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9 effective ways to use social media in account-based marketing

Image of Timothy O'Leary
November 18, 2023 | Timothy O'Leary

Account-based marketing (ABM) is a new way for B2B businesses to achieve the higher ROIs compared to other forms of marketing. ABM is personalizing your marketing messages for the individual target accounts.

But how do you effectively combine social media into the mix? 

How can social media help you streamline your ABM strategies even more? What are the best practices you can deploy for greater results?

Well, that’s exactly what we’re going to talk about today. Keep on reading to discover 9 tips from industry experts on using social media for your account-based marketing.

Let’s get into it.

Why ABM & what does it have to do with social media?

Of all the other marketing strategies like mass-emailing, TV ads, or traditional social media ads where you hope to get — good leads — ABM is different. You’re in control of everything. You get to decide who exactly your dream client is. And you deploy marketing strategies to reach them and nurture them into doing business with you. Because it’s targeted on an account level, it’s so effective. Even so, it delivers 97% ROI, as compared to the other forms of marketing.

Derek Bruce, Operations Director at Manchester First Aid Courses says “When you combine social media with your ABM strategies, things just really blow off the chart. You’ll be able to easily minimize the sales cycle noticeably."

Let’s take a small example:

Traditionally, what you’d do is you’d write some solution-driven blog posts, and capture leads through email opt-ins. After that, you’d need to nurture them so you could offer your high-ticket products. Now, there’s nothing wrong with it — this is still largely one of the effective modules.

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Enter ABM on social media: now, with the help of some AI tools, you know exactly who your target accounts are. A tad bit of research using social listening tools will give you all their struggles and pain points, which they discuss publicly on social media. Using that data, you can just create personalized messages, target hyper-specific ads, or write content that will instantly resonate with them. These personalized messages will convert them into paying customers faster, added Matt Weidle, Business Development Manager of Buyer’s Guide.

This is why global ABM is expected to cross $1.6 billion by 2027 .

Here are some good things about ABM:

  • It gives you great results – consistently, as the approach is super-personalized on the account level.
  • It allows your sales, marketing, and even customer satisfaction team to collaborate better.
  • Shorter sales cycles.
  • Highest ROI.

Make a clear audience persona

Identify precisely and exactly what your target accounts or companies are. If you’re unsure, here’s the trick of the trade: analyze the top 20%-30% of your existing clients. Figure out what is it about them that’s bringing you recurring revenue.

What separates them from everybody else?

Map out their industries, demographics, revenues, technologies, and their company sizes. Jot down on the specifics — because, after all, that’s what ABM is all about.

Once you’ve discovered that, here’s what you’re going to do: discover more such companies.

Start by filtering company profiles on different social media platforms. LinkedIn is ideal for B2B businesses, therefore, I suggest starting from there. Filter industries and then companies you want to work with.

Don’t just stop right there. Discover the profiles/employees you’re going to target. For instance, if you sell into the marketing department, you'll want to know about the CMO.

Once you figure out your target accounts, the rest of the tactics become a whole lot easier: crafting sales messages, writing relevant content, or reaching out on other platforms.

Stay in front of their eyes with social selling

There really is two ways to get in front of your audience on social media.

Let's take scenario one in action: you find an ideal client profile on a social media platform, let’s say LinkedIn. You send them a connection request, and immediately leave a message with your sales pitch.

Do you think this strategy will make them do business with you? I highly doubt it.

Now, let’s take this another scenario in action: you find an ideal client profile on the same platform, you send them a connection request, and you keep interacting with their content. You engage them in thoughtful conversations, offer them free resources, and even be a party to their network.

Do you think this time they’ll do business with you? Absolutely.

Why? Because you started with providing value, staying in front of their eyes, and being genuinely interested in them. This is why they’re more likely to trust you, and do business with you as well.

This might take a tad bit of time in closing them, but it’s perfect for reeling in high-ticket and recurring clients. You’ll need a real close collaboration of your marketing, sales, and customer satisfaction team to achieve effective results.

Hear what they’re talking about

Do proper social listening. Get help from tools like Social Sprout to see what exactly your ideal prospects are posting, discussing, or struggling with. Or use SEO tools like SEMRush to discover the exact questions they’re asking on social media.

What’s that going to do?

You simply get insights about the exact needs of your exact clients. Then you either reach out to them, engage with them, or create social media content that targets those pain points.

