B2B brands are able to develop large audiences on LinkedIn, but are not engaging those followers as much as on other social media platforms, a new study by TrackMaven finds. On the flip side, B2B brands are getting 20 times more engagement on Instagram than on LinkedIn, but have much smaller audiences.
In the report released today, TrackMaven used its own software platform to analyze 12 months of content from 316 leading B2B brands on five social networks: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
All but three of the 17 B2B verticals examined have their largest social media audiences on LinkedIn. Professional services brands lead the way in terms of social media audiences – they have the largest median LinkedIn audience (1.2 million followers) and have the largest overall social media audience with a median of 2.5 million followers across the five major social media platforms.
The data highlights which B2B industry verticals are doing well on social. Biotech, financial services and engineering are in what TrackMaven calls the “sweet spot” for social media. These brands have significant audience, high content engagement, and strong follower growth.
In terms of engagement, Instagram is far and away the winner with an average engagement ratio (number of interactions per post per 1,000 followers) of 22.53 for B2B brands. Pinterest comes in second with 15.88, 5.99 on Facebook, 1.09 on LinkedIn and 0.86 for Twitter.
Machinery brands fare best on LinkedIn with an engagement ratio of 1.98 interactions per post per 1,000 followers on average, still far below engagement ratios on other social media.
Kara Burney of TrackMaven writes B2B companies attraction to LinkedIn could be holding them back from exploring other, more effective social media options. “Challenge the LinkedIn legacy effect for B2B brands. Explore newer, visual-oriented networks where there are high levels of engagement and less competition,” she wrote.
Social Media Critical to B2B Communication Campaigns
The July 2015 Regalix “State of B2B Social Media Marketing” report found that 99 percent of B2B marketers believe social media is critical to their communication campaigns, with 94 percent indicating their key social objective is to build brand awareness.
LinkedIn and Twitter were the most popular social media platforms, according to the report. In a contrast to the TrackMaven study, 93 percent of respondents named Twitter as the most effective channel in terms of helping them reach their target audience, while 91 percent said LinkedIn allowed them to connect with their primary customers.