Every day I hear B2B Marketers, B2B Sales Directors, and a host of C-Level folks repeating the same old undisputed law of B2B Social Media Marketing — LinkedIn is THE B2B social media platform. 🤦♂️
In some cases, their opinions are based on a simple fact: LinkedIn is the business social media platform, therefore, it's the place to conduct B2B social media marketing and sales outreach. Ok, that makes some sense. But it overlooks one key fact, the proverbial 800-pound gorilla lurking in the social media corner that no one really talks much about but that I'm going to share with you today.
Why People Believe That LinkedIn is The B2B Social Media Platform of Choice
Sales and marketing professionals continue to buy into this B2B social media marketing myth because everywhere they turn, they see blog posts, articles, and "research" saying things like:
B2B marketers report 80% of their social media leads come from LinkedIn, and 40% say LinkedIn is the most effective channel for driving leads.
Or as a recent report from Statista showed, 41% of the 1,000+ respondents with a B2B focus named LinkedIn as their number 1 choice, with only 30% of them citing Facebook as the preferred network.
Why YOU Should Question The Theory That LinkedIn is The B2B Social Media Platform of Choice
Ok, so why am I adamant that you need to rethink this whole LinkedIn as the best B2B social media platform?
Because, when you triangulate the data, the hypothesis falls apart pretty quickly. Sure, lots of business people have a LinkedIn profile — 808.4 million worldwide as of January 2022. Now that's a lot of folks, but it's still only 10% of the worldwide population. (source)
Conversely, Facebook had 2.912 billion monthly active users in January 2022. That's not just 2.9 billion profiles or 58% of the worldwide population with access to the platform, that's actual people using it. (source)
And then there is Twitter with 436.4 million users, Instagram's 1.478 billion users, and everyone's newest dance partner, TikTok, purports 1 billion users worldwide.
All of this to say, while yes, LinkedIn IS a business-focused social media platform, it's kind of small when shown alongside the "consumer" social media platforms. That's right, I said it. Size matters.
Another Reason to Question LinkedIn as The Go-To B2B Social Media Platform
Let's assume that your target audience exists enmass on LinkedIn for a moment. Maybe there are more than enough of them to fuel your social sales prospecting efforts for quite some time. Chances are, for most social selling prospectors, LinkedIn offers a very target-rich environment.
Or does it?
If you set up a profile on a social media network but never actually use the social media network, is that social media network a proper channel for a salesperson to reach you?
Here again, let's triangulate some data because as I'm often telling folks, if you torture data long enough, you can make it say anything you want. Specifically, let's look at daily and weekly usage of the four major social media platforms: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.
Wow! Look at the difference between LinkedIn's daily usage vs. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. And while the difference in weekly usage isn't nearly as bad, LinkedIn is still a distant fourth from the ever-dominant Facebook.
Truthfully, this isn't all that surprising to me, especially if you look at "favorite social network" survey research.
LinkedIn isn't even listed. So why is that? Why aren't LinkedIn users consistently using the platform daily? And why doesn't anyone seem to love it? Well, honestly, neither of those answers matter.
But what does matter is the trendline. And folks, it isn't good. Because according to Statista Data, LinkedIn's usage rates are flatter than an east Texas prairie.
Find more statistics at Statista
So what is all of this data telling us? It's telling us what many assume, maybe even think out loud, but what far too many B2B social media agencies fail to point out — for many folks, LinkedIn is just their online resume. They have a profile, but they don't do much with it unless they're hunting for a new gig.
Don't get me wrong. LinkedIn has a place in many, if not most, B2B social media sales & marketing plans. But it has a PLACE, alongside other Propinquity Points that can be as, if not more, effective at helping you start conversations that convert to customers.
Have you read: The 5P's of Successful Social Selling?
What Does This Mean for B2B Social Media Marketers?
It means that B2B social media success, ESPECIALLY SOCIAL SELLING SUCCESS, rests on finding your target prospects' Propinquity Points and then repeatedly and reliably parking your taco truck at those points in hopes of making friends and starting conversations. Conversations that convert to customers.
Feel like you might need a little advice or even help with your B2B social media sales or marketing efforts? Maybe we can help. Why not click here to schedule a Zoom call with me right now.