Platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter offer an excellent opportunity for you to connect more closely with your B2B organization’s target audience.
Social media marketing is all about putting the right content in front of the right people at the right time. For this reason, your B2B organization’s social media strategy should focus on increasing impressions and engagement on the platforms your audience regularly visits.
However, deciding on which platforms you should spend your time and resources on can be challenging — especially as the social media landscape changes from year-to-year and even from month-to-month.
In this article, we’ll outline a few of the most common platforms B2B organizations use to connect with their audiences online.
Note, however, that your social media strategy should largely focus on providing valuable, timely information to your customers and other stakeholders.
Often, publishing a smaller number of strategically planned posts is better than blasting content across the web. Always clearly define the “why” of your social media marketing plan before posting anything to your organization’s social media channels.
According to Econsultancy, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter account for 90% of all social referral traffic to business-to-business (B2B) websites, with LinkedIn accounting for more than half (64%).
For this reason, it’s almost expected for any modern B2B firm to be active on each of these core platforms.
LinkedIn is the social media platform where business takes place. As of 2022, LinkedIn has more than 875 million members representing more than 58 million registered companies.
Reports from companies such as Hubspot have found that LinkedIn is 277% more effective at generating leads than Facebook or Twitter. With more than 220 million members in North America alone, it’s easy to see why LinkedIn acts as the primary driver of high-value social media leads for B2B organizations.
Strategically, LinkedIn should act as the primary social channel for your organization’s thought leadership. Due to its inherent formal nature, educational content and thought leadership tends to excel on this platform. LinkedIn also acts as an effective platform for promoting open positions, upcoming events, and other more official announcements for your organization.
Despite waning interest in the United States over recent years, Facebook remains the largest social media platform by a significant margin. In fact, despite a tough year in 2022, Facebook still experienced a 1.3% jump in users, ending the year with 2.93 billion monthly active users, or around 37% of the world’s population.
Recent industry trends among B2B marketers have shifted Facebook away from its former central position in the social media marketing space as businesses increasingly focus on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram as the primary drivers of leads.
However, Facebook still holds a strong position in the B2B marketing space due to its ubiquitous nature and wide reach.
For this reason, many organizations choose to use Facebook for its more social and team-focused nature — taking a more “social” approach to social media by posting content about the employee or customer experience and avoiding hard sales tactics entirely.
Instagram takes a more visual approach to social media, and largely combines many features from Facebook with the shorter and more fast-paced tempo of a platform such as Twitter. Boasting around 1.4 billion active users monthly, Instagram’s reach lands it at the 8th most visited website in the world.
B2B marketers have largely taken notice of Instagram due to its diverse content formats that support discovery and delight across the buyer’s journey, which can increase your brand’s favorability and stickiness.
Remember, B2B buyers are on Instagram as well — they’re just not visiting the platform with the intention of fully engaging with the business world. By aligning your content with the user intent of discovery (“look at this cool thing we did or made”) and delight (posting entertaining content that nurtures the human connection), you can create a cross-platform experience that nurtures leads in a more holistic way.
While not overtly a social media platform, YouTube shares many of the common attributes associated with these other sites (posting original content, comments, likes, follows, etc.). Further, with more than 2.6 billion monthly active users as of 2023, YouTube ranks as both the second-largest social media platform (after Facebook) and second-largest search engine (after Google) in the world.
Because of its large audience and the relative ease at which you can post long-form video content, YouTube has taken on a supporting role in many B2B organization’s social media strategies.
Specifically, many organizations will post long-form video content, guides, client and employee interviews, and more on YouTube, and then link to this content on other social media platforms, in their articles, and even in their training, marketing, and customer support materials.
If you want to focus on younger demographics — or you want to emphasize your culture and people — you may want to consider branching out into a few other social media platforms that have seen great traction over the past few years.
Content marketing professionals have consistently ranked Twitter as second only behind LinkedIn when it comes to the effectiveness of content distribution channels. With an audience of around 450 million monthly active users, Twitter may be smaller than other social media platforms.
However, demographics data shows that Twitter excels at spreading news and other informational content to extremely targeted and niche verticals. Further, B2B professionals are increasingly leaving Twitter for other platforms because of mismatches between their needs and the content present on the site.
For this reason, Twitter is the preferred social media network for news articles, current events, and other topical content your organization may want to engage with, but may not be the most effective way to reach the B2B audience.
In the contexts of your B2B organization’s marketing strategy, this means that Twitter is an excellent platform for sharing in-the-moment news and other topical content (which may be juxtaposed with more evergreen content like blog posts).
Notices about upcoming webinars, news articles, employee awards and kudos, and many other forms of non-sales-focused content all excel on this platform.
The changing landscape of social media often presents opportunities for B2B marketers to get ahead of the curve and build an audience on new platforms before their competition has time to react. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the explosion of TikTok onto the social media scene over the past few years.
Since its launch in 2016, TikTok has become the fastest-growing social media platform in history — amassing more than 1 billion monthly active users as of 2022 and only growing more popular since. Importantly, TikTok sits at the foreground of the short-form video boom that has overtaken other platforms such as Facebook (Facebook Reels), YouTube (YouTube Shorts), and more.
This emphasis on short-form video presents a golden opportunity for brands to establish awareness and drive engagement of their products and services. Highlighting company culture, providing educational content, poking fun at your industry, and taking part in recent trends are all common approaches to posting engaging B2B content on the platform.
As noted by marketer Jay Baer, “content is fire, and social media is gasoline.”
Social media plays a central role in any content or digital marketing strategy, but it also requires a keen focus on the what, who, and where. You need to match the “what” (your content) to the “who” (your audience) by finding “where” they’re most likely to engage (the platform).
Choosing the right platforms, then, is central to the effectiveness of your overall social media marketing campaign. For B2B organizations, this means investing heavily in LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter with a secondary focus on platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, and up-and-comers such as TikTok.
No matter which specific strategy or platforms you choose, however, you should keep in mind that social media is not a soapbox. Everything you post — from educational articles to job openings and customer appreciation events — should be solely intended to entertain, persuade, inspire, or educate your target audience.
For this reason, you should clearly define the explicit purpose of each arm of your social media strategy. “LinkedIn for thought leadership and employment opportunities, Facebook for community posts, and Twitter for news and customer support.”
Blindly posting the same content to each platform will only alienate the audiences of each platform. Instead, you should take care to post with purpose with the intent of providing value to your followers and network.
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