Social media has changed the way we live, interact with each other, and, yes, even market our businesses. More than 3.6 billion people use social media worldwide, making it one of the most popular online activities.
Designing an effective B2B social media marketing strategy, however, is no easy feat. To be effective, brands must develop a data-backed strategy, create an appropriate budget, and measure their success.
As you plan your B2B social media strategy, it’s important to consider the impact of social media on the industry as a whole and where other brands are succeeding —- and failing.
This post outlines key statistics to help you focus on what matters in B2B social media marketing.
Strategic Execution for B2B Social Media
Building a B2B social media strategy is the first step to creating a successful social media marketing plan. Rather than just posting whatever (and whenever) seems to be effective, B2B brands must consider the most effective platforms, content types, and when to schedule.
These stats highlight opportunities B2B brands should pay attention to.
Not sure which platforms to leverage? Finding the right platform for your business is crucial to an effective social strategy. Here are a few stats to help you decide which platforms to focus on.
It’s no secret that LinkedIn is one of the most socially powerful platforms for B2B marketers. That’s because most of their user base is highly educated and holds positions of power in the business world.
Oberlo reports that half of all US adults with a degree use LinkedIn, and 25% of all LinkedIn users are senior-level influencers.
LinkedIn helps B2B brands generate leads, improve account-based marketing, and can be used for social selling. Even better, it’s incredibly effective.
B2B marketers report 80% of their social media leads come from LinkedIn, and 40% say LinkedIn is the most effective channel for driving leads.
But, it’s not the only useful platform for B2B.
At first glance, TikTok might not seem an effective platform for B2B social marketing programs.
While TikTok has a reputation as being a more effective platform for B2C companies, there are opportunities for B2B marketers, as well.
Facebook is one of the oldest social media platforms on the market. It has a wide audience base of all ages who come to the platform to connect with friends and family.
However, B2B businesses shouldn’t discount the OG of social media.
Forty-six percent of B2B marketers use Facebook as part of their social media marketing strategy.
Even better? Facebook ads convert really well, due in part to the ability to target very specific audiences.
The average conversion rate of Facebook Ads is between 9 and 10%; which is higher than most other paid platforms.
Don’t forget smaller platforms, like Pinterest.
With more than 454 million active users, Pinterest can extend your reach drastically. While it might not be right for every business, it can help B2B businesses drive traffic, educate their audience, and generate leads.
Statistica found that 25% of social media marketers at B2B companies use Pinterest to market their businesses.
There’s a lot of social platforms out there. The good news? You don’t have to select just one platform.
Leveraging multiple platforms can be more effective and help your business reach a wider audience. It can also increase your ROI.
Hubspot reported each additional social channel you add to your social media marketing plan can increase ROI and effectiveness by 35%.
For B2B brands, LinkedIn remains the most effective platform. However, there is value in exploring other options, like TikTok and Pinterest.
Content Formats and Types
Not sure what type of content to publish on your B2B social channels? The type of content can impact your reach and engagement. Worst of all, most brands are getting it wrong.
According to Forrester, 68% of people don’t think brands share interesting content.
It’s impossible to build an effective social media strategy if your social media posts bore your audience. Look for topics your audience asks about on your website, in industry forums, even sites like Quora or Reddit. Then post content that addresses those pain points.
Behind the scenes content can also be effective. Sharing videos about your team or how your process works can be interesting and build brand trust.
Don’t just stick to text posts, either. Video, images, and going live drives engagement and builds connections.
According to SproutSocial, 54% of marketers say video is the most effective format for reaching social goals. 53% say images are best, 30% say text-based posts, 26% choose video, and 25% say live video drives the highest ROI.
Test out different content formats to see what works for your brand.
Another powerful content format is customer reviews. Online shoppers are more likely to trust other users when they want unbiased opinions.
Sprout Social reports 88% of consumers are likely to buy from a brand after reading reviews on social media.
Don’t think this only applies to B2C consumers — B2B shoppers want reviews, too. Sites like Capterra and G2 are popular for a reason.
G2 reported that 92.4% of B2B buyers are more likely to buy after reading a trusted review.
Posting different formats and types of content is crucial to B2B social success. That applies for ads, as well. Sites like Facebook and LinkedIn offer several ad formats — and some of them are more effective at driving conversions.
Facebook says their Carousel ads, which allow brands to share several images in one ad, see 30-50% lower cost-per-conversion and 20-30% lower cost-per-click than single-image link ads.
LinkedIn has several ad formats as well, including sponsored content, videos, text ads, and sponsored messaging. Run tests to see which format your audience responds to.
When to Post on Social Media
Social media feeds move fast. This means if you don’t post your content at the right time, it could get lost in the ether.
To find the right time, it helps to look at the most popular times to post on social media as a whole.
