With each passing year, a lot changes with B2B social media marketing. At the end of 2017, Twitter increased its character limit from 140 to 280 characters. They also launched threads, a feature that allows users to group tweets together in a particular order.
Those changes meant that Twitter had a different feel in 2018 — longer tweets, as well as threaded tweets. And sometimes threads containing long tweets!
I loved both developments. The extra characters gave me room to add more commentary when I share content. Threads enabled me to share thoughts deeper than what 280 characters provide.
Beyond Twitter, 2018 saw changes on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. In 2019, we might see the emergence of a new app or social network that no one is talking about today.
Upcoming Changes to B2B Social Media Marketing
I asked fellow marketers to share thoughts on the differences we can expect in B2B social media marketing in 2019.
Let’s have a look.
Go Where Your Target Audience Resides
@leadtail, B2B Social Media Marketers will need to keep pushing for relevance in 2019 by going where their audiences spend time. LinkedIn is increasingly absorbing attention and time from Twitter, and organic B2B Facebook engagement just isn’t there.
— Zachary Reiss-Davis (@ZacharyRD) December 19, 2018
Zachary Reiss-Davis, Marketing Director at Fieldwire, urges us to go to where our audience spends their time. It doesn’t make sense to spend time or money on Twitter if your target audience is elsewhere. For B2B brands in 2019, Zach suggests that you place your bets on LinkedIn over Twitter and Facebook.
Customer Retention is the New Customer Acquisition
My #B2B marketing prediction for 2019 is that brands are going to finally realize that customer experience and retention is just as (if not more) important than getting new customers. Oh wait, that was 2018’s, or was it 2017’s? cc @dshiao @Leadtail
— Stephan Hovnanian (@stephanhov) December 20, 2018
Stephan Hovnanian works on the Strategic Services team at Sprout Social. I agree with Stephan on the importance of customer experience and customer retention. Too often, we spend so much of our energy chasing “new logos” that we forget about the customers we already have.
If we can spend time and energy keeping existing customers happy, they’re more likely to renew. Also, renewals can lead to upsells. They can also lead to the identification and nurturing of brand advocates, who will recommend your products and services to their peers.
Focus on Building Relationships
@Leadtail In 2019, B2B marketers will focus more than ever on engagement and relationship building. We’ll see the job title “community manager” replace “social media manager” at many companies, with smarter businesses doing less mass broadcasting and more one-to-one interacting.
— Martin Lieberman (@martinlieberman) December 21, 2018
Martin Lieberman, a content and social media marketer, urges B2B social media marketers to focus less on broadcasting and more on single-casting: engaging one-on-one with users.
I see a lot of B2C brands do this well — restaurant chains, airlines, sports teams. In B2B, one idea is to participate in Twitter chats from the brand’s handle. I often see B2B brands participate in two content marketing chats, #CMWorld and #ContentChat.
Integrate Social Media Marketing, PR and Content Marketing
In 2019, B2B social media marketers will see tighter integration with #PR & #contentmarketing. You can’t silo these 3 and expect to see the strongest results. Integrate them to unleash their power. @Leadtail
— Michelle Garrett (@PRisUs) December 22, 2018
Michelle Garrett is a freelance writer and PR consultant. Michelle urges B2B marketers to integrate social media marketing, public relations and content marketing. One approach you could take is to plan one major content project per quarter.
Perhaps it’s doing original research, then publishing a report with data and insights to your industry. Social media marketing and public relations would be used to drive awareness and visibility to the research.
More Accountability to Lead Generation
2019 will be different for Social Media Marketers as social becomes more accountable for lead generation tied to #leadgen campaigns, events and ABM strategies @Leadtail #SMM #ABM #marketing
— Tom Treanor (@RtMixMktg) December 22, 2018
Tom Treanor is Director of Content Marketing at Arm and Treasure Data. B2B social media marketing is often associated with the top of the funnel, a vehicle for driving awareness and visibility.
In 2019, Tom sees B2B social media marketing becoming more accountable to lead generation. Just as marketers track leads generated by organic SEO and paid search, they’ll do the same tracking with organic and paid social media marketing.
Quality over Quantity
@Leadtail In 2019, quality will beat quantity, as B2B social media marketers will focus on publishing fewer posts that better inform, engage, and inspire increasingly targeted audiences
— Rich Schwerin (@Greencognito) December 24, 2018
Rich Schwerin is a content strategist at Autodesk. Rich sees B2B social media marketers doing less posts, but doing them better. I take this approach with my content marketing and social media marketing.
Rather than publishing an average post weekly, I’d rather write one high-quality post per month. Same goes for social media. One tweet with high engagement is better than 20 tweets that go unnoticed.
Day of Reckoning?
Q: How will 2019 be different for B2B social media marketers?
A: Social networking companies will have more data breaches and user privacy violations. Trust hits an all-time low. Marketers are forced to think hard about where they invest their time and money in B2B social media.
— Dennis Shiao ✍️ (@dshiao) December 25, 2018
Here’s my prediction:
In 2018, we saw executives from Facebook and Twitter (among other companies) testify in front of Congress. There was also the Cambridge Analytica scandal (with Facebook), Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and more. I see more pain in 2019, not less.
It gets so serious that B2B social media marketers will be forced to make tough decisions. It’s not just a practical decision, but also an ethical one. Marketers will be forced to ask:
Should I continue advertising on Facebook? On Twitter?
What’s Your Prediction?
I’d love to hear from you! How will 2019 be different for B2B social media marketers? Do you have a holistic strategy for your B2B social marketing?
Share your thoughts in the comments section below. Thanks for reading!