It’s well known that B2B companies tend to use social media platforms a lot less than B2Cs. It’s true that commercial buyers are certainly less likely to make impulse purchases. However, they are still human, and still susceptible to social media marketing. If you can identify which social media platforms your ideal clients are spending their time on, you can generate leads by making sure your business has a visible presence there. In this article we’ll help you work out which social media platform(s) is/are right for your small business marketing.
Go where your ideal clients are
While it’s good to promote your brand widely, it’s no good pursuing engagement for engagement’s sake. You should focus your social marketing on the platforms where you know your ideal clients are. But first, you need to know who your ideal client is. To help you out we’ve written a brief description of each and compiled a table of the key demographic differences between the different platforms to help you work out where you should be marketing your business. (Statistics sourced from NaturallySocial and Hootsuite)
Example: If your ideal client is a startup business in an emerging, youth-oriented market, you might consider marketing on Instagram. Similarly, if you’re an established company targeting CEOs with 50+ employees, you’re probably better of sticking to LinkedIn.
(Graph source: SproutSocial, effectiveness as judged by B2B marketers themselves.)
The go-to B2B marketing platform. Lots of B2B companies only use LinkedIn because almost all decision makers and CEOs are there. In the UK last year, 86% of B2B businesses had a presence on LinkedIn. Similarly, premium features like LinkedIn Sales Navigator and InMail make it easy to convert into a direct sales tool.
- More male (57%).
- Mostly popular with young people, especially 25-34–year–olds.
Most businesses have a Twitter presence, which means it’s a lucrative platform for engaging with clients and competitors. While not as directly business-oriented as LinkedIn, it’s the perfect place to promote your products and drive traffic to your website.
- More male (60%).
- More even age distribution than the others, the majority under 34.
Facebook has a lot of features geared towards hosting businesses, however it’s much more useful for B2C than B2B. The way the platform functions means it’s far easier for business pages to engage with individuals than other businesses. Also, it’s seen as a more recreational and informal, rather than professional and commercial network. Nevertheless, there’s plenty of opportunities to promote your brand and market products.
- Slightly more male (56%).
- Most popular among 25-34-year-olds but still popular with all older demographics.
Being a younger platform than the others (literally and demographically) Instagram has yet to develop good B2B potential. At the moment it is best suited to startups, cottage industries and sole traders. However, it’s rapidly developing as a commercial social network and is the most popular platform for young people, so it’s definitely one to watch for the future of B2B social marketing.
- Slightly more female (52%).
- Most popular among 18-24-year-olds.
Less is more
If you know the platforms and have good marketing content, there’s clients to be found on all platforms. The real question is, which of them are worth investing time in? It’s best to invest your resources in promoting your business on one or two platforms well, rather than spreading yourself too thin across the whole socialsphere. Take your time, work out your ideal client and find the social networks where they congregate. You might get great engagement from sharing posts on Facebook, but if your engagement is coming from users with no intention of buying from you, there’s little to be gained from it.
Leave your comfort zone
Perhaps you’re a fan of Twitter. You’ve got a thousand followers and you use it as your main social network and you never really got the hang of Facebook and Instagram. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Twitter is necessarily the best for your business. In some cases, your ideal client is just like you, but in most cases they aren’t. If you find that your audience is on a platform you’re not familiar with, it’s time to leave your comfort zone. If no one in your team has experience with marketing on Facebook, for example, perhaps you could outsource to a freelance social media manager.
Which social media platforms are generating traffic and leads?
Using social media for your business is about generating interest and developing leads to convert into new clients. Are you checking, and recording, what platforms are driving traffic and how many leads you are getting from each?
Some social media specialists will say it is all about brand awareness. Whilst people need to be aware of your brand, they also need to do something about it. That means visiting your website or calling you. Google Analytics clearly shows which platforms your website traffic is coming from, so wherever you record your leads (you are recording lead source, right?), make it obvious which is generating the most interest.
Social media marketing is a bigger part of B2B marketing than it used to be and trends show that it’s only going to get bigger. Now is the time to dissect the available platforms and start building your presence on the network where your ideal clients are residing.
If you find yourself in a social media minefield, we can help steer your business back in the right direction.