Looking to the Future of B2B Social Media Marketing
It’s tough to be a brand on social media. Most people spend their time engaging with friends, family, colleagues, and entertainers (or influencers) rather than corporate accounts. B2B social media marketers face an even greater challenge as B2B businesses have an unfortunate reputation of being, well, a bit of a snooze.
Still, many B2B marketers aim to break the stigma and cut through the noise with social media strategies that capture the attention of decision-makers and influencers at their target organizations.
In the constantly changing world of social media marketing, what can you expect if you’re a B2B brand looking to hit the mark?
Which platforms reign for B2B social media?
In just the past few years, we’ve seen new social media platforms jump onto the scene, including Clubhouse, Tiktok, and products within existing platforms like Instagram Stories—and B2C is meeting their audiences there.
But for B2B, LinkedIn remains the most commonly used platform to get the word out and engage with potential buyers. In fact, research shows that there are 63 million decision-makers on Linkedin, and up to 46% of traffic to your website may come from LinkedIn.
Because of this, we’ve heard many people scoff at suggestions of branching off from LinkedIn as the old standby. However, you should know that…
- Facebook is currently used by 79% of B2B decision makers.
- Just 5-10 years ago, executives would have been skeptical of B2B marketing teams that proposed building an elaborate Facebook ads campaign.
- But today, 65% of B2B marketers depend on Facebook ads. What a turn of events!
Facebook is known as one of the best paid ad platforms to reach B2B decision-makers, while LinkedIn is one of the only platforms that allows full organic reach (meaning you don’t have to pay for it).
Does that mean other social media platforms can’t make an impact?
Considering additional platforms
What made Facebook go from a place built solely to keep in touch with friends to a B2B marketer’s ad haven? Simply put, it got big. The platform built more and more ways for brands to engage with users and strengthened its advertising opportunities.
And the people using those platforms? They got older. Originally built for college students before expanding access, parents soon logged in to keep tabs on kids and found things they loved themselves, like the ability to find old friends and create event invites. Before we knew it, Facebook was filled with people from all generations, including corporate leaders.
Today, a similar upheaval is happening on video platform TikTok. While B2B brands aren’t exactly jumping at the chance to advertise on TikTok, we are seeing its userbase expand. Millennial and Gen-X moms share tips with one another, celebrities of older generations are capturing new audiences (including Mandy Patinkin and Stevie Nicks), and corporate employees find humor in their situations to help others struggling in the past couple of years.
Would we recommend pivoting to a B2B strategy that puts something like TikTok at the forefront? Probably not.
But should you be open to the idea of expanding your strategy, given the proper time and resources? Absolutely. Claim your brand name on all major apps, monitor your industry, and start brainstorming ideas if you’re up for the challenge. It’s not just for kids anymore.
B2B social media trends: Setting up for a winning strategy
Keeping an eye towards the future means thinking about much more than which platforms to use. Periodically update your social media strategy to make sure posts don’t become stale (and help boost B2B’s reputation as a fun follow).
Here are some tips based on what we see trending in B2B social media in 2021:
- Keep up on the conversation. Many of the most visible B2B brands on LinkedIn make it a point to comment on their own feed as well as other people’s posts. Many active LinkedIn users and social media marketing leaders have suggested that active users and brands get prioritized in the platform’s algorithm.In a recent study, LinkedIn Coach Richard van der Blom found that comments are the way to go. “Give a comment to each comment you receive and we noticed up to 250% increase in views and engagement from others,” he said. In 2021 and 2022, we think the most successful brands will be the ones that make it a point to converse.
- Let your people shine. Inboxes are packed to the brim with brands claiming that their product will be the one to make your profits soar. This can get overwhelming, so it’s always a relief when a message comes from a real person.Especially after these past two years, people want to know there is another human behind the brand—one who really understands their struggles and will be patient throughout the decision making process. That’s why the most successful B2B social media strategies in the coming years will put people at the forefront. Give shoutouts, share employees’ posts, put up plenty of team photos, and feature people across your organization in videos.
- Turn that camera on and go. Speaking of videos, you may not be surprised to hear that video posts still garner the most attention from brands, attracting aboutKeep up on the conversation. Many of the most visible B2B brands on LinkedIn make it a point to comment on their own feed as well as other people’s posts. Many active LinkedIn users and social media marketing leaders have suggested that active users and brands get prioritized in the platform’s algorithm.In a recent study, LinkedIn Coach Richard van der Blom found that comments are the way to go. “Give a comment to each comment you receive and we noticed up to 250% increase in views and engagement from others,” he said. In 2021 and 2022, we think the most successful brands will be the ones that make it a point to converse.
Finally, the most successful companies will have a formal social media strategy (and keep it updated). Don’t let your posts go stale by planning too far in advance, but avoid getting caught with no strategy at all.
The world of social media marketing changes on a weekly basis, so the best strategies are flexible and forward-thinking.
Interested in learning more? Schedule a free consultation with our CEO Deb Andrews to learn how social media is just one of many strategies to build your brand.
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