years after Later was founded, the platform announced that its customer base had grown to over one million users. The Later community is also thriving and currently has more than 4,000 members.

If you’re a Later user and have any issues, you’re sure to get help within their community.

Takeaways:

  • Community guidelines are expressly stated.
  • The community welcomes each member.
  • There’s a guide on everything you should know about the community.
  • Posts are consistent with almost 3,000 posts (as of this writing).
  • There is a defined member journey, and members have specific tags (e.g Community Starter, Community Starter II, and Community Follower).

Drift Community Case Study

The Drift Community has more than 45,000 members. That’s terrific for a community that was launched in 2020. Drift, a conversational sales and marketing company, has built a thriving community of people willing to discuss and learn.

Takeaway: Drift encourages members who want to create content for discussion to use visual content. This is because the platform recognizes the impact of images and videos in drawing engagements.

Gong Community Case Study

Gong is a revenue intelligence platform for B2B sales and marketing teams. And they understand the impact of B2B community building.

Gong’s community has more than 2,000 members.

Takeaway: The goal is to provide a platform for peer-to-peer interaction, sharing ideas, and learning from top B2B sales marketers. Users can read any of the hundreds of educational posts available, share their thoughts, and even ask specific questions.

ProfitWell Community Case Study

ProfitWell is another revenue growth platform that leverages B2B community-building effectively.

Takeaway: ProfitWell’s official community is on Facebook. This makes sense because Facebook is the world’s biggest social media platform, and there’s an excellent opportunity to connect with its audience there.

Types Of Online Communities

Your goals and the type of community your audience wants significantly influence the kind of online community you’ll build and grow.

We’ve listed 5 types of online communities that will inspire you, plus examples from brands. If you’re unsure of the kind of community you should create, the following is a reliable guide.

Learning community

People want to gain new information, know what’s happening, and share knowledge with like-minded people. Suppose your brand is focused on creating an environment for knowledge-sharing. In that case, a learning community will allow you to engage with a broader audience while enhancing your voice and presence in your industry.

You can use a learning community to provide in-depth research, insights, and other exclusive content.

An excellent example of a learning community is Wilmington Healthcare’s OnMedica community. Wilmington Healthcare is a B2B brand that uses its granular understanding of the national and local NHS to help its clients better understand their audience and market.

The community provides specialists and GPs with the latest educational resources and opportunities to share and collaborate.

The community has a unique verification process, meaning only doctors registered with the General Medical Council in the United Kingdom are allowed full access. This ensures the credibility of any information and knowledge that is shared. The community has become a prominent independent environment for doctors, offering a wealth of clinical reference materials and expertise.

Another example of a learning community is Adobe’s learning communities.

Action community

This type of online community advocates for change. Their shared values are what bring them together. It’s a community where members unite to organize and achieve a common purpose.

For instance, an action community could be created for charity fundraising, political change, and so on. Brands that set up action communities are usually non-profit.

Perhaps the greatest challenge such communities have is maintaining interest from all members, especially when the change people work toward is gradual.

Here are some examples of non-profits with online communities that service other enterprises, mainly small-scale businesses:

  • Acumen – a non-profit investment fund that invests in businesses that service low-income earners in the US.
  • Kiva – is a non-profit microfinance company that lends money to low-income entrepreneurs.

Brand community

The genuine relationships and connections that leading industry brands foster with their customers are vital to their success.

Brand communities give their customers more involvement in brands and highlight their expertise.

Concentrating on consumer needs, desires, and pain points is vital to building a growing, engaging, and sustainable community that can boost ROI.

One of the most successful brand communities is Salesforce’s Trailblazer community of almost 2 million members.

Discussion community

A discussion community is where members join to talk about a common interest, such as a favorite TV show, fashion, celebrities, or sports teams.

B2B brands can also create discussion communities for clients who are genuine business followers and want peer-to-peer interaction.

If you have a discussion community, then engagement is the primary goal of your content.

An excellent example of a discussion community is the Act! Community. It allows members to collaborate on new ideas and discuss experiences.

Support community

Users can ask for and provide help on specific topics in a support community. Support communities help brands reduce customer support costs, like handling support tickets.

One of the best examples is Apple’s Support Community.

You can find service-related conversations, get help and advice on software and products from members, view product specifications for devices across the company’s history, and more.

This type of community is pretty common among brands. A Forrester Research study found that 81% of companies have at least one form of a support community.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why are B2B social media communities important to businesses?

B2B social media communities are essential for many reasons. Social media communities can help B2B businesses connect with their target audience across multiple platforms, which significantly improves brands’ customer acquisition. The relationship that these communities foster also helps with customer retention, garnering first-hand feedback, gaining an in-depth understanding of customer personas and needs, cutting support costs (such as handling support tickets), and improving brand image. Community members are more likely to become brand advocates.

What KPIs should I measure for my B2B community?

To start, determine your community goals. Understand why you created the community. If your goal is to get more engagement for your social media posts and in your community, then you’ll measure KPIs like:

  • Comment rate
  • Likes
  • Shares
  • Video views and duration, etc.

You can also measure KPIs like conversion and click-through rate. If you want to grow your customer base, KPIs like signup rate can help you measure growth effectively for your B2B community.

How can I start a thriving B2B community?

Start by identifying your business’s needs, and then determine the purpose of your community. You should also understand your audience’s needs and choose the right platform. Next, create a plan for how to achieve your goals. Don’t hesitate to promote your community across multiple platforms and measure KPIs to identify growth opportunities.

What is the best channel for B2B communities?

The best channel for your B2B community depends on your audience. With that in mind, Facebook is one of the best social media platforms for B2B marketing, and it’s also an excellent place for a B2B social media community (especially Facebook Groups). LinkedIn, Instagram, Slack, YouTube, and Twitter are other channels to consider. You can consider creating your own platform for your B2B community if you have the resources.

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How to Build a Better B2B Social Media Strategy: 2022 Guide

Tomori Uriel

Tomori Uriel is a sustainability advocate, divergent thinker and Growth & Marketing Manager at Sculpt. He believes a good idea doesn't care who has it.

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