Social media is a digital media marketing channel comprised of many platforms at your disposal. Successful brands and companies are learning how to best use each to build awareness and brand equity and increase sales. These platforms enable social media marketing for B2B companies to connect with their target audience in an authentic and engaging way.
40% of Gen Z use social media instead of Google when performing a search inquiry online. (Business Insider, 2022)
Optimizing your digital presence and utilizing social media for marketing have become imperative. But we know sometimes you can get a headache just trying to figure out a good starting point.
The world’s connected population grew by 189 million users in the 12 months to October 2023. (DataReportal)
Here are five of the most popular social media platforms:
Let’s dive deeper into each of these platforms to understand better how they work and how best to use each one for your marketing strategy.
The well-known social media giant and industry pioneer
Facebook is the largest and most popular social media platform, with nearly 3 billion users monthly.
Sometimes it gets overlooked by B2B marketers because it is a heavily consumer-based platform. However, Facebook offers excellent tools and options for B2B companies because of its ease of access and easy-to-consume content.
As of 2023 an estimated 37.2% of the entire global population was using Facebook (DataReportal).
One of the draws of marketing with Facebook is the ability to gather users in your target audiences through amassing followers, looking at friends of followers, and creating behavioral and interest criteria.
By looking into your followers’ friends, you can create a custom audience with interests based on other brands. From here, you can see profiles of potential customers who follow your competitors, thus aiding in competitor analysis.
Demographics, location, and psychographics are also key ways to attract your target market on Facebook, which has options for behavioral and remarketing ads.
Behavioral marketing ads are based on the previous online behavior of a user. If a user has shown interest in solar energy, then your solar panel company would be relevant and likely create interest, showing up on their feed.
Psychographic segmentation will help you determine interest criteria. This allows you to group followers and users on interests and personalities. These are also known as IAO variables which stand for interests, activities, and opinions.
Remarketing ads help you re-engage with people that have previously shown interest in your brand. This helps keep your business or service at the forefront of the user’s mind.
Facebook has a wide variety of ad formats to utilize, with image and video ads being the most popular. There are paid sponsor ads available, promotions, and post-boost features, all of which will help drive traffic to your pages.
Facebook Live is a great tool to use for marketing as well because it puts you face-to-face in real-time with existing customers or potential ones. Your reach will increase and allow users to interact with your company and brand. You will also be able to reach out via messenger to get more engagement before and after going live or uploading content.
Canva is a wonderful example of a brand leveraging Facebook well and publishing posts inviting engagement. Keeping things fun and asking relevant questions to the target audience keep people interested and willing to participate with the brand.
Canva utilizes many of the available features of its Facebook page with live webinars and events. They also have groups dedicated to their company and other valuable options to expand awareness and produce consumable content.
Posts with multiple photos perform best on Facebook, outperforming single photo posts by 67%. (Gartner)
Be consistent and harness engagement with videos, how-to guides, and other helpful content.
In addition, Facebook has metrics and analytic tools available to track your results, traffic, and impressions.
The fun and visual story-telling platform
Instagram is a platform that allows users to express themselves and elicit feelings through images and videos. This sets it apart from other platforms currently in use today because it doesn’t include lengthy written posts.
An estimated 20.3% of people around the world use Instagram. (DataReportal)
Using visual content to engage fans will help your company brand itself through the consistent use of colors, logos, images, tone, and a unified message. Images invoke emotions in an instant and create a connection to the brand.
Instagram is well known for its use and frequency of hashtags. These can assist you in searching for things related to your business, service, or product. Hashtags increase engagement overall and should be used to best position your brand. Research hashtags relevant to your target audience to gain better marketing insights.
Check what your competitors are doing. Get a glimpse into some of their marketing tactics and positioning. Use this to your advantage by reviewing what is working in their favor and see how your company can implement similar tactics. And don’t feel bad for using what works; mimicry is the best form of flattery.
Another well-used tactic Instagram marketers use is partnering with influencers. Influencers accrue large masses of followers and praise your products and services. They promote your company to a large audience and showcase the features and benefits of your brand in videos and images. Influencers regularly post links to your website, specific products, and services, making it quick and easy for someone who trusts this person’s opinion also to become a customer of yours—this aids in the conversion of sales.
Partnerships with influencers can help increase your ROI, increase sales, and generate more traffic to your website. With so many people looking up to influencers, this can be a beneficial strategy to increase brand awareness. It also increases trust in the brand via digital word-of-mouth.
IBM is a well-known company that uses influencer marketing on Instagram to help stay relevant to current trends in the social media marketing arena. However, IBM’s most impressive and impactful type of influencer marketing is the ongoing influencer program that stars its own employees. In fact, word-of-mouth marketing impression results in 5x more sales than paid media impressions.
