Emerging Social Media Trends: Are They Right for B2B?
In addition to guest posting on the UpCity blog, Front Porch Solutions is featured as one of the Top Social Media Marketing Agencies in the United States. Check out their profile!
Social media is constantly changing the game and broadening the pool of available platforms. Once upon a time, it wasn’t a big deal for B2B brands to more or less keep social off of their radar. Nowadays, it’s a crucial aspect of maintaining an ongoing relationship with your clients, informing your audience about new developments, products, or services, and driving traffic to content and assets on your website.
Still, the rapid changes of social media can be hard to keep up with. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the way users connect online has changed rapidly. There’s a buzz about new platforms like TikTok and Clubhouse and shifting recommendations and tools on tech behemoths like Facebook and Instagram.
So, what trends are coming down the pipeline? Do they make sense for B2B organizations? We dive into how social media platforms are shifting and the potential benefits and challenges for B2B.
3 Upcoming Trends in Social Media
Marketers in the B2B space know that likes aren’t enough to move the needle. Instead, you need multiple touchpoints that nurture potential clients while offering valuable user data to shorten the sales cycle. While the old approaches still have their place, integrating fresh social strategies into your overall marketing presence can take your brand to new levels.
It’s important to note that Millennials now make up a significant portion of decision-makers, with their own interests, needs, and preferences as buyers. While this generation does still value face-to-face connection with a company they’re doing business with, they’re also keyed into work-related content outside of regular hours. Serving up relevant, value-added content on the platforms they’re already on gives you two wins.
First, it builds up your company as an authority and thought leader in the space. Second, it allows you to gather more user data so that you can further tailor future efforts. But, to position your brand successfully, you’ll need to get off of the sidelines and into what’s happening in social media spaces.
Showing Up Authentically
It’s a given that your buyers need more logical proof than B2C consumers. However, connecting with them on a human level is still crucial. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, users are spending more and more time online. They’re inundated with ads and posts, so finding a way to create relatability and personal resonance is a powerful tool to have.
While yes, gated webinars and whitepapers can get you a form fill, authentic content is a compelling resource. You’ve probably already seen some of this content in your LinkedIn feed. That self-recorded video that gives you a tip from personal experience, shares a new tool or dives into a frequently asked question. Authentic content doesn’t need to be perfectly polished. In fact, it shouldn’t be!
The “realness” of this content is what makes it so effective. So hop in front of some window light, practice what you want to say, and post it! You might be surprised at the number of views, comments, and reactions from your audience.
Taking Advantage of Live Formats
On a related note, this fresh and authentic content plays into what many algorithms are looking for. It’s no secret that, over the years, Facebook has increasingly limited organic reach for business pages. While LinkedIn still has better reach than most platforms, it’s shifting to prioritize its advertising platform as well.
Luckily, there are ways to work around this other than just shelling out more ad spend. Virtually every major platform offers live content functionality these days. Plus, it can garner significant exposure for your business. Many platforms prioritize live content by showing it at the top of a feed or sending out notifications to all of your followers.
Don’t overthink it when it comes to content, either. Live events allow you to connect and engage with your audience to spur more engaging discussions than you would see in a gated webinar. Have someone dive into a new product or service, do a live interview, or host it as a bite-sized webinar. You might find yourself surprised by how much more attendance you can garner from these open, live events.
For the biggest impact, promote your event before it happens and prepare for any questions that will realistically arise. After you wrap up, there are more ways to repurpose the content. There’s the obvious; save the live content to repurpose on a gated landing page. You can also use discussion that happened during the event to inform a blog post, fluff out an FAQ point, address user pain points, and more!
Shifting Towards Audio-Based Social Networking
Last but not least, some new platforms are changing the way that users interact with their social media. With the latest buzz about both Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces, there’s a growing shift towards audio-based networking. They’re not quite a podcast, but also not the asynchronous content that we’re used to on Facebook, LinkedIn, and the like.
Instead, both platforms offer drop-in conversations where you can simply listen or interact directly with the presenters to ask questions, add to the discussion, and more! Clubhouse has experienced some challenges enforcing community standards, so it’s possible that another major player – such as Twitter – will crack the code first.
Regardless, the new format offers an exciting opportunity for B2B players. While you don’t have to get on these platforms at the get-go, they’re small enough now to connect and niche in with smaller audiences. It’s a unique opportunity to control the conversation by creating a topic to engage professionals in your industry. Plus, since it’s audio-only, you don’t have to worry about lighting, a strong internet connection, or what you look like; just the value of what you have to say.
Are These Trends Right for Your Business?
There are challenges to any new venture. These trends and platforms are no different—the biggest of which is learning how to provide valuable insights without getting overly self-promotional. Authenticity, lives, and the new audio-based social platforms are all reliant on showing up ready to engage your audience, meet them where they are, and generate interesting discussions.
While it can be tempting to promote your product or service directly, it’s generally best to take an inbound approach with these trends. Consider what your audience will gain from each piece of content.
These shifts can also be a time commitment. While you don’t have to create a Clubhouse Room or go live every week, it’s best to have some consistency to build engagement and a following. If your brand doesn’t have the capacity to test, tweak, and learn how to leverage these changes, then you may want to sit back for now. However, just because you’re on the back burner doesn’t mean that you should ignore things altogether.
If you aren’t ready to take the leap just yet, then dip your toes instead and start paying close attention to what other brands are doing to stay relevant. As we continue to face uncertainty and a digital-first world, building and maintaining relationships through your social media channels is more important than ever.
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