In 2023, B2B social media marketing will be essential. It’s not a question of if your business should be leveraging social. It’s how and where. What’s most important is making sure you prioritize time and energy to establish a robust presence on social channels — and note that’s plural, not singular.
We’ve assembled a cache of truly effective tips for 5 great social media platforms (besides LinkedIn) to maximize your brand engagement and achieve great results.
Social media networks at the top of the B2B food chain
Social media is ubiquitous; that we know. 4.5 billion people worldwide use social media, up from 3.8 billion in 2020 — and that number continues to grow. But that’s not just for noncommercial use: 75% of B2B buyers and 84% of C-Suite executives use social media in their buying process.
Judging from a HubSpot survey on B2B brands, you may be relegating yourself to the back of the pack if you don’t leverage social. HubSpot found that investing in social media focused on 5 key platforms:
Notice something? This isn’t asking about LinkedIn. It’s asking about Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and Facebook — all of which used to be seen as more consumer-oriented sites. And a lot of B2Bs are paying attention.
That’s not to say LinkedIn should be ignored. Not at all. But while LinkedIn may be the de facto networking platform for professionals, there are some other heavy hitters you need to pay attention to.
Average monthly users on top global social media apps, 2021:
- Facebook – 2.89 billion
- YouTube – 2.29 billion
- Instagram – 1.39 billion
- TikTok – 1 billion
- LinkedIn – 800 million
- Twitter – 463 million
Facebook is unequivocally first, followed by YouTube if you go by users. And yes, right after Instagram and TikTok comes LinkedIn, followed by Twitter. But, as we’ll discuss, overlooking the other five channels aside from LinkedIn ignores a lot of potential reach.
So our recommendation: join the pack or get outrun.
Another best practice is going omnichannel — 89% of social media marketers leverage 3 or more social channels. If you want to make your brand presence known, you can’t just focus on one platform.
Let’s look at our top 5:
Facebook has become a powerhouse for businesses. 60% of all internet users use Facebook. One in four social media marketers plan to invest more in Facebook than any other platform in 2022.
It’s the platform marketers buy paid ads on the most. The platform has the highest ROI and engagement and provides the highest quality leads.
In 2021, Facebook Stories — a way to share content for 24 hours — had 500 million daily viewers.
Take a look at these stats from HubSpot:
- Facebook had 1.93 billion daily active users in Q3 2021.
- In a 2021 HubSpot Blog poll, 79% of marketers reported buying paid advertising on Facebook. (That may also account for why it’s not top of the chart regarding increasing spending: businesses are already spending there.)
YouTube is not only the second-largest social platform. It’s also the second-largest search engine after Google. It’s so easy to find absolutely anything that it’s transformed the act of searching into something that often feels like an extension of thought. That makes it ideal for B2B – here, owning your own specific niche can give you a clear advantage.
B2B marketers can do more than just boost social engagement on YouTube — you can build a whole community around your brand and reach entirely new audiences. As a result, the platform garners more than two billion active users worldwide.
By the numbers, YouTube is well worth the effort:
- One-fourth of all internet users spend 10 hours watching videos per week.
- 500 hours of video are uploaded each and every minute.
- 81% of internet users in the U.S. will use the platform in 2021.
- 59% of executives say they prefer watching a video to reading text.
If it seems like everyone and their cousin is on Instagram, you’re not wrong. But it’s not just about posting pictures of BFFs and pets. 71% of U.S. businesses and most profitable B2B firms use Instagram to drive brand awareness and engage and attract new customers.
The platform offers various ways to reach audiences and show different sides of your business. As a result, Instagram become the new platform to establish a brand presence: what may seem like a basic run of pretty pictures and videos may be a brilliantly conceived campaign (pay attention to the hashtags, the bio, the quality of photos, the captions, for instance).
Instagram’s stats are compelling:
- One billion active monthly users
- 500 million daily Instagram Stories
- Users browse for an average of 53 minutes a day
- For Gen Z and Millennials: nearly 45% of all users are 18 – 44.
TikTok is often misunderstood as just a platform for Gen Z viral dance challenges and cute animal videos, but it’s far more than that. It may not have been designed as a go-to site for professionals, but it’s a rich opportunity to reach and expand your B2B social audience.
The platform offers tremendous immersive potential for developing emotional marketing strategies that make your brand stand out. In 2021, it was the most downloaded non-gaming app worldwide — with more than 80 million installs and 3 billion downloads by July 2021. As of September 2021, it had reached 1 billion monthly active users.
Looking at the numbers:
- 8 new users join every second.
- It’s more popular than Instagram among Gen Z.
- The top TikTok user has 136 million followers.
- An average session on the channel lasts 10.85 minutes.
- 45% of marketers use TikTok for influencer marketing.
- 24% of marketers considered TikTok effective for reaching their business goals.
If the news that Elon Musk put in a bid for Twitter made you prick up your ears, you’re in good company. Twitter is becoming an indispensable tool for B2Bs in terms of engagement.
Micro-blogging — posting short updates and thoughts — turns out to be an excellent forum for promoting thought leadership. It’s often a cross between IM and a chat room: while it’s an open forum, it’s restricted to those you connect with within 280 characters or less.
By the numbers:
- Twitter’s user count is expected to grow upwards of 329 million in 2022.
- The average user spends 5.1 hours a month on Twitter.
- 16% of internet users aged 16-64 use Twitter for brand research.
- There are over 500 million Tweets shared every day.
- 82% of B2B content marketers use Twitter for running marketing campaigns.
