OPINION: How B2B brands can craft authentic social media content

Owen Farrington

Owen Farrington, Managing Partner and Digital Director at krow Group, explores how financial services can master the art of social media content by learning from B2B brands.

For consumer brands, being on social media is a no-brainer. But when it comes to B2B, the difference in customer base might give you pause for thought – after all, isn’t TikTok aimed at Gen Z and based around dancing, comedy and trends that change from one week to the next? In some ways, yes, but that doesn’t mean financial services brands shouldn’t be on it. They should, and the proof is in the brands that provide a business service but are smashing their TikTok output.

The financial services sector in particular has recognised the immense potential of TikTok in fostering brand awareness, establishing thought leadership, and generating high-quality leads. However, for B2B finance brands, the challenge lies in creating authentic and engaging content that resonates with their target audience. Given that TikTok reports that over 89% of its users think finance is an important topic, this shouldn’t be as hard as it may at first seem.

With traditional advertising no longer the reliable revenue generator it was, approaches need to change. TV advertising in the UK, for instance, is set to shrink annually by 2.13% according to some predictions, and ad spend is predicted to reduce in accordance. Flashy TV or magazine ads don’t have the same authenticity as social media content. To really build trust in your audience and showcase your expertise, social media is the new billboard.

So, how can a B2B finance brand harness the spirit of TikTok to make effective content that showcases its expertise and credibility while also growing the business and generating leads? In this article, we’ll look over some real-world examples from finance to retail and technology sectors to show how it can be done, and identify the key pillars of authentic content creation for B2B marketers.

The foundation of any strategy is built upon these three key principles:


  1. Know your audience needs

Crafting authentic content for social media requires a strategic approach that aligns with the needs and expectations of B2B financial services audiences. Know their pain points and the issues they want to solve, and show how your business can address those for them. A look at Quickbooks’ TikTok shows a mix of professional advice on both specific and general business challenges, and case studies of their service users.


  1. Be human

This example from SEMrush is a great example of how to connect with the service being provided in a way that also benefits and understands the consumers your product serves. By taking a real search query and turning it into an advice video, SEMrush is showing what its product can do, but also an understanding of the real-world impact. It’s also a chance to leverage social media platforms to showcase the faces behind their organisations and the personality and culture of employees. Brands should be human as well as being a product or service.


  1. Understand the context

Context plays a pivotal role in the creation of social media content. It serves as the foundation that imparts meaning to your posts. Imagine sharing an inside joke without providing an explanation – no one would understand it! Context helps prevent confusion and awkwardness. Think of it as the essential background story that enables your audience to comprehend your message. Without proper context, your posts might appear perplexing or even be misinterpreted. Various platforms, audiences, and cultural nuances demand customized approaches.

Essentially, it encompasses the who, what, where, and why of your content that truly matters. Moreover, staying up to date with trends and current events is crucial to maintaining relevance. For instance, sharing a light-hearted meme on a serious topic could lead to misunderstandings without the appropriate context. Grasping the context ensures that your content engages, resonates, and nurtures meaningful connections, all while respecting the diversity and sensitivities of your audience.

In addition to these principles, the key pillars for crafting authentic B2B content revolve around:


Sharing meaningful insights

B2B buyers are often seeking valuable information and industry insights. Authentic content involves sharing knowledge, expertise, and thought leadership on social media. Take a look at Shopify’s account – it shares tips, new features and advice on how to get the most from your content marketing.  By providing actionable insights, B2B brands establish themselves as trusted advisors in their respective industries.


Use (or curate) UGC

User-generated content (UGC) plays a significant role in establishing authenticity. By taking real experiences and reviews, brands can show how useful and effective they are to the end user, and demonstrate that they value the connections they’ve built. There are also numerous dedicated content creators with the skills and capabilities to generate socially native content, in case your customer base isn’t resonating well with UGC content.

B2B brands actively encourage their customers and clients to share their experiences, reviews, and success stories on social media. By featuring UGC, B2B brands not only demonstrate the value they deliver but also show that real people are benefiting from their products or services. Even if that content is a little off-the-wall, if it fits with the general ethos of the platform, use it. Look at Zendesk’s example of a positive review in the form of a song. It’s perfect for TikTok, but also for showing the product’s usefulness.


Talk to people

Authentic content goes beyond one-way communication. B2B brands actively engage in conversations with their audience on social media. They respond to comments, address queries, participate in industry-related discussions, and join relevant communities and groups. Here, IBM is answering a question from a user about how to get started in some fun AI projects at home. Not only are they showing they read and respond to comments, they’re also sharing insights that might be useful for another follower with the same question.


Shout about your success

Pleo is showing how integration with another product adds value to their service. Proof of the product and its capabilities is a powerful tool – it gives real world scenarios that the service can enhance, and makes itself a more attractive prospect to invest in. Providing tangible evidence of their value proposition will build credibility among their target audience.


Know your voice

Consistency is key when it comes to crafting authentic content. Mailchimp, with its Instagram reels showcasing real uses of its product, brings cultural flair to its social media offering. Email newsletters are a great product for brand marketing and targeting potential buyers, but they can promote anything you like – by posting Reels that cover everything from the product’s capabilities and new features to a mini-documentary on all-female Lebanese punk band, Mailchimp shows it’s tuned into the wider world. Similarly, WeTransfer’s WePresent series on its website is a collection of profiles of the creatives who use their services. It’s high-quality journalism, and while that’s more content marketing than social media, it’s still a great example of a brand cultivating identity by establishing itself as a cultural commentator.


Utilise in-platform searches

Social SEO represents a significant advancement for platforms, as audiences increasingly turn to social media to find answers to their queries. Platforms like TikTok and Instagram are adapting their interfaces to display short-form videos in response to user searches for questions or inquiries, replacing the traditional approach of presenting lengthy web pages.

B2B brands can leverage this trend by proactively generating content that addresses common queries, rather than simply waiting for these questions to be directly posed to them. By doing so, brands can take the initiative in understanding and addressing their customers’ needs, positioning themselves as valuable and dependable resources.

By implementing these strategies, B2B brands can master the art of crafting authentic content for social media. By providing value, building trust, and engaging in meaningful conversations, B2B brands can establish themselves as industry leaders and create lasting connections with their target audience.


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