Nov 16, 2021 BrandGen Team

How to Leverage Social Media in Your ABM Strategy


Social Media and ABM: A powerful combination

As you may have noticed, we’re big fans of account-based everything. When it comes to B2B companies, it just makes sense to take an account-based approach to marketing, sales, and organizational alignment across all other areas.

If you’d like to dive more deeply into that concept, check out Demystifying ABM: Yes, You Can Make It Happen.

While you’re planning ABM campaigns, you might find a lot of buzz about outbound strategies, but it’s also important to take a multi-channel approach with a relevant mix of channels to successfully reach contacts within target accounts.

If you want to create an account-based mindset within your agency or organization, help your teams understand by showing them how ABM works within a variety of channels. We’ll start with one everyone is familiar with: social media!

Implementing social media strategies into your ABM campaigns will enable you to communicate in a highly personalized and focused way to target accounts.

Ready to gain the benefits of leveraging social media in your ABM Strategy? Ready – set – let’s go.

Focus on Relationship Building

We’re going to start with how to get your team to buy into using social media within ABM campaigns.

As with any ABM strategy, you must have sales and marketing alignment for ABM to be successful. Make sure that you’re connecting regularly on tactics, updates, and analytics to ensure you’re unified as you move forward.

Help sales teams understand that their role in account-based social media is imperative.

Salespeople will be the boots on the ground for the relationship building that is so important in the account-based sales process. Help them understand that this is not isolated “social selling,” but a piece of the ABM puzzle that will help them gain traction through genuine connections.

The benefits of leveraging social media include:

  • Expanding trust of key stakeholders within accounts
  • Accelerating personal connections with top accounts
  • Amplifying personalization of campaign messaging
  • Softening sales approach through relevant channels

It’s clear: social media will expand the reach of your ABM campaigns because it emphasizes relationship building and builds trust with the right people.

When it comes to choosing which platforms your team(s) should focus on, refer back to your Ideal Client Profiles, and see where your key stakeholders spend their time.

In typical B2B markets, LinkedIn and Twitter are a good place to start because your company may already have an established presence as a thought leader, and sales reps can leverage their networks while expanding into new accounts as well. This should not discount your ability to take advantage of other social platforms; we’ve seen some great TikTok campaigns and high-performing Facebook ads that can be effective, but make sure that whatever you’re doing fits in with the larger ABM campaign strategy for effectiveness.

Lay the Foundation

Once you have established the focus of relationship building through social media within your ABM campaigns, it’s time to put it into action.

Make sure you have these key elements in place first:

  • A solid content strategy. You must consistently provide helpful content that leads contacts through the process of education until they’re ready to make a purchasing decision. Remember: ABM is so much more than ads!
  • Identify the key roles in accounts that make up your buying committee. This can include decision-makers, champions, influencers, budget holders, and of course, blockers. Focus more energy on your champions than your blockers! Each type should be associated with a specific role in a company, like CEO, Purchasing Manager, CFO, etc.

Once you have these two key elements in place, you’re ready to go!

Listen with Intent

You should already have your list of accounts that you’re targeting in place. Depending on the scale of your ABM campaign, you should have sales reps split up to pursue different accounts to make sure each of their journeys is personalized. For account-based social to be effective, no rep should have more than ten accounts to pursue, or it won’t be as effective.

Sales reps can then begin mapping out their plan of action. First off, make sure that their LinkedIn profiles are optimized and provide a clear picture of your company’s solutions.

Reps can use a lead generation platform to research roles within their accounts, along with LinkedIn searches (Sales Navigator is ideal for better mapping) and setting up notifications on key decision-makers within LinkedIn and Twitter once they begin to find their ideal targets within the buying committees. On the marketing side, you can set up social listening streams for company accounts and key individuals as well.

The wise phrase “listen with the intent to understand, not respond” is optimal here.

Marketing and sales teams need to listen intentionally to identify the habits of potential buyers. Keep these questions in mind:

  • What types of content do your targets interact with and share? Do they prefer video, longer-form content, blogs, or other types of content?
  • What types of posts do they interact most with, and what are they talking about on a regular basis?
  • What are they celebrating or complaining about? What are their customers celebrating or complaining about?

Answering these questions is a perfect way to build a more relevant content strategy for marketing and increase personalized topics for sales. It will equip you to produce better campaigns and improve conversations throughout the sales cycle.

Interact with Authenticity

Once you understand your target audience’s pain points and how your solutions bring value, it’s time to interact.

Sales reps can create dialogue and engagement through thoughtful, helpful interactions with key decision-makers. They should post regularly about relevant industry topics as well to offer a good mixture of content, without overdoing it.

Tips for engaging on social media as a B2B sales rep:

  • Comment on company and/or individual posts
  • Share posts to show support and interest
  • Use hashtags that key stakeholders use and post about relevant topics
  • Record quick, informative videos about relevant topics and add captions
  • Join industry groups on LinkedIn and engage in the conversation
  • To soften your approach, start by following them on LinkedIn, and if/when you send a connection request, always add a note that shows genuine interest without being “salesy”

There are a number of other ways to be effective through organic social media and 1:1 interactions between sales reps and key decision-makers. Brainstorm with your teams about creating a buzz through social competitions with a prize or other creative ideas.

It’s important for marketers and salespeople to keep in mind that social media networking needs to be genuine and of high quality to be effective. The last thing you want is for people to feel like you’re bombarding them, and it takes time to develop relationships. But the boost to your reputation (and the reputation of the company) will be worth it in the long run and will lead to delighted customers and referrals down the road.

Leveraging social media within an ABM strategy adds a level of personalization that would otherwise be difficult to obtain, so keep alignment between marketing and sales throughout the process to ensure momentum in your campaigns.

What are you waiting for? It’s time to get social.

ABM campaign planning and implementation is complicated.

Break it down into manageable steps with our practical guide, Success in ABM Campaign Planning: A Workbook

Published by BrandGen Team November 16, 2021