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Marcus Billingham-Yuen

Published on

April 13, 2021


E-Commerce, facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn advertising, Social Media

With the increased usage of social media, new features have been implemented on these platforms, to convert active users into active consumers. This includes the integration of advertising and e-commerce capabilities. What does this mean for B2B and B2C brands?

Social media has become an increasingly popular way to spend our ‘down time’. In the pandemic, endless scrolling was an escape, allowing people to forget they had to remain within the four walls of their homes.

On a global scale, over 3.6 billion people use social media, and this number is projected to reach 4.41 billion in 2025. With the increase in usage, social media platforms are trying to lengthen the time spent on their platforms to generate additional advertising spend revenue.

A direct result are the new features implemented on the platforms, such as integration of advertising and e-commerce capabilities. This is a revolutionary step, as it shortens the purchase process from an intensive journey, to one tap on social.

And what does this mean for B2B and B2C brands?
That a business not selling on social is a missed opportunity.

Here are the different platforms businesses use to sell products and services on social media in April 2021.

Drive mass traffic via Facebook:

Facebook has the largest audience and source of traffic of any social network, with 2.74 billion active users, reaching 59% of the world’s social networking population.

The average user spends 34 minutes daily on Facebook, and selling products and services on the platform enables businesses to reach potential customers where they are spending their time. The tools available to businesses are highly targeted and extensive in the Facebook Ads Suite of tools, generating leads and providing the opportunity to develop relationships with customers.

While it is the obvious choice for B2C brands, particularly FMCG through Facebook’s integrated shopping features, the opportunity for B2B is also present. 48.5% of B2B decision-makers use the platform for research and this platform is applicable to almost any industry (the main exceptions being alcohol, guns and drugs according to their policy).

Showcase your brand’s offering on Instagram:

The visual appeal of Instagram means it is the perfect place to highlight products. Over 1 billion people use the platform, spending on average 30 minutes daily, with 81% of users researching new products and services, product imagery, and video demonstrations.

Instagram’s shopping features allow brands to integrate product catalogues and tags into posts and content too, creating an easy and effective way to purchase product listings. With 130 million Instagram users tapping on shopping posts and 90% of Instagram users following a business profile on the platform, it is a platform that is geared towards product display and consumerism.

Combine your Instagram shopping catalogue with an influencer strategy, and this expands the reach and resonance of products amongst your potential customer base. The results are proven with over 55% of fashion shoppers making a purchase based on an Instagram creator’s post.

Admittedly, the platform is heavily dominated by B2C brands, yet the capacity for B2B businesses on Instagram requires strategic thought to succeed.

Reach professionals on LinkedIn

The professionally orientated platform of LinkedIn is the most appropriate choice for B2B brands. With 722 million members, and 76% located outside the United States, it is the platform to connect with users and drive outcomes with a specific business focus.

There are 61 million “senior-level influencers” on the platform capable of making the decisions that drive growth and action, a crucial aspect for social selling. Additionally, with more than 200 targeting characteristics to select your perfect customer, ads on LinkedIn can identify and convert your ideal customers, with the capacity to increase purchase intent by 33%.

As the platform that can lead to new business for B2B brands, developing the right social selling strategy is key to organisational growth and performance.

Socials to look out for: Twitter, Pinterest, TikTok, Snapchat

Beyond the big three of Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, there are other platforms to consider. Depending on your customer base, they may even be better suited to reach your desired audience.

With a whopping 192 million daily active users and an average time spent on the platform at 3.39 minutes, this is a platform to consider exploring soon. B2B marketers already recognise this, and 67% leverage the platform as a tool for digital marketing efforts.

Pinterest is unlike the other social platforms because users are there to shop – 47% of users log onto the network to research and plan out purchases, which equates to approximately 150 million users. Given the focus on imagery, it’s another choice for B2C brands to display products where the customer is actively seeking to purchase products.

TikTok and Snapchat are the platforms with a strong concentration on Generation Z and Millennials, with most users aged between 10 and 19, followed by 20 to 29. The integration of shopping and advertising features is still in its infancy stage, but they remain platforms with the potential to reach younger audiences.

Selling on social is a necessity for B2B and B2C brands. Choosing the right platform that reaches your ideal customer best and consolidating these efforts to one or two platforms, will prevent overextending and underdelivering. Developing a social selling strategy that aligns with a brand’s go-to-market strategy is crucial to drive sales and revenue.

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