Three key trends that can help B2B companies get ahead

2023 will be a breakthrough year for B2B Marketers on traditionally B2C social media platforms: Think they’re not for you? Think again!

Three key trends that can help B2B companies get ahead:

From the TikTok explosion to introduction of BeReal, 2022 has seen some major new players enter consumer social media marketing, as older, more reliable platforms have dropped off the radar (looking at you, Facebook). But for platforms traditionally suited to B2B social media marketing, it has been a mixed bag – Twitter started strong and ended in the chaos of Elon Musk’s controversial takeover, while the likes of LinkedIn have gone from strength to strength.

But is it all so black and white anymore? The lines between consumer-orientated and business-orientated social media platforms have blurred to present a huge opportunity for marketers in 2023. Inspired by Hootsuite’s Social Media Predictions for 2023, we’ve picked out three key trends – TikTok, BeReal and Keyword-based social SEO – and taken a deep dive into how B2B PR professionals will fit into the wider picture.

TikTok goes into overdrive – make sure you’re front of the queue

TikTok has more than fulfilled its prophecy as the breakout social media star of the 2020s, with 1.023 billion users worldwide as of Q3 2022. Influencer culture has spread like wildfire on the platform and, combined with features such as the Shopify Plug-In, highlight TikTok’s origins as a solely consumer-facing network.

But B2B Marketers should take note, as early signs suggest that TikTok is gearing up for a B2B revolution by streamlining key advertising processes:

  1. Business interest in TikTok ads has increased by 1,125% since 2020, and TikTok is moving to cater to the growing market. Beta-testing of search result advertising has already commenced, and B2B PR professionals can hit the ground running by identifying and exploiting search terms for highly performing ads when the feature launches.
  2. TikTok is also introducing a geo-filtered ‘nearby’ feed to promote local content, similarly to how Google Maps currently operates. For international social media campaigns, this might not be applicable, but there’s plenty of scope for local B2B to get in on the act – such as our sponsored equestrian client that that has already seen some fantastic results on the platform this year with most viewed TikTok’s gaining over 18,000 views.

BeReal offers an opportunity to add authenticity into marketing strategies

Another social media phenomenon to bounce on to the scene this year has been BeReal, a self-professed ‘Insta alternative’. The app relies heavily on impulsivity, allows users to only see their ‘friends’ content, and limits users to a maximum of 500 connections – all factors which could make marketing strategies difficult. There have even been questions raised about the security of BeReal in the workplace, and PR professionals must be extra careful to avoid accidentally exposing sensitive client information.

But BeReal clearly speaks to a demand for unfiltered, uncurated content that doesn’t unnecessarily push marketing and advertising on users. BeReal represents what Instagram and Facebook were before influencers and sales teams took over – a fun place to share experiences with friends.

For PR and marketing professionals, the key is tapping into that desire. Could BeReal in the workplace present an authenticity and openness about company approaches to specific internal processes from employee motivation to content writing, or wider DEI values? Could it showcase that annual company away day or that day once-a-month where a team member supplies the office with birthday cake? There’s certainly many questions to ask, but B2B Marketers should not miss the opportunity to hop on the BeReal bandwagon and add another silver bullet to their social media marketing masterplan.

Wave goodbye to slapdash hashtags, there’s a new SEO kid in town

Hashtags have been a mainstay in social media marketing for as long as twitter has existed, but could their days be #numbered? Due to rapid access to information, younger demographics are increasingly turning to social media platforms for their information rather than traditional search engines, in a similar fashion to how platforms such as Twitter have become places to gain news updates.

If we look at retail, for the brand leaders of the future, those now aged 16-24, social media platforms are the place to be for personal brand research. While at the moment the B2B sales funnel is rooted in traditional SEO, expect that to change as Gen-Z ascend into more influential roles within businesses in the future.

Now Keyword research looks set to take over hashtagging as the primary form of social SEO – so PR and marketing professionals need to don their thinking caps and consider how trending keywords can be woven through social content, rather than slapped on afterwards in hashtag form.

Keyword optimization is the future, and here at IBA we’re already using it. From tweet sheets for our global insurance technology client, to blogs for our business management client, ensuring content is filled with relevant, trending keywords can be a sure-fire way to gain traction on social media sites. Tempting journalists into sharing placed content on their socials offers an effective second bite of the SEO cherry.

Solidify your current social media presence and prepare for rapid growth into new areas

As we wave goodbye to an intense year of post-pandemic social media marketing, the future only looks bright for B2B. Our advice? Solidify current outreach and strengthen your follower base in the next month, before preparing a social media plan that harnesses the global reach (and borderline addictiveness) of new kids on the block such as BeReal and TikTok. Oh, and don’t forget about the power of the new sort of SEO!

Tom Wrath is a PR Executive at IBA International.

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