What a crazy year for social media. Who would have predicted that Elon Musk’s X would replace the iconic Twitter brand and that Mark Zuckerberg’s Threads would unexpectedly arrive on the scene?
Let’s explore what these disruptions—and all the drama that accompanied them—mean for B2B marketers, and what steps you may need to take to update your social media strategy in a rapidly changing landscape.
Is a Social Media Revolution Coming?
It should come as no surprise that after many uneventful years, we’re now seeing signs of disruption in the social media landscape. Increased competition (TikTok, WhatsApp), new entrants (Blind, Mastodon) and the rise of AI have created a perfect storm for a social media revolution. In just the past few weeks, the storm picked up speed with the demise of Twitter, the birth of X, and the unexpected arrival of Threads.
Our take on Threads: It’s too early to tell if Threads will become a platform of choice for B2B buyers. Threads was clearly Meta’s competitive response to Twitter’s rapid demise. It gained 100 million accounts in its first five days of existence, but has recently seen a 70 percent decline in daily active users. We don’t love Threads’ lack of innovation (hello Twitter of 2006) and how it’s tightly coupled with Instagram. The verdict: We suggest a wait-and-see approach as the dust settles and new features roll out in the upcoming months.
Our take on X: Despite the rebranding thrash, we expect that X will hold on to many of its users for now, especially Gen Z users who prefer it over Instagram. But there are signs that X’s volatility and unpredictability are turning off digital marketers: A recent Search Engine Land survey found that the percentage of digital marketers investing in X is plummeting, from 27 percent in Q1 2023 to only 17 percent in Q3. The verdict: Maintain your ongoing presence on X but take a hard look at your spending and ROI, especially if other platforms like LinkedIn are performing better. Time will tell how this unfolds, and whether X will evolve into Elon’s vision of an “everything platform” like China’s WeChat.
4 Next Steps for Your B2B Social Media Strategy
So what’s a content marketer to do in this new world of X and Threads? As you wait for the dust to settle, take these four steps:
- Revisit your social media goals and results.
It’s all too easy to put your social media strategy on autopilot, doing what you’ve always done. Right now is a great time to ask yourself some basic questions:
- What are our goals and strategies for each social media channel? Do they need updating?
- Are these channels generating results—demonstrably increasing brand awareness or supporting demand generation? Is the juice worth the squeeze?
- Re-assess your audience’s content preferences.
B2B buyer behavior is evolving continuously. You may be surprised to learn that your buyers’ content and digital channel preferences have significantly changed. Before all else, assess your target personas and their information needs at each stage of their buyer journey. You may uncover new insights that will shape your social media strategy for the better.
- Double down on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn continues to be the social media platform of choice for B2B brand awareness, demand generation, and sales outreach. According to LinkedIn, 80 percent of B2B marketers used the platform in the past year, and it is the most effective paid social media platform in helping organizations reach their content marketing goals. As Elon and Zuck battle it out, LinkedIn will ultimately rise above the noise. With Microsoft’s deep pockets, expect to see a significant acceleration in platform innovation (e.g., AI features) and even more solutions for B2B marketers as LinkedIn reinforces its stance as the primary B2B platform for brands.
- Identify private social media channels where your buyers are active.
Private communities, groups, and messages are a few examples of what is known as “dark social,” and they can have a profound influence on B2B buyer behavior. Why? Because they facilitate the sharing of brand preferences between like-minded individuals such as trusted peers, colleagues, and friends. How do you tap into these private channels? First, identify private channels through research and social listening platforms to determine who is talking about your brand or product category. Once you identify these channels, you can share your content through employee advocacy programs, track dark social referral traffic, or build your own private branded community.
Talk to Tendo about Your Content and Social Media Strategy
Need more guidance on your B2B content strategy and social media’s role in it? Tendo can help you analyze your current state and shape a plan that will help you achieve your content marketing goals. Contact us to learn more.
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