Talking about pain points, let’s move on to another effective tip.

Write content that addresses their pain points

You see, ABM is all about being personal, specific, and targeted in your approach. Based on your research, publish social media content that exclusively addresses your target accounts’ pain points.

Let’s suppose you’re targeting the top 100 financial firms in your city. Make a list of them, visit their websites, check their socials, and analyze their marketing (given your product is in the marketing department). Make a report of the biggest mistakes those companies are making. Or the struggles they’re facing.

Now, create a lead magnet — that provides a solution to their problems. You’ll not only be able to engage those targeted accounts with you but will also be able to send segmented sales messages to do business with you.

You can even set up an ad campaign based on that lead magnet — spend a couple of thousands if you’ll. If audience selection and research phase are done right, this will be easily the best ROAS you’ll get.

Paid social media tactics won’t hurt

You might be all about organic content marketing at the core, but hear this out: When you target specifically the decision-makers of specific businesses you want to work with in your creatives, you’ll be off with better results. And that’s what ABM is all about.

Decide who your target accounts are. Not just randomly thought, like for example, “midsize businesses under in the US”. That’s not going to be targeted enough. You’re going to need to be specific, for example, “1500 financial firms with $500K in revenue, in Florida”.

Social media platforms like Facebook now allow you to run targeted ads. You can easily target audiences based on their interests, demographics, or locations. Plus, Facebook even allows you to integrate chatbots or messenger ads to take the purchase journey into their inbox.

The same goes for LinkedIn. Since it’s a B2B platform, you’ll be much better at running a targeted paid campaign here. LinkedIn allows you to target certain accounts based on the different industries and companies — with even more advanced filters. You can easily target creatives that talk to your exact persona, resulting in more ROI.

Focus less on selling, and more on building relationships

Stay current on your prospects' profiles, engage in public conversations whenever you can, and respond to their stories. Foster communications before offering anything. Become their advocate. Validate their passions and business ideas. Or even re-share their content or reference them in your social media content.

It’s okay not to close them right off the bat.

The key objective here is to focus on the long-term business association, which of course always starts with building and nurturing relationships. The deal size of any ABM campaign should guarantee that it's worth your time profit-wise, but you might actually develop deep relationships at the same time.

Align your marketing and sales department

You’ll see this thrown around frequently when it comes to ABM, but what exactly is meant by aligning your marketing and sales team? And why? How is it going to affect your social media ABM marketing strategy?

You see, ABM strategy is about using all the hyper-specific touch points for success. The sales team is much better with accounts, communication, and turning those leads into customers. Meanwhile, the marketing team will be focused on the quality and quantity of those leads. ABM is a mix of both of these touch points — which means both teams need to be aware of the campaign goals, KPIs, and agree upon the set strategic game plan.

Make your sales messages personal

The more attentive you’re to your prospects, the more effective your ABM strategy is going to get. Treat each prospect as an individual; using the touch points of their unique story, unique pain points, and unique goals.

Making your content personalized to your target accounts will require research effort but it will be worth it.

If you have a list of, let’s say, 10,000 target accounts — that will make it so hard for you to discover exact unique stories, struggles, goals, and current challenges. I suggest rating those accounts based on certain key criteria that make any business a dream client for you.

Then select the top 20-30 percent accounts and start your personalized marketing efforts from there. Starting off will be a breeze, and fine-tuning strategies will also be easier.

Track performance and improve

Whether it’s ABM or any other marketing strategy, keeping track of the key metrics is critical for improvement — and success. That’s why make sure you’re constantly measuring your progress. To avoid overwhelm, set regular monthly or half a year regular intervals (based on your goals) to monitor and tweak your strategies.

The key metrics to track here are targeted traffic engagement, and the qualified leads created through content marketing.

If these aren’t up to the mark, you’ll need to reconsider some things. The most critical element of your ABM is getting the target audience and your marketing messages right. If these are not aligned, your ABM efforts will fall short.

Therefore, constantly monitor these two important metrics, alongside others, to always keep improving.

Over to you

I hope now you’ve enough tactics under your sleeve to deploy in your ABM social media marketing campaigns. Remember: the concept of ABM lies under the roof of personalizing your marketing messages so much so that they align with each individual account. That’s when you maximize the efforts.

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