Your business must stay ahead of the curve in today’s competitive market. One way to do this is by leveraging social media marketing trends to attract new customers and engage with existing ones.
With the ever-changing B2B social media marketing landscape, it can be challenging to keep up with all the latest trends. So rather than providing a step-by-step guide on how to capitalize on the latest trends, we want to discuss how B2Bs can continually explore, evaluate, and employ ever-changing trends.
TikTok is the platform of the moment.
TikTok is the latest social media platform to take off, but which platform is “on top” is always in flux. Platforms are constantly evolving, and it’s important to note that just because something is popular doesn’t mean it makes sense for your brand. The key is to create a presence where your audience is, so you will get noticed by people who are interested in what your brand has to offer them. If you do this right, those same people will be inclined to share their positive experiences with peers via dark social.
But back to TikTok—many B2Bs have yet to adopt this platform, and for a relatively good reason: B2B buyers aren’t terribly active on TikTok—yet. While you may be tempted to think that your industry is immune from the next big thing, don’t let yourself get caught up in this mindset! In the end, marketing is all about trying new things, testing, and analyzing the data, and marketers are finding that TikTok has value. While only 3% of marketers considered TikTok valuable for reaching marketing goals in 2021, by 2022, that number has gone up to 24%—a 700% increase. There’s always a new platform out there waiting for you and your business—and when it comes down to it, there’s really no reason not to try them all out and see what fits best with your brand.
Related reading: 5 Tips to Hacking the Tiktok Algorithm
The best way to do this? By adopting early and often: don’t wait until someone else tells you what works best; be a frontrunner and leader in the industry by figuring out what works best yourself! If one strategy doesn’t work for your audience or industry, find another one that does (and make sure you test those tactics).
Don’t be afraid of trying new things; whatever platform happens to blow up next will likely have something valuable for everyone—even B2Bs.
Don’t be afraid of memes. It’s just another language.
Let’s be honest: memes are a little weird. They’re like a dialect or secret language, and they’re hard to understand if you’re not part of that culture. But don’t fret! If you can get past your negative preconceptions about memes, you’ll be able to use them in your B2B marketing strategy with great effect.
Memes are a great way to connect with your audience, increase engagement and get people talking about your brand. In fact, 74% of millennials send memes to make people smile, so why not use this opportunity?
It’s vital for B2B companies (and marketers) who want their businesses to succeed in today’s social media landscape to learn the popular digital dialects of the times. Think of memes as another form of language and communication. A concept called code-switching (alternating between languages or dialects depending on your audience) helps demonstrate this point. Like the latest slang, emoji-double meanings, and updated jargon, memes are just another form of communication that can change and evolve—and be replaced. This leads us to our next point…
Learn new (young) words.
Like memes, new words crop up regularly. Selfie, bitcoin, twerk, emoji, internet of things…all these terms were added to the Oxford Dictionaries Online in 2013. But when you incorporate slang and jargon into your digital marketing campaigns, ensure they’re relevant and support your brand’s voice. Think of it this way: if your brand is a person, would that person use these words?
For example, if you’re a business that sells high-end food products and drinks in New York City (and therefore can be characterized as “cosmopolitan”), then using the slang “glizzy” may not be the best fit. On the other hand, if your company sells organic foods from local farms in California (and therefore can be characterized as “hippy”), then “superfood” might work for you.
B2B companies are rapidly mimicking B2C marketing strategies by adopting more relatable language and practices. So while the terms might change, the trend is just going to keep evolving. Knowing how and when to put the latest slang and industry jargon into your messaging is the difference between relatable and relevant or ridiculous and risky.
Identify the new words for an old concept.
You’ve probably heard of “celebrity endorsements”—ads that include celebs talking about how much they love a product or service. The idea is that if you see someone you like and trust endorsing a brand, you’ll want to buy it too.
Before social media existed, celebrities were the most well-known people in the world. They were on billboards, magazine covers, TV commercials, and more. Because they were everywhere, it made sense for brands to use them as spokespeople—they already had a huge fan base that would become interested in whatever brand they endorsed.
But with the advent of social media, new avenues to fame became open for anyone with a smartphone and some social savvy. Social media influencers are the latest celebrity endorsements. They make content featuring their favorite brands’ products and services, they give recommendations, and they influence their followers.
B2B influencers are yet another trend that will continue to manifest in different ways until the end of time. People are always looking for someone to look up to, entertainment when they’re bored, and trusted peers to give advice and opinions.
Be relevant, not ridiculous.
In the end, you should be relevant to the audience you are trying to reach. You can’t just slap your logo on anything and expect it to work. But that doesn’t mean you have to be boring. An important and oft-forgotten part of B2B marketing is creativity. While memes and silly slang may feel too out there for your brand, connecting the dots from a stoic and serious brand to a relatable and fun communication style is literally part of your job—the key is finding the right balance. It’s important for content that represents your brand to feel natural—the words should come from the company. This means using branding elements like logos and colors as well as voice and identifiers in the text itself.
For B2B brands, that means never forgetting that your audience is comprised of professionals who are more than capable of reading a dry sales pitch or financial analysis, if needed. But they don’t want to read a dry sales pitch or financial analysis—especially if you’re trying to get them excited about your product!
Related reading: What Is “Relevant Content” in B2B Content Marketing?
In the end, even in B2B, we are people selling to people—and all of us want to be communicated with in a way that is engaging, interesting, and that goes beyond the status quo.
Social media marketing is all about connecting with your customers and building trust. As long as you stay true to your brand and engage with people on a personal level, social media will continue to be one of the most effective ways for B2B companies to connect with their audiences.
Walking the line between modern and fun and hokey old-timers trying to fit in is difficult. But with the right team behind your messaging, it’s a surefire way to create engaging, relevant, on-brand messages that will resonate with your audience. Need some help? Reach out. We stay updated on the latest trends, so you don’t have to.