Social media is an ever-evolving medium, always changing and moving on to the next big thing. But for marketers, keeping on top of the latest social media trends is essential, as 4.48 billion people use social media worldwide, and that number just keeps rising.
Whether it’s relatively new platforms like TikTok changing the way people engage with video content, or influencer marketing offering a higher ROI than standard social media ads, B2B marketers need to be aware of what’s happening in the world of social media if they want to stay relevant.
If you’re trying to plan an effective social media strategy that puts you ahead of the competition, you need to know what trends we could see emerging in the new year.
In this article, we’ve gathered some aspects of B2B social media marketing that we believe you need to pay attention to in 2023/24.
TikTok, Snapchat, and Pinterest ads
More than ever, customers have gotten wise to social media ads. They don’t want to be blindly marketed at while they’re trying to browse their favorite apps, they only want to see things of real value.
As a result, marketers are planning to put more money into TikTok, Snapchat, and Pinterest ads, networks that typically haven’t always been a priority in social media marketing. This is due to marketers finding these platforms to be more effective at reaching business goals than in the past.
These more niche networks continue to grow - with TikTok surpassing one billion users - but the reason could be that users find ads on these networks less intrusive, and are more receptive to them than on other platforms.
A Kantar study revealed that consumers found TikTok ads to be more inspiring and enjoyable than ads on other platforms, and Pinterest has a higher ROI than other social networks.
But why is this the case? Well, unlike other platforms, these networks aren’t over-saturated with ad content (at least not yet), so users are likely less ad-fatigued. But more importantly, these networks encourage content that fits organically into these platforms, i.e. TikTok’s tagline “Don’t make ads. Make TikToks”, Pinterest’s “Stop interrupting, start inspiring”, and Snapchat’s “Become a part of Snapchatters’ everyday conversations.”
These platforms provide businesses with a space where they can engage with their audience rather than push self-serving ads that fail to resonate.
People hold ads to higher standards when it comes to creativity, so if a brand wants to stand out in 2023 and 2024, they need to cultivate ads that enrich the distinct experiences offered by the different social networks.
According to a Hubspot survey, over 1 in 4 marketers currently leverage influencer marketing and it offers the 2nd highest ROI of any trend.
While influencer marketing has been around for a while, it’s evolving, emphasizing smaller influencers that can showcase a brand’s value and explain how customers can get the most out of a product or service.
An influencer doesn’t have to mean someone with a following of millions, it just refers to a person with a platform. In fact, the rise of micro-influencers is tipped to be the next big thing in influencer marketing, with a report from Later showing that influencers with 25,000 followers or fewer receive the most engagement from their audience.
If you can find an influencer that resonates with your brand and has a small but dedicated audience, you could get a much better ROI than shelling out for promos with some of the biggest names in influencer marketing.
What people, including B2B buyers, want most from their online content is authenticity, and small-time influencers can do this more successfully than those with a mass of followers. With micro-influencers, you can also open the door to a more long-lasting relationship that could lead to an ongoing collaboration for campaigns moving forward.
Short video content
We’ve known for a long time that video content is on the rise. In fact, a whopping 81% of consumer internet traffic in 2021 was video traffic, which is a rise of 72% from 2016. But an avenue that is really taking off on social media is the short-form video.
Thanks to the domination of TikTok, short video content is on the rise, including on other platforms like YouTube and Instagram. As these platforms shift to quick, fast-paced content, so too have the marketers.
The 15 to 60-second video format offers great appeal, especially to a younger audience, and with 54% of Gen-Z aspiring to entrepreneurship, it won’t be too long before they could be your main customer base.
The time constraints force advertisers to utilize creativity to get their message across in such a short timespan, and embrace trends and viral challenges that allow them to connect with their audience. The short video format allows businesses to engage with customers for a short period while maintaining the brand’s voice and messaging goals.
2023 and 2024 really will be the years of short, digestible content, whether in video, audio or written form. As people’s attention spans shrink and it’s more difficult to get anyone to engage with your ads or branding messages, it really is all about creating something short and sweet to get people interested, without boring them or causing frustration.
While long-form content will always have its place, it’s likely that breaking that long-form into smaller, micro-sized content pieces is going to play a crucial role next year. By chopping up videos, podcasts or blogs into more manageable chunks, content can then be re-utilized and distributed on the appropriate social channels.
Work harder with the content you have, getting the very most out of it multiple times and potentially leading people back to the long-form content to create those deeper connections.
It’s long been said that consumers trust people more than they just brands.
It makes sense, right? Brands are obviously going to post about how great they are, but if accounts belonging to actual people are posting? Well, that’s just a lot more believable - even if they’re working for said brand.
Employee advocacy - where the workforce essentially becomes a content creator - has been around for a while. But with ads becoming less and less effective, it’s time for it to step into the spotlight.
When employees grow and build their own social media profile, it paints them as an authority in the industry. This then reflects well on a company and can even open up some great networking opportunities, growing your online reputation and increasing brand awareness.
Digital and mobile advertising will continue to grow in 2023/24 for B2B marketers, as around 70% of B2B buyers prefer remote or digital interactions.
It should come as no surprise that the world wants more digital interactions, as younger generations have a serious aversion to speaking on the phone with salespeople - 75% of millennials avoid phone calls as they’re too time-consuming. As the number of millennials in decision-making roles continues to grow, so too will this desire for a sales-free experience where the buyer doesn’t have to talk directly to a company when making a purchase.
Digital-first, automation-driven customer service will also increase. While these systems won’t be the right option for major issues, chatbots can tackle FAQs and minor issues.
This allows your customer service team more time and resources to deal with critical problems more effectively. This is pretty important in B2B, as 68% of B2B buyers will avoid a vendor after just one instance of poor customer service.
B2B marketers need to consider how they will implement their social media strategy to ensure they survive and thrive in an ever-changing landscape of trends.
Today more than ever buyers are interested in digital channels and more bite-sized, creative content, so marketers must be prepared to embrace these shifts in customer attitudes if they want to meet their social media goals in 2023 and 2024.