TrackMaven’s recent B2B Industry report revealed drastic differences in the impact and use of social media across different industries. This post looks at those distinctions and how brands can focus their efforts on the right B2b social network.

Conventional wisdom holb2b social networkds that LinkedIn is the dominant B2b social network, and TrackMaven’s report supports that notion for B2B overall. When considering audience, LinkedIn is number one followed by Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. However, it’s important to note that there are distinct differences based on industry. Some of the data might surprise you.

  • Facebook is where Manufacturing brands find their largest audience. Yet the extremely high engagement rates on Instagram make that platform a serious contender for these brands.
  • Aerospace and Defense get their largest audiences on LinkedIn, accounting for over half of their social media following. Yet engagement rates are low with only 1.14 interactions on average per post per 1,000 followers. Instagram, although small in size, is highly active with engagement rates 25 times that of LinkedIn.
  • LinkedIn is the principal channel for building Biotech audiences, accounting for nearly 95% of followers. Although Facebook provides these brands with a smaller audience, it’s a very effective B2B social network, sporting engagement rates 31 times higher than LinkedIn.
  • Chemical Manufacturers also find the majority of their audience on LinkedIn, with roughly two-thirds coming from this one platform. However engagement levels are the lowest with a ratio of just 1.02. Instagram is the most successful for these brands, with engagement ratios averaging 29.25.
  • Computer Hardware brands find that Facebook brings the largest audience, both as a percentage and in terms of sheer numbers. Despite the small audience size, the superior engagement ratio of Instagram offers brands far better results.
  • Construction brands attract about three times as large an audience on LinkedIn than Facebook. Yet Facebook offers roughly four times the engagement rate of the other B2B social network. Brands in this market should consider using both platforms to maximize their potential.
  • Electrical Equipment brands have LinkedIn audiences that are about three times as big as their Facebook followers. However, Facebook audiences are nearly four times as engaged. Like the construction industry, brands in this niche should step up their game on Facebook.
  • Regarding audience size, LinkedIn accounts for two-thirds of Energy brands’ social media following. Yet again, the engagement rates on this platform are so small that brands in this niche should work to develop their Facebook audience.
  • Engineers love LinkedIn, with the platform accounting for 85% of the social media audience for brands in this field. Although engagement rates are dismal at 1.38, the audience size more than makes up for the discrepancy.
  • Facebook and LinkedIn contribute roughly the same audience size for Financial Service brands. However, the clear winner is Facebook with over five times the engagement rate.
  • Logistics and Shipping brands see their largest audience on Facebook. The high engagement rates (8.97) provided added incentive to make this platform the number focus for these brands.
  • LinkedIn contributes about 99% of the social media audience base for Medical brands. That alone nullifies the effect of the extremely low engagement ratio (0.66). Simply put, no alternatives currently make a difference.
  • LinkedIn accounts for approximately three-quarters of Automotive brands audience size. The sheer size of the audience makes up for the low engagement rate.
  • LinkedIn accounts for about 80% of Pharmaceutical brands online audience. Although engagement rates are paltry (1.30), the overall contribution of this platform leaves everyone else in the dust.
  • Professional Services brands have large LinkedIn audiences with an average of 1,154,000 followers, yet their engagement rate is a dismal 0.09. Although the audience size on Instagram for these brands is far less, the astounding engagement rates should make companies in this niche take notice.
  • While LinkedIn may bring Ssoftware brands the biggest audience, engagement rates on Facebook bring these two platforms closer together. Software brands should consider allocating resources to both platforms.
  • Wholesalers see the largest social media audience on LinkedIn. Nevertheless, the outstanding engagement rates of Instagram suggest brands in this market would be wise to spend extra time on this platform.

Let your numbers guide you. Comparing audience size and engagement rates alone don’t provide an accurate picture. They need to be taken into context. A small yet highly engaged audience can be more beneficial than a large following that is disinterested. B2B brands often find their largest audience on LinkedIn; all the same, another B2B social network might turn out to be more profitable.