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    Beyond the Social Norms: Can New Platforms Work for B2B?

    Written by Carla Niknejad on October 25, 2016

    b2b_new_social_mediaThe days when social media was exotic to B2B companies are well over – at least when it comes to tried-and-true platforms. 

    According to Content Marketing Institute’s 2016 Benchmarks and Trends report, 94% of B2B organizations use LinkedIn to distribute content, followed by Twitter (87%), Facebook (84%), and YouTube (74%).

    However, fewer than 25% of B2B marketers said that they use newer platforms such as SnapChat, Periscope, and Medium. But why is that? According to HubSpot’s State of Inbound Report, social media platforms like SnapChat and Vine were seen more as personal, rather than business-oriented, channels, likely because few B2B organizations have figured out the best ways to use them. Those platforms are also relatively young (Instagram and SnapChat are only 6- and 7-years-old, respectively, compared to 14-year-old Facebook and 12-year-old Twitter), and it was only recently that businesses were given access to create their own company pages and profiles.

    Does all that sound familiar? It should, because the same was true of Facebook and Twitter. It wasn’t long ago that B2B organizations weren’t even considering social media as a viable marketing channel. Have we forgotten how wrong we were?

    Launching into a new social media platform, or even using newer features that longstanding social media platforms offer, can be daunting. There isn’t exactly a guarantee that they will work for your business or industry. But if you’re looking for new, exciting ways to get your content out, it may be time to leverage those new platforms and features.

    New Platforms + Features

    All social media sites have their own ways to distribute content, so it is important to adapt accordingly. A majority of the newest platforms are getting visual with live video, which can offer a great way for your audience to get a behind-the-scenes look at your company. It can be used as a recruiting tool to highlight your company’s culture, or it can demonstrate the work that goes into developing your products or services. By showing yourself at a vulnerable state (without editing and a script), it can build trust in your brand. HubSpot uses Facebook live in different ways, from interviewing other business or marketing experts to highlighting employees’ knowledge by having them answer questions from their followers.

    Live video isn’t your thing? You can also try out podcasts. Audio content is a great way to provide educational resources for your audience to listen to on the go. The length can vary from one-minute quick tips to an hour-long presentation. For example, Salesforce has a weekly 30-minute podcast with interviews from marketing experts, providing an educational and valuable resource for other marketers. IBM has expanded its services into various syndicated podcasts, covering the latest trends and news in hardware and information technology.

    If you want to get a new audience for your blog, you can syndicate it with Medium. Medium isn’t like other blog sites. Content doesn’t have a publish date or time and is categorized in “Collections” that readers can follow and add to their reading lists. If users like what they just read, they have to option to “Recommend” the post, which can increase the content’s visibility to other users. MailChimp uses Medium to syndicate its “What’s In Store” blog series promoting the company’s online store, a new project launched to get a better understanding of ecommerce customers. 

    With new platforms and features popping up every day, marketers have the chance to experiment and take a risk. It may seem strange at first, but pushing outside your comfort zone shows that your company isn’t afraid to try new things. Will you be adding a new social platform to your strategy?

    Do you need more help in deciding what’s next for your social media strategy? Contact us today!

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    Topics: Social Media

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