LinkedIn is known as the social network for professionals and has created a niche as the go-to platform for B2B social media, but does being the obvious choice actually make it the best?
Since its inception back in 2002, LinkedIn has gained an almost unrivaled reputation as the holy grail of professional social networking. The place to share news of products, services, activity, awards, to recruit, and to participate in industry-specific conversations.
With 45 million active social media users in the UK and 27 million of them admitting to having a LinkedIn account, there’s no doubting that LinkedIn is doing something right, but should the social media ambitions of B2B marketers stop right there?
Looking globally, the picture is rather different. Hootsuite’s Digital 2020 report listed the Top 15 Social Media platforms used globally. Facebook took the number 1 spot, closely followed by YouTube, but surprisingly LinkedIn didn’t even make it into the Top 15.
Facebook claims its ads can reach 37 million users in the UK, 65% of the population aged over 13, compared to 28 million from LinkedIn paid social – 52% of the adult population.
So looking at these numbers, should you be adding Facebook to your social media strategy?
If your decision-making is based purely on audience numbers then the answer is surely yes, but for B2B marketers analyzing Facebook in greater depth, it’s hard to throw off its friends and family founding principle. This is compounded by Facebook’s widely publicized change to its algorithm, which committed to favouring personal content above promotional and business?
In our opinion the necessary shift in marketing strategies in response to Covid-19 should bring Facebook back into the B2B radar. With the blurring of boundaries between home and professional life now impacting all marketing decisions, Facebook’s more personal demographic could be a positive.
44% of the UK population has a Facebook account, that’s over 44 million people. You can be certain the decision makers you are trying to target are on there. However, unlike LinkedIn, where users are happy to share details of their professional lives, Facebook is unlikely to have that information.
It’s still possible to target the people you need to attract but it takes a little more creative thought, retargeting website visitors, creating lookalike audiences, and targeting behaviors and interests rather than just job titles and industries.
Success on Facebook will rely on targeting and creative strategies that realise users on Facebook are there mostly for entertainment and engagement, rather than just corporate news and views. Most importantly, Facebook has targeting and advertising solutions that are highly useful for B2B marketers, and the platform is often underlooked for B2B, which may mean less competition in this increasingly congested social space.
Does neglecting video means missing out?
When it comes to creating engaging content for Social Media, video is still the reigning king and YouTube certainly shouldn’t be overlooked by B2B. Product videos, how-to’s, industry interviews, behind-the-scenes, all engaging content that will expand the reach and buzz surrounding your brand.
Apple’s release of the iPhone 11 gained 34+ million views — numbers you would struggle to find on any other platform.
Video isn’t the cheapest content and YouTube not the cheapest platform, but it’s wide demographic and its increase in follower numbers surely make it appealing. Social Media Examiner’s recent study found 69% of marketers plan on increasing their use of YouTube video in 2020 and 73% want to learn more about marketing on the platform.
There is no doubt that LinkedIn will continue to enjoy huge industry share when it comes to B2B, but with the marketing environment having been forced to change so rapidly in 2020, it may also be the perfect time to investigate the opportunities offered by other social platforms and different forms of content.