Marketing

How to Pinpoint the Right Social Platform for Your B2B Business

Want to know how to effectively leverage social media platforms to your B2B business advantage? All it takes is a keen understanding of the nuanced differences between channels. A helpful way to do that is to think of each social platform as its own kind of party.  

Yes, you read that correctly—a party. 

Hear us out: every party you’ve ever been to has had a distinct flavor, punctuated by the types of guests in attendance, choices of entertainment, décor, and such—context clues we use to determine whether the atmosphere of a certain event falls in line with our expectations of a good time. 

Social media platforms, in a way, exist as abstract microcosms of these real-life gatherings. For B2B marketers, examining what each channel brings to the table, including user demographics, expectations, and additional opportunities, makes it easier to gauge which platform offers the most optimal venue for their marketing initiatives.  

Pick Your Social Platform Party 

So, what kind of party best suits your B2B marketing needs? Here’s a helpful breakdown of the top six channels: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok. 

LinkedIn a.k.a. “The Business Casual Party” 

The Vibe 

LinkedIn party is reminiscent of your last corporate get-together: a pretty tame gathering of company-wide employees, mixing and mingling across departmental barriers to chat about current projects, new initiatives, and safe-for-work fodder that doesn’t necessarily require a call to Human Resources. 

Who’s Invited 

This one’s easy. The LinkedIn party draws the likes of corporate executive leadership, entrepreneurs, industry innovators, and eager professionals looking for their next big work opportunity. Typically, LinkedIn users fall between the age ranges of mid-20s to mid-60s, which makes sense, as this demographic represents much of today’s employed population.  

What Guests Can Expect 

In recent years, LinkedIn has undergone somewhat of a renaissance, transitioning from a culturally conservative platform to more of an engagement-driven space for professionals of all sorts, entry level to C-suite. The reason? It’s simply a matter of user experience.  

Upon its introduction to the world of social networking, LinkedIn served one main purpose, which was for its users to find employment. Because of this core mission, content and conversations on the platform appeared dry, risk-free, and void of any hot-button topics. That is until its older user demographic became much more comfortable using social media in general. The more confidence they built, the more comfortable they grew using the platform for lighter, casual exchanges among working professionals. Now, LinkedIn is a digital representation of our “gradual progression of cultural acceptance and norms,” according to Inc. reporter, Chris Dessi. Yet, despite this shift, LinkedIn remains a “safe for work” platform free of distasteful debate, so make sure to keep it clean! 

A LinkedIn party is reminiscent of your last corporate get-together: a pretty tame gathering of company-wide employees, mixing and mingling across departmental barriers to chat
A LinkedIn party is reminiscent of your last corporate get-together: a pretty tame gathering of company-wide employees, mixing and mingling across departmental barriers to cha

Twitter a.k.a. The Debate Club Party 

The Vibe 

Have you ever been to a family event and all your relatives just start talking over each other just to be heard, increasing in volume as seconds pass? That’s what Twitter is like. It’s a fast-paced, noisy landscape of people fighting for the opportunity to speak their piece and be heard among the millions of active users on the platform. It sounds hectic—and it most certainly is—but when leveraged successfully, it offers an excellent forum for people to discover relevant news stories, exchange topical points of discussion, and engage with thought leaders from around the world. Research shows users post 6,000 tweets per second, which just goes to show how fast communication travels via Twitter. Hence, timeliness is of the essence here.  

Who’s Invited 

Pretty much anyone can get an invite to the Twitter party—it’s the reason why the platform is so noisy. However, the majority of its users fall into two main demographics: 25- to 34-year-olds, who represent 39% of its global audience, and 35- to 49-year-olds, who make up 21%. Twitter’s relatively younger audience (in comparison to that of LinkedIn) is evidenced by the shorthand-like communication shared among its users and the speed at which these communications travel. And while most users have a solid handle on Twitter standards and best practices, the free-speech platform still draws the likes of less-than-savvy users, which makes it a challenge to cut through all the clutter and reach your target audience.  

What Guests Can Expect 

Up-to-the-second news updates? Twitter’s got it. Relevant topics that point to your various personal interests? Twitter’s got that too. It’s all thanks to the platform’s proprietary algorithms, which offer personalized content based on accounts you follow, hashtags you search, and links on which you click. Twitter’s data-driven engine uses machine learning to record these actions, among many others, to determine the most relevant content for your particular palate. The platform then delivers these content recommendations right to your homepage, front and center. The benefit here? As a B2B marketer, you can pinpoint users who have expressed some type of interest in your business, be it through a keyword search or a recorded engagement with a similar brand, for example. Then, B2B marketers can use this data to craft customized content relevant to these attentive users, which opens the door to incredible brand visibility among targeted audiences.  

Twitter is a fast-paced, noisy landscape of people fighting for the opportunity to speak their piece and be heard among the millions of active users on the platform.
Twitter is a fast-paced, noisy landscape of people fighting for the opportunity to speak their piece and be heard among the millions of active users on the platform.

Facebook a.k.a. The Tupperware Party 

The Vibe 

Back in the day, attending a Facebook party would have been akin to stopping at your local watering hole for a round of cold beer, friendly small talk, and a welcome reprieve from the doldrums of everyday life. However, Facebook has since moved on from that casual atmosphere, transforming itself into more of a drivel detector for users looking to legitimize people, products, and services. Likewise, it’s become an excellent forum for businesses of all sizes wanting to engage with potential customers and spread brand awareness. Now, Facebook resembles one of those Tupperware parties your mom used to host back in the day, with groups of people sussing out whether a certain plastic container product is as valuable as its manufacturer claims. 

