What are the most successful B2B brands

The most important B2B social media trends 2020

03.08.2020

B2B social media measures have to work in a business context and are aimed primarily at decision-makers in companies. This makes the target group more pointed than in the B2C context, but you still communicate with people at the end of the day. So the differences in address and formats are not that big.

However, this does not apply to the channels. The lower the average age of the users, the less suitable the social platform is for a B2B social media strategy. TikTok is one such example: the service is very popular with young people between the ages of 16 and 24. You won't meet the 53-year-old managing director of Group X there, however.

For B2B, it is best to concentrate on the established channels LinkedIn, Xing, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Especially LinkedIn Ads are worth at least a test thanks to the granular targeting options (e.g. career level, job title, company, etc.) and the business context.

Global social media trends

1. Social media marketing and performance marketing go hand in hand

What exactly do you get from your social media activities? 44 percent of the respondents in the Hootsuite study stated that they wanted to increase their conversion rate and then their brand awareness. In order to grow in the long term, brand building activities and sales activation measures should actually be balanced. Literally: According to the study, the optimal ratio for B2B companies is 54:46.

The transitions between social media managers and performance marketing managers are blurring. The optimal social media strategy simply requires both: creativity and technical knowledge.

Here's what you should do:

Full funnel advertising campaigns:
Marketers still use organic posts for brand building and performance marketing campaigns for specific calls to buy. This subdivision is by no means set in stone. Full funnel campaigns that repeatedly give your customers gentle impulses to buy make more sense. Smart retargeting makes it possible.

Don't forget SEO / SEA:
According to Forrester, 56 percent of consumers use search engines and social media as a supplement when they want to find out more about a brand or a product. It is important to keep this in mind, especially with B2B products that require a lot of explanation. If you have won over potential customers on your social media channels, but lose them again through Google, the best strategy is of no use to you. So don't neglect the SEO optimization of your website.

2. Use an attribution model

In B2B business in particular, it is important to be able to measure the customer journey, as this is often more complex than in B2C. Which conversion takes place at which touchpoint and which marketing activities contributed to the final purchase decision? Many marketers still find it difficult to measure and interpret the quantitative effects of social media.

A whopping 70 percent of those surveyed in the Hootsuite study do not use an attribution model, although these are now integrated into many social media ad platforms. This enables you to establish the connection between your social media activities and your sales.

Here's what you should do:

Standardize UTM codes:
Data hygiene is the be-all and end-all. If you want to understand the links through which visitors came to your website, you should define consistent UTM parameters for every owned post. This makes it relatively easy for you to analyze which content has achieved which business goal.

Find attribution model:
There are different models depending on what your needs are. The “last-click model” has long been considered the ultimate, but it is not for everyone. If you want to learn more about the topic, click here.

3. Employees as brand ambassadors

According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, 75 percent of those surveyed see their employer as a trustworthy institution. And 73 percent of executives said they had developed products and services in the past year to give something positive back to society.

The companies that are socially committed achieved an enormous competitive advantage and were more attractive to applicants. Optimal conditions for using your employees as brand ambassadors.

Here's what you should do:

Refrain from empty promises and act:
Your engagement must be honest. Otherwise you can leave it right away. If your actions do not match your statements (both internally and externally), you will quickly have made yourself implausible. Even then, you should think about a crisis simulation in order to be able to react to controversies surrounding your brand. Because whoever shows attitude must expect to polarize.

Embed the brand ambassador program in the company strategy:
Turning your employees into brand ambassadors is easier said than done. While the social channels are great for this, you need a clear strategy and sufficient resources here as well. Content creation costs time, which you should definitely plan.

4. Use private channels for personal customer contact

Ask yourself: where do you feel more comfortable clearing personal matters? Certainly in a private setting and not in public. The same applies to social media. GlobalWebIndex found in its 2019 Social Media Flagship Report that 63 percent of respondents prefer messaging apps when it comes to sharing and discussing content.

The big platforms are now also reacting to this retreat into the private sphere. For example, Facebook is planning to combine its Messenger with WhatsApp and Instagram. And LinkedIn is currently testing the Teammates feature, which you can use to determine that only verified colleagues receive your updates.

Here's what you should do:

Connect public and private areas:
Forward your users from your public feed to your private channels, e.g. through the “Click-to-Messenger” feature of Facebook and Instagram.

Bots complement human interactions:
Every month, 20 billion messages flow back and forth between companies and private individuals via Facebook Messenger. This can make it difficult to respond to all requests. Messenger bots are one way of answering low-threshold inquiries.

But be careful: You should still have your employees answer more complex questions. According to GlobalWebIndex, consumers in the upper income bracket in particular are twice as likely to prefer human interactions in customer service. Your target audience is probably one of them.

Consider channel specifics:
The 1: 1 interaction follows its own rules. That is why you need a little more sensitivity for communication, because this is where the relevance of the content is crucial. Users * will contact you here about specific matters - which you must also be able to answer.

As you can see, there is a lot going on in terms of social media that you can use for your own marketing activities. A strategic approach is particularly worthwhile for companies in the B2B business.

Do you need support in setting up and implementing a suitable social media strategy? Our experts would like to help you.

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