B2B social media networks: Bringing your content to life
Whatever your opinion of Bill Gates these days, it’s hard to overlook his clairvoyance. Back in 1996, he wrote an influential essay, “Content is King,” well before its time:
If people are expected to put up with turning on a computer to read a screen, they must be rewarded with deep and extremely up-to-date information that they can explore at will. They need to have audio and possibly video.
They need an opportunity for personal involvement that goes far beyond that offered through the letters-to-the-editor pages of print magazines.
The challenge is creating content that engages your users. Without it, you’ll never have a strong social media presence. You need to develop thoughtful, persona-focused content that resonates and drives intended value — and suits the platform.
Certain kinds of content will do great on one channel and land with a thud on another: you can’t just use the same content, the same way, across every channel. That’s still a common misstep on B2B social media campaigns.
Matching content to platform – B2B social media networks posting tips
We’ve put together some simple guardrails on what to post on what platform, meant to give you some direction and clarity. This is by no means a complete list, but you’ll catch on as you become more active in social media postings.
Wherever you post, make sure you’re developing thoughtful, persona-focused content that will resonate with your target audience and drive intended value. Don’t just think about what to post. Think about why.
Post content that suits each social platform — Facebook is not the place to post a long explainer video, but YouTube is. So what you’d post on Facebook is a great, engaging clip that makes people want to see the full version.
B2B Content to post on Facebook
We suggest these two forms of content:
- short videos
- blog posts
Videos receive more engagement than any other form of content, including photos. But don’t go longer than two minutes, if not shorter.
There are plenty of apps for making videos, such as Kapwing. It’s got simple, efficient recording, creating and editing tools that make it easy to turn your ideas into content.
Blog posts on Facebook? Absolutely: they’re the second-best content performer on the platform and curated content (content from other brands or people you share to your own social media accounts).
For B2B purposes, post your own blog posts or repost those from high-quality content creators within your niche. The goal is to be as educational and entertaining as possible.
B2B Content to post on YouTube
Obviously, we’re talking videos here, but what kind of videos business posts can make a critical difference in engagement. Some recommendations:
- interviews with execs, leaders, and subject matter experts
- panel discussions and forums
- customer testimonials
- how-to tutorials
- explainer videos
Your videos should be consistent with your other messaging, relevant to your target audience, and informative and educational. YouTube videos are also a great way to convey information, particularly with a product or service that’s technical, complicated, or hard to grasp for a layperson. Want a good example? Watch Apple’s video on how to update macOS.
B2B Content to post on Instagram
Different kinds of content will appeal to different audiences and keep the variety going:
- carousel feed posts with hi-res images
- live videos
- clips from a recent webinar
- inspirational and great quotes
Instagram’s own application makes it easy to post photos or videos on your phone or from a computer. Either way, you don’t have to spend ages creating content — in fact, you shouldn’t. Instead, focus on uploading fresh content that doesn’t feel too edited; if you have more produced pieces, feel free to mix it up.
B2B Content to post on TikTok
Tiktok is an excellent platform for posting short, fun, informal videos that include:
- your business origin stories
- your business values
- everyday situations in your office or workplace
On TikTok, the more personal the delivery, the more the shares and lead conversions. Take a look at how other companies leverage the platform’s features — Microsoft, for instance, makes use of TikTok’s special effects in its videos on how to use Excel and Word and creates fun challenges and clever games to teach different tools.
B2B Content to post on Twitter
Trying to edit your message into 280 characters is definitely the wrong approach to Twitter. What’s the right approach:
- short, quick reads
- brief, bright summaries of long-form content
- quizzes, assessments and polls (great for lead gen)
- bite-sized, short videos
Twitter is an incredible tool for getting your audience’s attention, connecting with your community, and quickly boosting brand awareness. Remember that you can’t have a strong Twitter game if you only post once a week or use it to link to something on your website.
Use it in tandem with other social media, build up your community so you can max engagement, and pay attention to effective hashtags. That’s a whole different topic, but suffice to say, there’s nothing random about leveraging Twitter – just as there’s nothing unexpected about any of these platforms.
Repurposing B2B content for social media networks: Why you should do it
Inevitably, when you’re strategizing over content, you should always be thinking of those two concepts together — someone will ask you how you plan to recycle your content. The key isn’t whether or not to do it. It’s how.
Recycling or repurposing content is not just a matter of copying and pasting. There’s a big difference between repurposing and just using the same content.
Repurposing content is a best practice that entails putting elements from one form of content into other formats — such as designing stats in a blog into an infographic or turning the conversation from a short video into tweetable quotes.
The more you can repurpose, the more you can engage. So don’t waste a great piece of content on one iteration.
It’s also something B2B can learn a lot from B2C. According to HubSpot, while 89% of B2C companies repurpose content across social media channels, only 69% of B2B companies do it.
Get the most out of social media networks for your B2B company
Social media has transformed into a vast marketing arena that any business should consider a key part of its success strategy. But it takes more than dipping a toe into a single platform. It takes a solid plan with great, suitable, platform-appropriate content at its center.
Social media content isn’t evergreen: it’s got a short lifespan that ranges from 15 minutes on Twitter to 6 hours on Facebook to an instant on TikTok unless it goes viral. Even on LinkedIn, you’ve got about 24 hours at best. What, when, where, and how you post can make all the difference in engagement, reach, and ultimately, growth. We’ve seen it happen many times.
If you’re not using social media already, or feel like you’re not using it in a way that optimizes its benefits, we’re here. We can help you create an effective strategy that optimizes your time.
Reach out to us at New Perspective and speak to one of our experts on growth and social media. We love seeing our clients thrive on these platforms. Book a free 15-min introductory call today!