According to Hubspot, the average best times to post on social media are:
- Monday, Wednesday, and Friday: 11 AM -12 PM CDT
- Tuesday: 11 AM – 2 PM CDT
- Thursday: 11 AM CDT
If you are just getting started, these times are a great time to start posting. However, the platform and your industry can also impact the best times to post.
The best time to post for tech businesses (which includes many B2B companies) is Thursdays from 3 to 5 PM on Facebook, Monday from 10 to 11 AM on Instagram, and Monday at 11 AM on Twitter.
If you’re in a different industry, you can read a full report that outlines the best time to post for every industry.
Wondering how often you should post on social media?
- Instagram: 3-7 times per week.
- Facebook: 1 and 2 times a day.
- Twitter: 1 and 5 Tweets a day.
- LinkedIn: 1 and 5 times a day.
The best way to find the right time to post on social media is to look at your own data. Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok provide data about when your users are most active. Then, spend a few weeks testing to see when users are most likely to engage with your content.
Proper Budgeting for B2B Social Marketing
Not sure how much to invest in social media marketing? The costs can vary drastically based on how many platforms you use, ad spend, how active you are (i.e., how many posts a month or week), and whether your business keeps it in-house or outsources to an agency.
In general, however, social media marketing spending is on the rise.
According to a Hootsuite survey, 60% of all businesses plan to increase their Instagram budget, and nearly half plan to do the same for Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn.
That increase in spending is a good thing — it means there is still value in investing in social media marketing.
What can your business expect to pay? Let’s look at what the average companies spend per month to manage their social media marketing.
Social Media Management
Managing social media includes creating content, responding to follower comments and questions, creating and optimizing ads, and gathering data from analytics programs.
Some B2B brands do this themselves, while others choose to outsource it to an agency or a freelancer.
On average, however, most brands spend thousands of dollars on social media marketing.
According to WebFX, the average company spends $4,000 to $7,000 a month on social media management, including advertising and posting.
ContentFactory states that professional social media marketing costs between $1,000 and $20,000 a month.
If that sounds like a lot, just remember that some brands spend more on ads, might have harder-to-reach audiences, or may outsource multiple platforms to an agency.
Other factors that can impact the cost of social media management include whether you are setting up a new social account and how many channels your brand targets. Unless you are a nationally-known brand, you likely don’t need to be on every social platform out there.
Organic reach on social media has been on the decline in recent years. If you want to build your audience and increase conversions, you have to pay to play.
The good news is, social media advertising allow brands to target hyper-specific audiences based on likes, location, even income and industry.
How much does the average business spend to reach their audience on social media?
Statista reports the average CPM (cost per mille) of social media ads in Q2 of 2020 was $4.33.
While some industries have a higher CPM than others, reaching 1,000 consumers for $4.33 is a pretty solid return.
How much can you expect to spend on paid ads for social media?
The average company spends around $900 per week on social media ads.
Keep in mind that social media allows you to target extremely specific audiences, so that $900 per week could drive thousands in profits, if you do it right.
Social Media Tools
Looking for a way to avoid spending thousands a month on social media management? Social media marketing tools could make it easier to keep your social media in-house — and save you time.
Tools like Buffer and Hootsuite offer free plans that allow you to schedule, post, and analyze your social traffic.
According to Buffer, the average cost of a mid-level social media marketing tool is around $100 per month.
The cost can vary based on how many people need access to the platform, how active you are, and how many platforms you use.
Vanity metrics like the number of followers you have and how many comments your posts get are easy to track — and they might even make it look like your social media strategy is working well.
Likes are all well and good, but they won’t increase revenue on their own. These stats outline what metrics B2B businesses are tracking and where they find success.
What to Measure
Creating a strategic social media marketing plan means looking deeper. What do your friends and fans do after they like a post? What do they think about your brand? More importantly, do these actions actually drive conversions?
Not sure what to measure for social media success? Metrics like ROI of paid ads are obvious, but there are other crucial metrics as well.
A 2021 survey by Hootsuite reported the top outcomes brands want to achieve on social include increased acquisition (74%), increased brand awareness (64%), and driving conversions like leads, purchases, or product inquiries (45%).
These metrics help you understand not just how your social media drives direct revenue, but how it improves the overall customer experience.
Make the Most of Social Data
Running reports and tracking metrics is all well and good — but what do you do with that data once you are done?
Eighty-eight percent of marketers say social media strategy positively impacts the bottom line, but only 1 in 4 reports those results to their manager or team — and just 10% use social media data to inform business decisions.
Make a plan to get your social media data into the right hands. Schedule weekly or monthly calls, share what you’ve learned about your audience with other teams, and make sure your organization understands the impact of social media.
Final Thoughts on Building a Successful B2B Social Media Marketing Strategy
The average social media user spends 2.5 hours a day on social media networks every day interacting with their friends and, yes, brands. With the end of the year just around the corner, now is the time to take a deep look at your social media strategy. These stats will help guide you in the right direction.
Are you revamping your B2B social media strategy for next year? What strategies are you adding?