3THINKRS explored the state of play in social media in H1 2023, through the lens of industry research and market analysis.
B2B organisations are having to work harder to find profitable growth. That means marketing activity has to work harder than ever before. A crucial part of this is developing a successful social strategy, which can expand your organisation’s reach, relevance and results.
We’ve collated our Ten Best Social Media Reports from H1, from analysts, consultancies, agencies and social media platforms – summarising the top three takeaways from each. The content explores how the world of social media can impact B2B organisations, from mobile marketing tips to the most influential voices in B2B marketing.
The Good, The Bad, And The B2B
LinkedIn’s Brand to Buyer report explores the fundamentals of strong B2B technology brands. The extensive survey of technology decision makers and marketers revealed some surprises. But all in all, now’s the time to elevate B2B technology brands and their marketing to increase engagement and drive sales.
- Don’t be Vague, Get Creative! – 62% of buyers feel that B2B advertising is too vague and not relevant to their business. Data-driven thought leadership and relevant, targeted content will give buyers a reason to care.
- Seek & Sell – Both social media and search engines are used by 43% of buyers to support their purchase decisions. Continue with social media advertising and be where you customers are.
- Buy Into Branding – 56% of technology buyers prefer to work with established brands. When it comes to achieving long-term growth, brand marketing is one of the best investments. Focus on proving expertise, creating greater trust and strong communication of brand values.
LinkedIn – Brand to Buyer Report – April 2023
A CEO’s Guide to Becoming a LinkedIn Leader
The Global CEO LinkedIn Tracker analysed 4,494 posts from leaders on LinkedIn from January 1st, 2022, to December 31st, 2022, and found that in this time of disruption and upheaval, corporate leaders are communicating with a greater sense of purpose. And while company announcements still drive content generation, it’s personal posts that engage followers.
- Let Your Talent Shine – 44% of all talent content across markets related to DE&I. To enhance executive profiles, CEOs must discuss talent and DE&I year-round.
- Keeping It Personal – over 77% of all CEOs post personal content, achieving the highest engagement rate per post compared to other topics. Personal stories and reflections drive greater engagement.
- Let’s Talk Sustainability – posts discussing sustainability should be linked directly to business efforts, innovations, and achievements. Content needs to show impact, accompanied by proof points, clear references and verifiability.
Global CEO LinkedIn Tracker – March 2023
The Media’s View on The Future of Social Media, AI and PR
The Global State of Media report from Cision examines the changing relationship between journalists and communications professionals. It explores the role of AI, social media and the challenges faced by the media themselves, based on a survey of 3,000 journalists.
- Data is a Valuable Currency – 68% of journo’s expect original research, trend or market data from their PR partners. And, when asked how communications professionals can make their jobs easier, 66% of journalists responded with “provide data from expert sources”.
- Social Media Switch – Journalists are planning to increase activity on Instagram & TikTok and spend less on Twitter or Facebook. And, despite concerns about AI, the majority are testing various programs to help with everyday tasks.
- No More Fake News – 27% said maintaining credibility as a trusted source and combatting “fake news” allegations have been the biggest challenges over the past 12 months. Individually 38% agreed that keeping up, amid downsizing and reduced resources was difficult.
Cision – Global State of Media Report – February 2023
Without Measurement, There Can Be No Improvement
A strategy or plan without measurement or planning remains just a concept, and at risk of failure. The use of KPI’s can help create a stronger strategy, with clear targets and measurements of success. This recent report from LinkedIn explores the top ten B2B marketing KPI’s and how to put them into action.
- Success Starts at Home – Website traffic allows you to calculate the number of visitors to your website per month. And apply this as a baseline for other traffic metrics, such as organic or paid traffic, which is highly beneficial when assessing digital strategies.
- Journey Through the Search Engine – Increasing organic traffic is a valuable goal. These visitors have search intent and do not require any additional cost. And, assessing how they arrived at your website, will ultimately make it easier to improve future SEO strategies.
- Paid Promotion, is it Worth it? – The number of users who arrive at your site through sponsored content, paid search or display ads will define paid campaign success. Advertiser-defined demographics will make reaching the most valuable audience and potential customer much easier.
LinkedIn – New Guide to B2B Marketing KPIs, February 2023
Find Strength In Social Strategy
They say the data doesn’t lie! And this report from Meltwater shares some mind-blowing stats. From the number of social media users worldwide to the time being spent on the platforms, the power of social is only getting stronger and now more than ever the importance of a social media strategy is evident.
- Social is Universal – The total population as of 2023 is 8.01 billion, 5.44 billion unique mobile phone users, 5.16 billion internet users and 4.76 active social media users.
