The evolution of social media in B2B marketing
30th November, 2022
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Emerging social networks are changing social marketing strategies in the B2B space.
By Stacie Plast
With each generation comes a new social media platform. While we’ve lost some platforms like MySpace and Vine, along the way, many helped lay the foundation for current social media giants to claw their way to the top. As more social networks fight to be the most used platform, their target audience has expanded to include almost every demographic.
According to Meltwater’s 2022 State of Social report, the top five most used social media platforms this year were Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter. However, when asking marketing and communications professionals which social media channel they plan to use, 40 per cent stated TikTok, making it the fastest growing channel of all time.
What’s interesting to note is how the emergence of new social media platforms has turned the heads of both B2C and B2B marketeers. For example, LinkedIn was originally created for professionals to post their work profile and network with similar people in the industry. More commonly, it is used as a content platform, where people can learn about a new topic.
TikTok is another example of how its audience has evolved, so much so that other platforms are taking inspiration and incorporating some of its features into its own channel. Originally, typically used by young people to create lip-sync dance videos like its predecessor Musical.ly, it now includes a wide range of video content including comedy, DIY, food, sports and global news.
With the way social platforms like TikTok are evolving, there is now space for both B2C and B2B marketing professionals to successfully drive campaigns. TikTok offers businesses a way to market their products and services in a playful entertaining way without having to spend lots of time producing and editing video content.
TikTok is all about spontaneity — it’s what keeps users engaged for such long periods of time while endlessly scrolling. Even channels with zero followers can produce a viral video. Unlike some other platforms, TikTok is ruled by its tailored ‘For You’ page, rather than number of followers. This can make it harder to maintain high engagements so it’s even more important to jump on current trends.
If businesses want to use TikTok as part of their marketing campaign, they need to learn to let loose. One of the reasons TikTok is so engaging to its users is because it isn’t saturated with continuous ads like other platforms. TikTok requires a completely different marketing strategy. Research by Semrush in 2021 found that the most popular videos were related to humour (36.5 per cent).
In some cases, companies may even need to adjust their brand voice. Businesses can be educational, sharing industry tips and tricks, product demonstrations and hacks. Finding a way to make yourself relatable to the viewer is what will drive engagement.
Showing the people behind the business is another great way to build brand credibility without showering your audience in ad campaigns. Looking at other successful businesses on the app and how they’re marketing themselves can be particularly helpful when coming up with content ideas.
Working with influencers already well-known on the app can also expand the growth of your channel. Influencers well-versed in the platform can share high-value insight on the channel’s features, tools and trends as well as helping you tailor content to the right audience. TikTok has a Creator Marketplace to help brands find the right influencers and get access to creators’ expertise and knowledge of the platform.
While social media isn’t for everyone, these networks do have immense influential power. Leveraging that power to drive traffic to your brand is a surefire way to increase leads and enhance your credibility. Even if social media isn’t your thing, it is where your audience is and businesses need to adapt to the ever-changing power struggle between social media giants.