Ever felt like your B2B social media content is just not hitting the mark? Well, you're not alone.

In this episode of the Marketing Smarts Live Show, guest Brooke Sellas, an expert on the subject, shares her knowledge and experience regarding the art and science of creating B2B Social media content that fuels human connections.

Let's dive in!

Starved for Social Connection?

In a world drowning in content, what people are really starved for is connection. Brooke Sellas emphasizes that relationships are particularly important during a time when people are in a state of content overload.

This episode revolves around the idea that B2B marketing is not just about campaigns; it's about conversations that connect.

The Science and Art of Buying

Brooke Sellas kicks off by focusing on the science part of buying. She mentions that buying, whether B2B or B2C, is 95% emotional. Brands, especially in the B2B sector, have often left emotion aside, making their messaging feel robotic and unengaging.

The key takeaway? If you want to sell, the process has to take emotion into account.

The Power of FAQs

One of the most intriguing parts of the episode was the discussion around frequently asked questions (FAQs). Brooke shares a study revealing that at least 20% of social chatter for customer care clients was acquisition chatter. That led to the creation of nurture content to answer those types of questions, changing the whole game.

Troll Policy: Prepare for the Inevitable

Brooke warns that it's not a matter of whether you'll face a troll, but when. She advises putting together a troll policy so that you're prepared for when that happens. Being vulnerable is part of the process, and not everyone will align with your brand.

Words of Wisdom

Brooke Sellas leaves us with her words of wisdom: "Think conversation, not campaign." She urges everyone to focus on being human in their B2B marketing efforts.

Action Items

  1. Evaluate your current B2B social media strategy. Is it conversation-driven?
  2. Incorporate emotion into your messaging.
  3. Create a troll policy for your brand.

* * *

Check out the full Marketing Smarts podcast episode (link below) and the Marketing Smarts Live Show, below, for more insights:

Make sure you don't miss any future episodes: Subscribe to the Marketing Smarts Live Show on YouTube. And to catch up on all previous episodes, check out the full playlist on YouTube.

Episode Details, Guest Information, and Referenced Links

Episode No. 26

Guest's social media profiles:

MarketingProfs resources referenced in the show:

"In B2B News" article referenced in the show:

"From the #mpb2b Community" links referenced in the show:

Transcript: Creating B2B Social Media Content That Fuels Human Connections With Brooke Sellas

Welcome to the "Marketing Smarts Live" show by MarketingProfs and the Marketing Smarts Podcast. Where we dive into B2B news, resources, valuable guest content, and much more each week.

If you're a B2B marketer looking for a place to learn, keep up to date, and have some fun along the way, grab a beverage, a notepad, or at least some style of writing utensil, and welcome to the show!

Guess what, It's not just you: A lot of B2B content makes even content experts fall asleep.

"98% of B2B content I run across is very boring. It's all made up of clichés and facts, and to be completely honest, it's tiresome.

Those clichés and facts can only take your brand so far, especially on social media. If engagement is the goal, your content needs to be a balance of acquisition and retention strategies—or what this week's guest Brooke calls breadth and depth.

Is that a bit of a tease for you?

Hello to all my Marketing Smarts Live viewers today. I'm super excited to bring you episode 26 of the Marketing Smarts Live show.

This week's topic is all about Creating B2B Social Media Content That Fuels Human Connections. So, if you're ready to get your learn on, buckle up and let's get ready to rock a nd roll.

Hey, I'm your boy George B. Thomas speaker, trainer, catalyst, and host of this hear show, the Marketing Smarts Live show as well as the Marketing Smarts podcast found on your favorite podcast app.

Our guest clips today are brought to you by none other than Brooke Sellas.

Brooke Sellas, CEO and founder of B Squared Media, an award-winning digital marketing agency focusing on social media management, advertising, and social-led customer care.

Her marketing mantra is "Think Conversation, Not Campaign," and she believes in it so much that she wrote a book on it called Conversations That Connect.

Now, remember, the clips of Brooke Sellas today are pulled from the full marketing smarts podcast episode and, if you want to listen to the full interview with Brooke Sellas and myself, make sure to tune into the Marketing Smarts podcast, link to the full show will be in the description below after the live show ends.

Now, in this episode, again, I'm talking with Brooke Sellas about Creating B2B Social Media Content That Fuels Human Connections.

Relationships are particularly important during a time when people are getting content overload and want to start socializing again.

Let's be honest, people aren't starved for content. They're starved for connection.

They're looking for like-minded individuals to connect with. Your brand needs to be that individual. You my friends may need to be those individuals.

So with connection being such a key player in B2B marketing success in the future, I wanted to ask Brooke...

Why do you think it's essential for B2B marketers to focus on creating content that fuels connection?

Here's what she had to say.

Brooke: I'm going to focus on the science part of it first, because it is part science, part art. If we just look at the psychology of buying, we know based on reports that have gone back to the '70s and earlier that buying is 95% emotional. We make a buying decision, whether we're B2B or B2C, or at the checkout line and those Peanut M&Ms are calling to us, it's emotional. I think brands, especially on the B2B front, have left that emotion aside and that's why it feels so stale and robotic, and why we don't want to engage, because it's not emotional.

