Finding the right digital community to empower your business used to be a simple task. The current state of social media has created many community choices. Every social media platform can look like a chessboard, with content acting like chess pieces – each post or video creating an environment of moves and counter-moves in managing a given lead strategy.
Yet most marketers may not feel like “chess masters” of their industry. Marketers face a dizzying array of social media “chessboards” they can use to connect with customers and generate leads.
Where do people spend time on social media?
Hootsuite’s latest study, The state of the digital world for 2022, provides an overview of potential answers. The research captured where people are currently spending their time on social media. The results reflect where B2B marketers should be to find potential customers.
The short answer – more than one place – is probably obvious. The study also showed how having multiple presences influences opportunities to discover how to develop a social media presence.
Related article: What works in B2B social media marketing?
People move on social networks
Content is a major driver of top-of-funnel sales activity, and social media has become the primary delivery channel for it. Social media plays a role in how customers research brands, discover interesting media content, and then decide to engage that brand for their needs. The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted customers to spend more time on social media, leading companies to lead content teams to shift their reach with customers in unprecedented ways.
In its study, Hootsuite discovered the degree of viewership overlap of someone appearing on one platform versus another. It’s no secret that people who use social media sites are often on two or more platforms because people are naturally social. Hootsuite notes that the average person uses 7.5 platforms, so there’s an array of combinations.
For example, 84% of TikTok users are also on Facebook, 45% of YouTube users are also on TikTok. Among LinkedIn users, 49.1% also use TikTok, while 50.9% also use Pinterest. These numbers imply a constant opportunity to provide omnichannel strategies to connect where an audience is spending their time.
Related article: Is Social Media Marketing Dying?
Marketers can’t be swayed by all the numbers
An intriguing aspect? Few people stay on one platform. Hootsuite found very few social media users between the ages of 16 and 64 who only use one platform. Every platform except Reddit had a unique platform user percentage of less than 1%.
Back in 2020, Sagebrush frog studied social media platform preferences among B2B companies. He found that respondents steered their social media presence towards one platform at the expense of integrating other social media platforms that could improve their marketing strategy.
Hootsuite warns that marketers should not view widespread use of social media as a sign to combine platform budgets or cut a presence on one or more platforms.
Further, a review of the data shows that there is no reciprocity of use. Take the example of TikTok-Facebook: while 84% of TikTok users are also on Facebook, only 48% of Facebook users are also on TikTok. Unequal reciprocity may reflect the niche nature of social media platforms. While TikTok has seen increased adoption among a wider audience, TikTok is still filled with a niche audience, much like Twitter.
This differs from Facebook which, despite recent user adoption issues, retains a relatively large audience. This difference may be a factor in asymmetric movement between platforms.
Marketers still in love with social media
Regardless of the type of audience overlap on social media, marketers are clearly spending on advertising on social media platforms to build brand exposure and share messages. A third of global ad spending – $154 billion – is attributed to social media advertising. That amount is $21 billion more than marketers spent in 2021.
According to Sagefrog, social media is the second largest source of B2B leads after business referrals. Thus, established social media platforms – LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter – were the top choices that respondents use for marketing. New social media platforms like TikTok and platforms with strong niche audiences, like Pinterest, don’t even show up in the results.
Related article: What social media trends will emerge for 2022?
Build a strong omnichannel presence
The clearest takeaway from this data is to experiment with omnichannel strategies. This experimentation must take place now.
B2B marketers should reimagine where they can experiment with social media engagement to develop stronger leads. Take advantage of people’s different expectations of content shared on these platforms. Social media users have different mindsets on each platform. Some may be more playful on TikTok, while presenting a more serious tone on LinkedIn. Playful references to ideas and concept would be best on TikTok, although there is cross-sharing from some LinkedIn users.
Developing an omnichannel strategy among social media platforms can improve the chances of connecting with a specific audience. For example, Discord is widely used by developers and gamers. This trend can be useful for developing relationships with talented developers for recruiting or for finding a top tech influencer to develop a partnership.
Audit notices, one-time review trails
When managing channels with a social media dashboard like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite, audit mentions and direct messages that become leads. The analysis will not be precise – it is a one-time examination of how leads are performing on a given channel.
Still, you get indicators of the general frequency of leads linked to the platform. You can then compare your investment, whether it is time expenditure or budget. Assigning a monetary value to a specific coin is still a complex task, but analyzing events by week and month will be a starting point for ROI discussions.
Discuss planning for social media advertising to support content. Marketers are clearly spending more on social media marketing ads. A wide range of activities like audience overlap demonstrates that marketers should spend their time adjusting a digital advertising budget between social media platforms. Such adjustments can guide initial ROI estimates from advertising budgets.
Building a social media presence is an absolute must, but the big challenge for B2B companies is figuring out how to leverage an omnichannel presence that works for branding. This effort will lead to a better quality of relationships with the people who matter most. Checkmate!
Pierre DeBois is the founder of Zimana, a small business digital analytics consultancy. It reviews data from web analytics and social media dashboard solutions, then provides web development recommendations and actions that improve marketing strategy and business profitability.