- Every Second Counts! – The average time spent using the internet is 6h 37m, time spent using social media is 2h 31m and time spent reading press media is 2h 10m.
- Keep Calm and Scroll On – Top reasons for spending time on social media include reading news stories (34.2%), to see what’s being talked about (28.8%) and finding inspiration for things to do and buy (27.3%).
Grab those Giga, Mega, and Nano Influencers
More with less (or the same), is very much the theme for 2023 social media budgets. Meltwater’s report which spoke to 750 EMEA marketing and communications specialists in B2B, B2C, NGOs, analysed social media investment, effectiveness, and intent for 2023.
- Splurge on Social – Social media investment is expected to increase by 46%. Video production, content production, social media advertising and influencer marketing are the top four social media services to be outsourced.
- Socially Active, and Authentic – Employee advocacy helps drive authentic brand experiences and improve reputation, 19.8% of organisations have an employee advocacy or social selling strategy.
- B2B Social Stars – LinkedIn continues to be the biggest B2B network. 64% indicate it is the most important channel, followed by Facebook with 18%. But, with use video content on the rise, TikTok is set to become the centre of attention.
Meltwater, The State of Social Media 2023, January 2023
Who’s Influencing the Future of Work?
Onalytica has created a database made up of 1 million influencers and 38 algorithms over the last 10 years, to accurately calculate the strongest influencers. Future of work is a hot topic, with 83% of workers preferring the hybrid working model and 75% having higher expectations for working flexibly. This report shows the influential voices leading conversations around this trend.
- Social Amplifiers – most influential was Dr Marcell Vollmer, who drives engagement on Twitter and LinkedIn, regularly posting, engaging and sharing other people’s content on the Future of Work.
- Industry Leaders – Meghan M. Biro has developed high credibility and authority on Future of Work within industry, the media and influencer community across social media platforms.
- Content Creators – Katz Kiely is an influential voice in the future of work debate. Creating content for podcasts and YouTube, she is consistent with online activity, engaging with top trends and maintaining relevance across the community.
Staying Connected, No Matter the Distance
The pandemic emphasised the importance of technology in people’s lives. As our dependence on devices grows, so do the governance risks and challenges of securing connected devices. ‘The State of the Connected World’ tracks governance gaps on the Internet of Things and related technologies identifying these key areas for improvement:
- Unchecked Cyberattacks – Adoption of connected devices during the pandemic has led to a dramatic increase in cyberattacks. These cyberattacks will continue to rise, if they are not mitigated by robust security protocols and governance.
- Ethical Implications – In our interconnected world, privacy and security issues about the use of the IoT and related technologies are significant concerns. The report reveals the need to develop and implement stricter policies and laws related to online privacy and data access.
- A Path Towards a More Sustainable and Inclusive IoT – The report highlights that equal access to technology needs to be prioritised. Ensuring all members of society can access technological benefits can help shape a future that is sustainable, inclusive and prosperous for all.
The Marketing Moves That Rule Mobile
You could argue that mobile phones are essential to modern day life. In fact, Data.ai’s State of Mobile 2023 report finds users spent one third of waking hours on their mobile phone daily (that’s five whole hours!), up 9% from 2020 – during the onset of COVID-19. Data.ai’s report delves into the mobile market trends that ruled 2022.
- Bargain Hunters Boost Downloads – As high inflation hit shoppers, cost-conscious consumers turned to money saving apps. As such, downloads of coupon and rewards apps grew by 27%.
- Social Media Usage Into the Trillions- Global time spent on social apps surpassed 2 trillion hours in 2022, with the US accounting for more than ¼ of social app consumer spending.
- Is It Really Time to BeReal? – BeReal won the hearts of users with its authentic, less curated experience. But limited content means users do not spend a lot of time on the platform. So, Be Real will need to get creative to boost engagement, while maintaining that authentic feel.
What’s Trending in Social Media Marketing
Today, social media is the go-to place to find information, learn, connect with others, shop and much more. Now more than ever, it is essential that social media becomes a part of every marketing strategy. HubSpot’s Global Social Media Trends report explores data from over 1,200 marketers, considering how brands can build online communities and leverage social media for business growth.
- Be a Goal-Getter – social media marketers’ primary goals in 2023 include increasing engagement (26%), increasing brand awareness (25%) and growing a community (25%).
- ROI Rodeo – when it comes to the lassoing the power of ROI and potential audience growth, the top performing platforms include Instagram (25%), Facebook (23%) and YouTube (14%).
- Commended Content – in order to receive the biggest ROI, the content must captivate the audience. Relatable content topped the rest (16%), trendy content (15%) and educational content (14%) were close behind.
HubSpot – Global Social Media Trends Report 2023