People are 90% more likely to trust and buy from a brand recommended by a friend. (Invesp)
Instagram also offers a variety of ways to display and share your paid ads; photos, videos, carousel ads, stories, and the explore option.
One thing to note is that Instagram is currently owned by Facebook, which makes sharing pictures and videos easy and can be done simultaneously with linked account pages.
3. X (Formerly Twitter)
The global #hashtag playground
Since its inception, X has been a place to interact in real-time and stay up-to-date with current events and influential people. One year after it went live, the platform introduced the first hashtag. This paved the way for the rise of the hashtag, which has been picked up and integrated into almost all current platforms.
As of 2023, there are approximately 556 million active monthly users on X. (Exploding Topics)
Because X stays current, it is easy to research the trends of your competitors and the market, using it for competitor analysis. The ability to create X lists–groups of selected X accounts in categories that you want to follow–makes it easy to follow trends within different industries or a particular topic.
X is great for getting your messages out fast due to the quick rate at which retweets happen globally. The ability to interact in real-time can be more effective than just continuously promoting and hoping someone clicks your link. Business and company X accounts are well-known for being fun and responsive. It helps show human emotion on the other side of the screen.
Intel snagged an incredible partnership for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics for the opportunity to fill its feed with real-time athlete insights. Delivering news on this unique platform was great for the relevancy of the Intel account.
As with the other platforms, your account can upload pictures and videos, and tweets with copy. Then there are different ways to advertise via X ads or promoted posts, and it offers analytics to check out engagement, impressions, hashtags, top posts, and more.
Overall, X assists in brand engagement, directing traffic to your website, improving awareness, viewing trends, and increasing sales and conversion.
The ‘mostly’ buttoned-up B2B channel
LinkedIn is currently the largest B2B platform due to its professional nature and business-oriented layout.
This social media channel is positioned to help you build brand awareness, connect with like-minded people in your industry, and strengthen relationships with current and potential customers.
Career development and professional networking are easy to do with LinkedIn because it gives you suggestions of people to follow that are connected, or related, to your business and other people you follow.
By following the people suggested, you can grow your email marketing list, generate new leads, and promote your company. Options to post job openings on your page help with career development and recruitment.
With a paid subscription to Navigator, lead generation and client outreach can be very targeted and offers InMail, a service more professional than the usual messaging on the platform.
Business marketing on LinkedIn generates 277% more leads. (SproutSocial)
One thing that sets LinkedIn apart is the ability to highlight company culture, which helps the company’s overall positioning and helps recruit people to work for you.
Like any other platform, it is crucial to be consistent with your messaging, keeping posts relevant and active. It’s imperative to post original content from your business. But, even though this is known as a professional social media platform, you don’t always want it to be buttoned up. As humans, we enjoy seeing the authenticity and realistic sides of the people we admire and aspire to emulate.
Dropbox has a very vibrant and engaging LinkedIn account. It showcases “Dropboxers,” people who use their services worldwide to live life and celebrate experiences. It makes for a neat glimpse into other places and cultures, creating emotional appeal to the brand.
The trendy challenge channel
TikTok has taken the world by storm over the past few years through its fun nature and a wide variety of videos. Primarily viewed as an entertainment site, using it for marketing your business must be fun and engaging.
TikTok has the highest user engagement per post versus other social media platforms. (Statista)
This platform became famous for its viral dance videos and challenges. It nearly doubled its user base during the lockdowns of 2020. People enjoyed getting a glimpse into the real lives and worlds of people and companies to which they had an emotional attachment.
People flock to TikTok for its authenticity and real-life lens. Creating a consistent and relatable brand on this platform can help harness the power of social media to benefit you and your company.
In 2021, there were 78.7 million users in the United States, with 64% of those between the age of 20-49 years. (Statista)
Initially, TikTok only allowed videos that ran up to 15 seconds. However, with the platform’s growth, changes and updates have allowed videos to be up to 10 minutes long.
Companies show potential customers what they are about by discussing vision and mission statements through fun and creative videos. It’s a great way to build emotion with your audience and explain the “why” behind your brand.
Adobe launched a small business campaign on TikTok that helped connect creators and small businesses and even had a $10,000 prize to the finalist with the best video. Adobe also routinely uploads how-to videos that help the people who use their programs.
Social media marketing on TikTok creates a bond with the target market and increases awareness and sales. Such a high level of engagement is great for any company to keep it current and relevant to today’s market.
In conclusion, the main key to success with any social media marketing campaign is to remain consistent, stay on brand, and engage your target market. Creating and following a content calendar will help your team and company stay on top of posts and articles with helpful and authentic content from your B2B company.
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