No need to be anti-social, B2B is booming across platforms.
Long gone are the days when B2B was exclusively hitched with LinkedIn. B2B is becoming more social, as it joins the party on Facebook, Twitter and even Instagram – despite some still believing that guest list is B2C only. If you’re still feeling shy when it comes to mingling with consumer brands on social media, then allow these stats to calm your nerves.
It’s a Platform Thing
B2B marketers may well have conquered LinkedIn, but to really get the most out of social, there are four platforms we think deliver a dynamic marketing mix. Each of these platforms have their own nuances and purposes, so let us give you the low-down.
“B2B decision makers spend a lot of time on Facebook for professional reasons and are influenced by the information they find on this platform.”
As the most popular social media platform globally, it’s safe to say that a fair share of professionals are spending their down time on the Social Network, so there’s plenty of opportunity to reach your core demographic with Facebook playing its part in your B2B marketing mix. Get the most out of your Facebook marketing by creating disruptive content that will stop scrollers in their tracks. It’s this high-impact creative that’s sure to stick with your audience when they come to make buying decisions.
Video continues to thrive on Facebook, and given that 70% of B2B buyers are watching video throughout the purchase journey, incorporating them into your social media strategy is a no-brainer. As with B2C video communications on Facebook, optimising your content for mobile audiences is a smart move; make sure your content cuts through the newsfeed noise with or without the sound on. Facebook is also a hotbed for tagging and sharing, so ensure your content is insightful and useful for your B2B audience to extend your content’s reach as they share with their network.
LinkedIn is synonymous with B2B marketing, and for good reason. The go-to platform is designed for B2B interactions, and is hailed as the most effective platform for business; creating a hive of opportunity, laden with the crème de la crème of your audience – decision makers.
Only 0.2% of users have published an article on LinkedIn, despite 45% of LinkedIn article readers holding upper-level positions. Occupy that free space, and stand out with insightful long-form written content. Be sure to inform and engage on LinkedIn, as your audience is captive, and willing to read into your business comms. Articles, blogs, tips and infographics go down a treat, but be sure to create a strong brand identity to ensure that your content is ownable, and your voice stands out.
While Instagram may truly hold its place in the hearts of B2C marketers, it still has so much to offer B2B businesses, and it’s certainly not one to be ignored. The ‘gram is not only great for showcasing your offerings in a visual way, but – particularly in the entertainment sector – it plays into the B2B and B2C middle ground. With an excited following of B2C audiences, it demonstrates demand for your product, show, film or service, making your offerings even more enticing to potential buyers.
Instagram is great for building B2B relationships, as a stage for your brand to showcase its creativity and form a strong identity. The platform is ideal for engaging and entertaining without overt sales messaging, bolstering positive sentiment from buyers and putting you front of mind as they make their purchases as a result. Be sure to fill your grid with striking imagery – particularly high-performing 4:5 posts – and deliver behind-the-scenes peeks on Stories.
“Twitter is where executives go to get news before it
breaks anywhere else, and to instantly share their
thoughts with the most relevant audience.”
With 85% of small to medium businesses using Twitter as a service tool, it’s certainly earned its credentials in the B2B marketing mix, but the real benefit of Twitter is getting involved and showcasing your business as in-the-know; be it coverage from industry events, to talking to your followers about relevant and trending topics.
Tweets with an image, video or URL link receive higher engagement, but to really drive people to hit like or retweet, optimise your posts with hashtags and ‘@’ tags, but be warned: hashtag strategically. Tweets that are over-loaded with hashtags are off-putting, but finding the right ones and smoothly weaving them into your post can make all the difference. Get in on the weekly action with popular trending hashtags such as #WednesdayWisdom, plan ahead with sure-fire mindshares or try your hand at reactive posting.
So you’ve set up your profiles, and you’re ready to cast your net across, well, the net. But it’s the content that counts, and a mixture of videos, images and GIFs will act as your bait for hooking and sustaining your audience.
With video set to make up an estimated 80% of all internet consumer traffic this year, and given executives’ love of the format, it’s a content type you need in your arsenal. In the world of B2B, video can be used to tell the brand story, showcase testimonials from buyers, talent or staff, and document events coverage amongst other things.
With 65% of social media audiences comprised of visual learners, it’s no wonder that images are consumed so quickly on social. Their functions are endless; showcasing creativity, insight, giving tips in a visual way, building relationships with behind-the-scenes moments; the list goes on.
GIFs and cinemagraphs sit as the sweet spot between static and video, and including them in your content can elevate your audiences’ feeds with dynamic, snackable moments.
On LinkedIn’s Top Pages of 2018, clear brand identity was a reoccurring theme on the list of top performers, and marketers agree on the importance of branding. Frames, templates and bugs can all play their part in a consistent look and feel. And it’s not just images and videos that benefit from it. If you’re creating text-based content too, make sure flourishes of branding come through to ensure you really own it.
Additional content such as blogs, case studies and infographics provide a stage for your insight and thought-leadership, with B2B companies that blogged 11+ times per month experiencing almost 3x more traffic than those blogging 0-10 times a month. Listicles, tips and how-to content hits the spot with time-poor B2B audiences.
And, with that note on time-poor B2B audiences, we’re going to wrap this up, and leave you with a final thought from our Head of Digital Strategy.
“More and more B2B businesses are seeing the benefits of increasing their social media presence. For example, working with eOne, we recorded a 5,565% increase in engagement across their B2B social accounts. For me, the golden rules for B2B social media is to have a clear business aim for each platform, and to remember that B2B decision-makers are consumers too. Engage and excite them with inspiring content, and you’ll soon reap the benefits. ”
Head of Digital Strategy
Want to get more social with your B2B business? To see what our services in strategy, calendar creation, bespoke content, blogs and brainstorm & training sessions can do for your social presence, get in touch with our wonderful account directors, firstname.lastname@example.org (UK) or email@example.com (US).