6 Important Trends That Will Impact Social Media for B2B

Social media for B2B has become an integral part of PR — so much so that the vast majority of journalists use these channels in their own reporting.

Social networks are a part of life — with politics for one — witness President Trump — being partly conducted on Twitter. So what current trends should affect how you B2B brands operate on social media?

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We’ve got the social media scoop from Cision’s recently released 2017 State of Media report. This report provides rich insight into journalists — their social media customs and preferences — so you can stay on top of all the social media trends that affect the PR landscape.

We’ve enumeratad below what are most imporant B2B social media best practices. Read on to bring your A game to social media for B2B.

1. Facebook Ranks as #1 Social Network for Journalists

When asked to rank which media channels offer the greatest value, 41.55% of journalists chose Facebook — a rise of 38.5% from the year before. Many of the journalists polled noted that Facebook offers significant value as an audience engagement tool.

Social media for B2B - best channels

How Does This Affect Your Role?

Are you leveraging Facebook as part of your PR strategy? Its many features and versatile nature make it an excellent tool for B2B public relations. As we will discuss further on, its live streaming feature is constantly growing in value. Its large audience also offers great potential to any B2B company.

Facebook is a highly visual platform, favoring videos and images in the news feed. –Mari Smith


2. Twitter Has Potential for Growth

Twitter saw a surprising drop in ranking for audience engagement this year. Only 21.25% of journalists chose it as a valuable media channel — a 19% decrease from the previous year.

But don’t count Twitter out just yet!

Despite the low numbers in current value, the social network was ranked by journalists as the channel with the greatest potential for growth. This may be because it is the preferred network for many who use it to stay on top of their favorite content.

Rumors have also been circulating that the social network will be acquired by a larger, more profitable company. Depending on the outcome, this could add to itsgrowth potential. While the future is still unknown for Twitter, it remains top of mind for many social media users.

How Does This Affect Your Role?

Twitter is a social network to keep your eye on — especially since it is rated as one of the top networks for B2B businesses. Whatever the future holds, Twitter will probably continue as a key player on the social scene, so make sure you’re a part of it.

It’s clear that Twitter is a preferred platform. –Mark Fidelman

3. Video Reigns — and Live Video is King

Of the respondents who use live video, 41% use Facebook Live, 19% use Instagram Stories, and 17% use Twitter Livestream. The live video feature is used to broadcast debates, football games, and concerts that are produced by a major media outlet.

Yet, of the total number of respondents, 49% said that they currently do not use the live video feature on a social platform. There is obviously tremendous room for growth in this area of social media.

How Does This Affect Your Role?

If you’ve held back from implementing video as part of your social media PR best practices, now’s the time to embrace it. Think of ways that you can use live video to engage your audience — at an industry event, during an interview, or to highlight the fun side of your company.

Facebook Live video streaming enables brands and businesses of all sizes to tap into the power of video marketing and social media. –Pam Moore


4. Social Media Ranked Low in Reliability

Social media may have huge potential for journalists, but there is still some hesitation to use social media for research. In fact, 56% of U.S journalists do not believe that social media is a reliable source of information.

Chart for reliability of social media for B2B

Even with the mounting distrust of social media among journalists, many still use it as a platform to broadcast their published content to their followers.

How Does This Affect Your Role?

Be weary of sharing industry news stories without verifying the facts. This could negatively impact your credibility as a company if a story were to turn out false.

Awareness of this mounting distrust can help you to take a fresh approach to your audience and understand them better.

5. Don’t Pitch Journalists on Social Media

Surprisingly, social media was ranked very low as a form of contact for journalists. Only 2% preferred receiving pitches through social media, either publicly or privately. The majority (92%) wished to be contacted through email.

How Does This Affect Your Role?

For now, social media should be left as an engagement tool — not a pitch tool. Instead, email your pitch to your carefully chosen journalist.

Remember, because journalists are bombarded with emails, they may miss yours the first time or even second time around. It can be helpful to follow up using social media particularly if you can reach out privately to the journalist and you have something newsy to say. You could send a quick reminder message — perhaps something like, “Following up on my email about a new research study on X. Want to see a copy of the research findings?”

6. Journalists Will Pull From Social Media Posts for Their Articles

When asked to rank the forms of multimedia that they use the most, journalists ranked social media posts second. For that reason, stay current with updates on social media channels. You never know when a certain journalist is going to stop by and take a look.

Photos and videos also ranked very highly by journalists, reinforcing the need to embrace multimedia content as one of the accepted B2B social media best practices.

How Does This Affect Your Role?

It is critical for your B2B company to employ a multi-channel content strategy, especially in times of crisis. When a crisis occurs, journalists are mostly likely to reach out and seek information on a company’s social media page.

If no official statement is released, or if a company is unresponsive on social media, journalists may resort to using damaging comments from several networks.


Key Points to Remember…

  • Facebook is noted as the most valuable social network for journalists in terms of audience engagement.
  • Twitter, although currently rated lower in value, still has massive potential for growth.
  • Social media is ranked low in terms of reliability, and is mostly used by journalists to share their articles.
  • Journalists are using more multimedia — images, video, and social posts — in their articles.

The point is clear: social media for B2B is a valuable tool in public relations. While there are still some kinks to work out, this should not keep you from leveraging it in your PR strategy.