Which Social Channels are Effective for B2B Advertising?

B2B decision makers are increasingly spending more time on social channels. Social media advertising is one way to engage with prospects, create awareness and top of mind recall for your brand. But with so many social channels out there, it can be a hard decision for B2B advertisers. How to choose the right mix that targets their niche segment, while leveraging their resources best?

Here is our pick of the social channels B2B advertisers should consider in their advertising mix:

  1. LinkedIn

    With 200 million users in over 200 countries, LinkedIn is a powerhouse for B2B advertisers. Its ability to target niche professional groups, who actively maintain their profiles and its granular targeting options make it an excellent advertising and lead generation platform. Companies can track conversations and identify warm prospects that are discussing a potential purchase related to their line of business. Targeting ads to these prospects, will be better received and have higher conversion rates.

    LinkedIn has a variety of advertising options to suit every budget. Marketers can control the cost of their advertising campaign by bidding and setting a budget, electing to either pay-per-click (CPC) or pay-per-1,000 impressions (CPM).

    TIP OFF: Take special note of LinkedIn’s Content Ads portfolio. It now includes the option to promote your SlideShare content on LinkedIn, enabling your targeted audience to engage with your content while socializing on the site.

  2. Facebook

    The reach of Facebook is phenomenal. It has 1.11 billion users, 50% of whom log in at least once a day. Facebook’s ad platform is a low-cost opportunity for B2B companies to advertise their brand and products. Facebook ads can take the form of display ads, sponsored stories, promoted posts or sponsored apps. Companies can target their ads by geography, age, gender or most valuably by interests.

    Facebook offers some high-end campaign consulting as well as targeted branding for those with larger budgets. Smaller businesses can choose to advertise through a well designed fan page or display ads to their target audience, all for a relatively low cost. Tracking has also been made easy with Facebook’s online reports.

    TIP OFF: Since Facebook News Feeds prioritize posts from friends, not company pages, if you want your audience to definitely see your ad, give Promoted Posts a shot. Though there is a small label identifying them as Promoted Posts, a creative ad with an engaging image is sure to catch attention. 

  3. Twitter

    A recent study found that Twitter users visit B2B tech brand sites at a higher rate (59%) compared to average Internet users (40%) and that their conversion rate is higher. Also B2B brands who invested in Twitter ads saw an average of $14 CPL (cost-per-lead) for quality conversions.

    B2B companies with solid content and social media practices in place can benefit by advertising through Twitter’s self service ad platform. Twitter lets you set a daily spending limit, particularly useful to smaller businesses with limited budgets. Advertisers pay only when users follow their Promoted Account or when they retweet, favorite, reply or click on a link in the Promoted Tweet. The self-service ads can be targeted to Twitter users based on their interests, location, what device they’re using, gender and by keywords in their tweets. Interestingly businesses can also target ads to decision makers based on their engagement with a particular subject or the hashtags they use.

    TIP OFF: Twitter’s newly launched Lead Generation Card is a smart way to drive highly qualified leads. When users see an offer in a tweet, they can expand it and click on the call-to-action button if interested. Twitter automatically and securely sends a pre-filled card with their name, email and Twitter handle to the company. Only available to Twitter's managed clients at present, it is expected to launch globally and to small- and medium-sized businesses soon.

Other platforms worthy of mention are YouTube and Google+. With social media constantly evolving and reinventing itself, we might see new platforms emerge and become the platform of choice for B2B advertisers. But remember what works for one business might not work for another. Have a solid plan, an innovative marketing team and great content. Then experiment, measure and watch for trends.