Which Social Media Platforms Should Your B2B Small Business Use?
There are various social media platforms available to businesses, but for B2B use, the choice is quite straightforward. LinkedIn is the most popular and productive networking platform used by B2B companies by a long margin, but many businesses also find it beneficial to use Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram – and YouTube has evolved from a social network into a superb video content channel that we recommend all businesses explore seriously. There’s not currently any need to invest seriously into Tik-Tok, Snapchat, Pinterest, Reddit etc -unless you know that they are used by your customers – as these platforms are not utilised heavily by B2B industries.
Which social media platforms should your SME be using? As there isn’t enough time in the day to use all of them to their full potential, we recommend focusing your time and money on one or two platforms, and commit yourself to being active and consistent, while closely monitoring your results.
LinkedIn’s professional and business orientation makes it an excellent tool for B2B marketing. It’s estimated that more than 630 million professionals are on this platform world-wide, of which approximately 63 million are decision makers.
Being Active On LinkedIn Can Serve Several Purposes:
1) It can function as a networking tool where you get to connect with potential supply partners, industry influencers, and customers. LinkedIn excels at professional demographic targeting, which you can use to your advantage in advertising campaigns and connection building.
2) You can build a strong online presence and reputation for innovation and thought leadership, which can attract top decision makers and executives in your industry.
3) You can use LinkedIn as an active marketing and lead generation tool, not just as a social network, as it allows you to run ads, campaigns, and sponsored content with excellent conversion rates and at low cost.
4) If you’re already using a top-rated CRM like HubSpot, you can connect your business account to LinkedIn to import contacts and start building connections straight away through targeted messaging campaigns.
Once the leading social media platform for business users, Facebook has taken a backseat to LinkedIn in this regard over the past several years. However, Facebook still has multiple uses related to awareness and consideration marketing for B2B decision-makers, from providing customer service to directing ads to targeted audiences. Many businesses still operate a company Facebook page, and the platform is important because of the number of people who use it for crossover purposes – casually researching work-related queries while using a personal Facebook account.
Facebook is an excellent platform for informally engaging with prospects by liking and sharing their content and for publishing links to your blog posts, and is one of the best social media platforms for live video feeds. Many B2B businesses use Facebook to target prospects at the lower awareness and consideration buyer stages, while investing more in LinkedIn for decision-level lead generation.
Moreover, Facebook can support your wider digital marketing efforts as a social listening tool, even if you don’t use the platform actively. Keeping track of company mentions on Facebook, competitor reviews, or customer sentiment provides valuable insights you can use to further refine your B2B marketing campaigns.
This highly visual platform offers a great opportunity to build an appealing brand that generates steady engagement among customers. B2C businesses use Instagram to directly promote products and connect to their audiences, and you’ll find many retail businesses, design consultancies, restaurants, and other service businesses on Instagram – but what about B2B?
Many product based B2B businesses also find value in marketing through Instagram. Instagram content is searchable on Google, so investing in the platform could increase your brand prominence for image searches. The key is getting creative and delivering content that adds value to other businesses using native Instagram features. For example:
- You can use image carousels to offer a series of insider tips or industry research data.
- Regular feed posts with short video clips of customer testimonials.
- Using Highlights to keep product information organised and visible.
- Live streaming for Q&A sessions with leads, or behind-the-scenes content.
If your target buyers use and value LinkedIn for research or networking, it’s worth running a test campaign and monitoring your returns.
Twitter is the most social of the social networks available to businesses, effectively a continuous real-time conversation between users in which trending events are discussed and promoted. As such, Twitter feeds are busy and fast moving, with a focus on short-fire content. It’s not the place to publish your in-depth articles and evergreen guides. Using Twitter effectively requires a strong time investment and a good understanding of the platform, so we only recommend Twitter to people who enjoy using the platform themselves, and whose target customers are also actively engaged.
Like Facebook, Twitter is an excellent social listening platform that businesses do well to monitor for brand mentions and relevant hashtags – you can do this through Google searches or hashtag searches on Twitter itself. In addition, many B2B businesses use Twitter as a live broadcast platform during face-to-face events, trade shows and conferences.
YouTube has morphed from being a social video sharing site similar to Tik-Tok, to the world’s leading open video content hosting platform.
YouTube is now the world’s second most popular search engine after Google (which now owns YouTube). This means that potential customers could be using YouTube to search for the products and services you offer – and also, that most of the video results brought up by Google searches are hosted on YouTube.
There are many uses of video content for B2B businesses. Depending on your vertical, you can use YouTube to share product demos, tutorials, customer testimonials, case studies, and tell your brand story. Whether or not you choose to engage in YouTube as a social platform, you can host video content on YouTube for free and integrate this content with your other social media platforms, share them through email marketing, or embed them on your website.
Overall, LinkedIn is the best tool for B2B marketing, and YouTube the number one for video hosting. However, the networks you choose should ultimately be determined by which platforms your customers use to search for information and make purchase decisions. We can help you determine and implement the best social media strategy for your business to help you grow your revenues online. To find out more, please call 01332 215152 today
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