In the age of the smartphone, almost everyone knows what it means to share a post on Facebook, upload a photo to Instagram or “like” a new job announcement on LinkedIn.
This social media frenzy has not been lost on marketers—according to Social Media Examiner’s new report, 93% of all marketers who participated in their survey indicated their social media efforts have generated exposure for their businesses, 87% reported positive results in generating increased traffic, and more than 70% of marketers who’ve been using social media for more than 12 months reported it helped them improve sales. But, for the first time ever, how to achieve better engagement is the top question marketers want answered.
The new 2019 Social Media Marketing Report delivers insights as to how marketers put social media into effective action, as well as predictions for the future of B2B and B2C social media marketing. This study surveyed 4,800 marketers across a variety of industries to understand how they’re using social media channels to get an edge on competitors.
Certain social media features and platforms haven’t caught on with marketers, such as messenger bots and Snapchat—interest in learning about messenger bots has suffered a 50% drop since 2018, and 76% of marketers have no plans to use Snapchat in the coming year. Furthermore, Twitter usage among marketers has suffered a decline, with about one in three marketers (35%) planning on increasing Twitter organic activities over the next year, down from 44% in 2018.
B2B marketers can use the key takeaways and insights from this report to gain further awareness of where social media marketing is headed and shape their plans for the future. And, with that being said, let’s turn our attention toward the platforms making the biggest splash—Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook.
The Rise of Instagram—Yes, Even for B2B
Instagram, launched in October of 2010, is currently one of the most well-known social media platforms in the world. Over the past few years, Instagram has become an increasingly popular way for businesses to promote themselves through advertising and paid partnerships with influencers.
According to the report, Instagram is the number-one platform that marketers want to learn more about, surpassing LinkedIn for the first time. And while a popular favorite in the world of B2C, a whopping 65% of B2B marketers are planning on increasing their Instagram organic activities in the coming year.
LinkedIn and B2B Marketers: A Love Story
What do peanut butter and jelly, Batman and Robin, and LinkedIn and B2B marketers have in common? They’re iconic duos. Surprisingly, Facebook is still the top platform for B2B marketers, but LinkedIn takes the number two spot. And B2B marketers are far more interested in learning about how to utilize LinkedIn native videos and ads when compared to their B2C counterparts.
Seventy percent of B2B marketers plan on increasing LinkedIn organic activities, compared to only 44% for B2C—which is a substantial difference. But, as any savvy marketer would expect, B2C marketers favor both Instagram and Facebook over LinkedIn.
The Uncertain Future of Facebook
Ninety-one percent of B2B marketers surveyed use Facebook, making Facebook the most dominant platform. However, for the first time in the last five years, Facebook lost share as the most important platform for marketers, dropping from 67% in 2018 to 61% in 2019. By the same token, 10% of marketers are planning on decreasing their organic activities on Facebook. It’s notable that this percentage is greater than any other platform, according to the report.
While Facebook still enjoys the top spot for now, these findings reveal that marketers are slowly shying away from Facebook and looking for greener pastures.
What to Expect
Considering this year’s findings, we should expect B2B and B2C marketers to continue to steer away from organic Facebook activity, due to a lack of performance and ROI. And since Twitter is another platform decreasing in popularity, it wouldn’t be surprising to see an even steeper decline in utilization headlining next year’s report.
Because Instagram is the number-one platform marketers want to learn more about, we wouldn’t be surprised if Instagram surpasses Facebook in the next few years as the most-used social media platform for marketers. Well, at least until the next shiny platform comes along.
If we had to draw conclusions based solely on the data alone, we’d recommend B2B marketers consider reducing resources dedicated to organic activity on Facebook and Twitter, and turn their attention toward LinkedIn and Instagram. Even as a B2B marketer, it’s imperative to strengthen your company’s knowledge and use of Instagram, as it continues to gain traction. And keep doing those things you’re most likely already achieving success with, including keeping up with organic activity on LinkedIn.
What’s Your Game Plan?
While B2B marketers can become well-versed with the most relevant platforms, invest in paid media options, and have a plan for B2B social media success, it all comes down to measurement and optimization to increase brand awareness and fill the pipeline.
To learn more about how Red House helps its clients master the world of social media, visit https://redhouseb2b.com/capabilities/social-media-strategy/.