Did you hear that?

Part science, part art!

If you want to sell, people need to buy and if they 're going to buy, it has to be emotional.

B2B brands need to embrace that emotion in their messaging. This makes me think back to the episode I did with Jay Acunzo, if you haven't seen or heard that episode, make sure to go check it out today!

Are you leveraging emotion in your buyer's and customer journeys?

Put the answer to that in the chat pane or, let me know on Twitter using the hashtag #mpb2b and of course, tag me using @georgebthomas.

We'll get back to Brooke Sellas and her thoughts on Creating B2B Social Media Content That Fuels Human Connections But first, I have to ask...

Are you part of the MarketingProfs community? If not, become part of the MarketingProfs community by heading over to mprofs.com/mptoday - That's mprofs.com/mptoday.

Now, it's time for one of my favorite sections …

In The B2B News - Where we talk about breaking B2B news or really important tips we find on the google news tab related to you and your B2B business. This week, the title is...

LinkedIn Publishes New Guide to B2B Marketing KPIs by Andrew Hutchinson on Social Media Today.

Looking to implement a more effective digital marketing measurement framework for 2023?

This will help – LinkedIn has published a new 15-page explainer of common KPIs, including what they measure, what that means, and how you can apply such in your process.

You know and I know that as B2B marketers, we spend a good amount of our time on LinkedIn either consuming or publishing. So, this article should be pretty relevant for your daily strategies.

I love that this article shows the most common KPIs to consider pertaining to LinkedIn. But at the end of the day, it's a good teaser and gateway for you to get the full 15 page LinkedIn B2B Marketing KPIs guide.

To read this article, check out the link below when the live show is over.

So let's get back to Brooke Sellas and her Marketing Smarts podcast episode.

If you are going to start to move your content into a new place, whether it's adding emotion, focusing on retention, or something else I wanted to know, what you should be thinking of along the way so, I asked Brooke.

As B2B Marketers get started shifting their content, what are some things they should be thinking of?

Brooke: One of the biggest things I would recommend is as I was writing the book, I was talking to our customer care clients, and I just on a whim decided to ask all of them, "How much of your social chatter do you think is acquisition versus retention?" Meaning, how many people are asking you questions as they're thinking about buying your product and becoming a customer, and how many have already become a customer and are coming to your social channels for support? Across the board, they all said that they thought acquisition or pre-purchase would be zero to 5%.

So, we studied it. We literally labeled every single incoming conversation as acquisition or retention for all of our customer care clients. Guess what we found? All of them had at least 20% acquisition chatter happening on their pages. One of our big global tech brands who has probably 12 product lines, four of the product lines had over 60% acquisition month over month. One of the lines had 80% acquisition.

So, we were able to take those frequently asked questions back to the sales team and say, "Where is this information? How are you answering these questions?" Lo and behold, they didn't have nurture content for those types of questions, so now we're creating that content. Again, these conversations, whether they're reactive, they're coming to you, or they're proactive, you're asking questions through your social content, that data changes the whole game.

Now, just to give a quick note, we are putting MSRP amounts to these conversations, and I can say that the 80% acquisition conversation in July equaled about a million dollars in product. What if we turned around and we're answering those FAQs, answering those questions, but we're also saying something like, "Hey, George. Yes, absolutely, that printer is Alexa compatible. Here's a quick video on how that works. If you buy within the next 48 hours, here's a promo code for free shipping." What's going to happen then?

Are we going to start to attribute revenue to organic social media efforts? Yes, we are, because we already are doing that. Guess what happens then? The C-suite starts to pay attention and notice the value of organic social.

The interesting thing that I pulled out of this was the FAQs, answering the FAQs, and the power of that on our social media channels.

I have to ask, are you getting success from organic social? Are you answering the questions of the humans you serve? Are they looking for ways to connect because they know you're there waiting to connect and take care of them?

I sure hope so but if not, keep watching as we'll dig in even deeper shortly.

We will get back to Brooke Sellas in a few minutes but first it's time for some...

Dope B2B Learnings From The Vault of MarketingProfs Articles

That's right, It's time to dig into the treasure trove of valuable information and pull out two pieces of gold to help you be a better B2B marketer.

Article one this week is: 14 Highly Effective B2B Marketing and Sales Tactics Based on Emotions by Bob Oord

For a long time, B2B marketers assumed that business decisions were based primarily on rational motivations and that emotion was an exclusive territory for B2C marketers. However, it's becoming increasingly apparent that emotion plays an important role in B2B as well.

Emotion and reason are two human traits that together—sometimes in agreement, but sometimes in conflict—lead to decisions. It's not one or the other, black or white.

According to behavioral scientist and Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman, people have two modes of thinking for making decisions.

Want to learn more? Link in the description below.

Article two this week is: How to Make Sure Your Social Media Strategy Succeeds: Take a Cross-Discipline Approach by Laurence Minsky and Keith Quesenberry

Social media is now a mature practice integral to the success of virtually every B2B organization. But, although other key marketing communication disciplines have clear "owners"—advertising is responsible for "paid," public relations for "earned," and marketing for "owned"—social media doesn't have one.