Who’s Invited 

There’s going to be some guest crossover from the Twitter party next door, as Facebook’s most attentive audiences also include 25- to 34-year-old males and 18- to 24-year-old females. Still, Facebook takes the cake for having the biggest audience draw, a user base of over one billion, eclipsing Twitter’s 500 million. And with its recent rise in senior adoption (a user base that’s doubled in size over the past year), plus a digital ecosystem capable of supporting 100 different languages in almost every location across the globe, Facebook has emerged as the premier host of the social media world. 

What Guests Can Expect 

Searching for legitimate reviews of local dentists in your area? Evaluating the credibility of your neighbor’s dog-walking service? On the hunt for someone to buy that old ping pong table collecting dust in the basement? These are all activities guests can expect to find at a Facebook party. What’s even more interesting is, despite the platform’s global appeal, it’s still able to foster that same community-like feel of its earlier days, which is almost certainly due to its capacity to support local languages in all existing geographies—a small, but important detail that’s effectively catalyzed the localization of its billion+ users. This in itself is a huge benefit to B2B marketers, as they’re able to drill down on specific customer profiles to pinpoint the most attentive prospects out of the bunch, increasing their odds of engagement.  

Instagram a.k.a. The Show-and-Tell Party 

The Vibe 

The vibe of an Instagram party is pretty much that of all those high school parties you never got invited to. That is to say, it’s a place for the cool kids. Luckily for us, the idea of “cool” on Instagram is highly subjective, so there’s plenty of wiggle room for users to express their curious proclivities through video, images, design—you name it. It offers a show-and-tell-type experience, making it so anyone with a particular hobby or interest can engage with others who share similar passions.  

Who’s Invited 

Instagram guests skew younger, for sure. According to records from Meta, Instagram’s parent company (as well as Facebook’s), the platform maintains a strong hold on advertising’s most coveted audience: 18- to 24-year-olds and 25- to 34-year-olds. As of January 2022, Instagram reported an advertising audience reach of about 147,800,000—a 6% jump from the previous quarter. Needless to say, Instagram plays host to a highly attentive, digitally native bunch who definitely want to be seen and heard. 
 

What Guests Can Expect 

An Instagram party is a treat for the eyes, leaning heavily into its visually focused medium. By blending the concept of instant conversation (a la Twitter) with creative visual expression, the platform has essentially carved out its own unique form of communication for the digitally native demographic, one that pays less attention to text and more to the pretty pictures sprinkling their feed. And since a picture is worth a thousand words, it’s easy to understand how Instagram has become such an effective venue for marketing: why tell people about your brand when you can literally show them? 

YouTube a.k.a. The How-To Party 

The Vibe 

Have you ever said to yourself, “I should really start getting into [fill in the blank with your latest whimsy]?” And then you actually signed up for a class at your local community center to learn the basics? Well, that’s exactly what YouTube is like. It’s a haven for people who want to take action into their own hands, whether it’s to learn French cuisine, the correct way to hold a tennis racquet, or tips on how to plant your own tomato garden. It’s an encouraging environment that succeeds in holding a steady attention span among its users. Case in point: Sprout Social found that YouTube users spend an average of 30 minutes PER VISIT on the platform. That’s a lot of learning.  

Who’s Invited 

YouTube averages about two billion active users monthly, with most of those users coming from India, Japan, and the United States. The platform attracts a highly diverse mix of all genders and age groups, ranging from 15 to 56+, which just goes to show the user-friendly, and broad, democratic nature of YouTube adoption. 

What Guests Can Expect 

YouTube partiers come for one reason and one reason only: to get an education. Whether it’s to learn about a product’s latest features, gauge the effectiveness of a certain technology, or evaluate an item’s quality based on customer reviews, YouTube serves as a user-generated classroom for those seeking knowledge and/or validation. Hence, YouTube is an ideal environment for B2B marketers looking to spread brand awareness and education through an easy-to-use, easy-to-understand social platform.  

YouTube partiers come for one reason and one reason only: to get an education.
YouTube partiers come for one reason and one reason only: to get an education.

TikTok a.k.a. The Classic House Party 

The Vibe 

Ahh, the classic house party, a time to cut loose with friends in the absence of rules or mature adult supervision. In other words, it’s the real-life equivalent to the platform we all call TikTok. The platform and its metaphorical equivalent align in many ways: both feature buzzworthy music, impressive dance moves, and creative interests abound, all in the name of fun.  

Who’s Invited 

Baby boomers and elder millennials, brace yourselves: this is NOT your wheelhouse. Just about half of all TikTok users (43%) fall between the ages of 18 and 24, making it the social media platform of choice for a Gen Z population that spends nearly 20 hours each month scrolling personalized content on their smartphones.  

What Guests Can Expect 

TikTok party guests want to be entertained, point blank. They want to laugh, tell stories, and be playful. They want to share their unique personalities and creative expressions with the world. And most importantly, they want to do it all in seconds. Luckily for them, TikTok serves as the perfect platform to do that, and then some. In fact, TikTok boasts an ad reach of 50% among users in the United States, which means marketers have ample opportunity to attract and engage prospects with discretionary cash to spend. 

Are You Ready to Party, Social Media-Style?

If you’re trying to determine the best social media platform to support your B2B marketing initiatives, you first need to understand the three Ws of each channel: the who, the what, and the why. These details give B2B marketers critical insights into which platform offers the most opportunity for brand awareness and customer engagement. However, it’s important to note that marketers shouldn’t feel relegated to using just one social channel. People gravitate toward different platforms for different reasons, and anticipations vary per channel. That’s why B2B marketers should examine these variations to create a strategic approach to content development for each applicable platform.  

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Want to learn how to really scale your B2B social strategy? Make sure to download our eBook, “Social Media Marketing in a B2B World.”