Trying to grow your B2B brand’s professional networks? You should just head to LinkedIn, right? After all, LinkedIn is seen as the must-have social network for professionals looking to connect – and it’s the only network that makes sense for B2Bs.
Don’t get me wrong. LinkedIn is a great place to network, spread the word about your brand and share owned content. It’s the digital rolodex that continues to grow and become more refined. But despite common belief, B2B brands can perform exceptionally well on other social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.
Recent data from TrackMaven shows that B2B brands can see high engagement on these social networks. Some B2B brands on Instagram saw engagement rates more than 20 times higher than their engagement rates on LinkedIn.
Though these engagement rates vary by brand size and industry, this data shows that there’s an opportunity for B2B brands to move beyond LinkedIn and into other social networks.
What Does This Mean For Your Brand?
Just because Instagram and Pinterest work for General Electric or UBS doesn’t mean they’ll work for your brand. Come up with a gameplan for each social network and test it out before determining which deserve your full efforts.
With Facebook’s recent algorithm updates, brands are having much more difficulty seeing organic reach and engagement on their posts than they were even last year. According to NewsWeek, likes and shares on posts are down 55% and 57% respectively when compared to posts from July 2015. That means that more and more brands are having to pay to promote their posts, or are looking for other ways to connect to fans organically.
As Facebook places higher emphasis on video content, non-video posts are suffering even more. For brands hoping to reach a bigger audience on Facebook, it’s time to experience with video and influencer marketing – or move on to other networks.
Twitter is a natural progression for most brands looking to expand beyond LinkedIn and Facebook. But be careful – too many brands err on the side of sharing too many of their own links in the hopes of driving clicks to their websites. Make sure you’re showing relevant content – as well as sharing third party content that your followers will find helpful and interesting.
Twitter also allows for great opportunities for 1:1 engagement with your audience. Where else can you see all of your fans talking to you in one place?
Instagram success depends largely on your brand’s industry – and whether it lends itself to pictures. As a digital industrial company with a vast range of products, GE has many opportunities to show off its brand with amazing photos.
But not all brands can show landscape photos of picturesque windmills during a beautiful sunset. IBM shows its creativity through a variety of photos ranging from product design sketches to photos of their global offices to real-world examples of people using their technology.
If nothing else, Instagram is a great way to let loose a bit and give fans a behind-the-scenes peek into your brand’s culture.
Pinterest may seem like the most difficult network for B2B brands to break into – but it’s certainly not impossible! Intel uses Pinterest to show off both its hardware and software, technological fashion and gift guides for the Techie in your life.
Overall Tips and Tricks:
No matter which social network you decide to branch out on, make sure to follow these quick tips:
- Keep your brand voice consistent. Naturally, your content will vary by platform, but it’s important to make it sound like it’s all coming from the same place.
- Have a clear strategy for each social network. What sees great engagement rates on Facebook (like video) might not get as high traction on LinkedIn. Tailor your content to the audiences you know are on those networks.
- Share third party content. Make your brand accounts known for being a credible source of information rather than just another advertising opportunity for your brand.
- Stay professional, but show your personality.