The key responsibility falls to one of those three or to one of many other organizational functions in various departments (or performed by an outside firm) including Corporate Communications, Sales, Human Resources, and Customer Service.

All of those departments have specific, but strategically different, reasons to be on social media.

Want to keep learning more? If so, check the links in the description below after the live show to get access to both amazing MarketingProfs articles.

OK, back to Brooke Sellas … Let's dive back into this conversation of Creating B2B Social Media Content That Fuels Human Connections

One of the things I like to do on this show and on the Marketing Smarts podcast is try to remove any potholes, hurdles, you know, things that might get in your way.

So I had to ask Brooke...

What are some hurdles you'd want to warn the Marketing Smarts audience about as they set out on this new focus for their conversational content?

Brooke: The unfortunate answer there is two parts. One, it's not if you're going to face a troll with your brand, it's when. I would put together a troll policy so that you're prepared for when that happens, because it will.

Part of what we're talking about with these conversations and asking for and soliciting opinions and feelings means opening yourself up. You used the word earlier of being vulnerable. You can't get to depth, you can't get to the middle of that onion without being vulnerable. The trap is not everyone is going to align with you.

The other thing I want to add here about looking at the negative and embracing it is embrace dissolution. We're so focused on follower numbers, dissolution when you're aligning your audience and their core values with your brand and your brand's core values is a good thing. It's actually needed to get to the audience who align with you the best.

Think about Patagonia and how stark raving their fans are. They've pissed some people off along the way with their opinions and feelings about climate change. Guess what? They didn't think a second thought about. They kept trudging forward because they knew they were only interested in aligning with those who were aligned with their core brand values.

I love the idea of a Troll Policy!

Like Brooke said, its not about if it's about when!

A micro tip is remembering not everyone is going to connect with you.

You were not built for everyone!

You were built for those who will show up at your digital doorsteps.

This is something that Patagonia knows well.

It's about knowing and leading with your core values and allowing the right people to connect with you.

We're going to get some words of wisdom from Brooke Sellas here in a few minutes but right now it's time to turn the spotlight on you, the MarketingProfs community. Yep, time for...

From The #MPB2B Community

We searched far and wide in the #MPB2B universe to find amazing information and conversation to bring to the masses.

So, first, make sure you are using the hashtag, and second, make sure you have fun and add value to the community.

Then, we'll spotlight you or your crew on the show. This week, it's...

Ashley Faus, Director of Integrated Product Marketing, at Atlassian

I found this treasure in the trove of hashtag goodness. Ashley on LinkedIn said...

Get you a professional network that turns into personal friends.

Excited to share the speaking-at-a-conference tradition with Devin Bramhall!

I'm sharing two sessions about my thought leadership framework at MarketingProfs. There's a section on personal branding, and I'm often asked how personal is too personal?

My level of sharing works for me, but it's not the "right" or only way to share.

You gotta do YOU! #speaker #mpb2b #thoughtleadership

And let me just say, you have to check out the rest of the post and the photo on as well!

It's priceless.

Check out the description and click that link to check out the post now!

Marketing Smarts viewer, I have to ask... are you going to be next to get the spotlight?

Remember community, use the hashtag #mpb2b on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter and get the light shined on your awesomeness in the next episode or a future episode of the Marketing Smarts Live show!

Pro tip, it won't hurt if you tag me into your post as well I'm @georgebthomas on LinkedIn and Twitter.

OK, let's kick it back to Brooke Sellas and some words of wisdom around this topic of Creating B2B Social Media Content That Fuels Human Connections.

Here is what Brooke Sellas wanted to leave us with as her words of wisdom...

Brooke: These are trying times, and they have been. Depending on who you are and how you feel, these have been trying times for anywhere from the past two to six years. They're getting even more trying, we're going through more trials and tribulations. Again, going back to the psychology, putting yourself in the consumer's shoes. People aren't starved for content. They're starved for connection. They're looking for like-minded individuals to connect with. Your brand needs to be that "individual." I'm saying individual in air quotes because, obviously, it's not an individual. Our motto at B Squared is think conversation, not campaign, and I really mean that. I really want everyone to embrace that because we're constantly upping content marketing budgets and pumping out more content, but people aren't starved for content, they want connection. How can you make those connections happen?

Are you offering connection? Are you thinking conversation or campaign?

Is everything a tactic or strategy or, are you really focused on being human in your B2B marketing efforts.

Man, I love this episode!

Have you enjoyed today's journey? Let us know, use that hashtag #mpb2b on whatever platform you are joining us on.

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image of George B. Thomas

George B. Thomas is a marketer, video Jedi, and HubSpot certified trainer with 25+ years of sales and marketing experience. George is owner and HubSpot Helper at georgebthomas.com. He has a record-breaking 38 HubSpot sales, marketing, service, CRM, and CMS certifications. George harnesses his expertise in graphic design, Web development, video editing, social media marketing, and inbound marketing to partner with, teach, and develop solutions for companies looking to develop their businesses and increase their revenue.

LinkedIn: George B. Thomas

Twitter: @GeorgeBThomas