In the past two decades, social media has evolved from a novel way to build professional connections into a powerful tool that influences the way people live and conduct business. For B2B marketers, social media has become an essential channel for both organic and paid content distribution. As we move forward, the landscape of B2B social media is set to change dramatically, driven by data-driven decision-making, artificial intelligence (AI), and the undisputed prominence of LinkedIn as the go-to platform. In this blog post, we will explore the key trends shaping the future of B2B social media marketing and how businesses can harness these trends to stay ahead of the curve.
Trend 1: The C-Suite and Social Media Data
Social media data has emerged as a crucial source of business intelligence, and the C-suite has taken notice. According to Sprout Social’s 2023 State of Social Media report, 93% of business leaders consider social media their primary source of business intelligence. An overwhelming 85% of them rely on social media insights to inform their company’s ongoing business strategies. This data-driven approach has become integral to future success, with 96% of leaders agreeing that continued investment in social media marketing is necessary for business success.
Takeaway: Social media marketers need to emphasise the collection and analysis of social media data. By helping leaders understand and leverage this data, marketers can play a pivotal role in shaping the future success of their organisations.
Trend 2: Challenges in Utilising Social Media Data
Despite the growing importance of social media data, there are challenges to fully utilising its potential. A significant number of business leaders (69%) believe their companies are underutilising social media data and insights. The major roadblocks cited include limited access to data tools and difficulty integrating tools with other technology solutions (42%), followed by the lack of time for analysis and a shortage of qualified team members for analysis (39%).
Takeaway: B2B marketing leaders must invest in the right tools and technologies to overcome these challenges. By addressing knowledge gaps and adopting AI and machine learning (ML) technologies, they can lead their teams in maximising the potential of social media data.
Trend 3: The Rise of AI and Machine Learning in Social Media Marketing
AI and ML are poised to play a pivotal role in the future of B2B social media marketing. 87% of business leaders plan to increase their investments in these technologies over the next three years, with 30% expecting a significant increase. However, the LinkedIn B2B Marketing Benchmark report highlights a knowledge gap, as only 17% of B2B marketing leaders describe their understanding of generative AI marketing techniques as “extremely good.”
Takeaway: With the increasing importance of AI and ML, B2B marketing teams should prioritise learning and practical application of these technologies. From data analysis to content generation, AI and ML will drive efficiency and effectiveness in marketing efforts.
Trend 4: LinkedIn Dominance in B2B Marketing
LinkedIn has solidified its position as the central B2B social platform. A staggering 80% of B2B marketers used LinkedIn last year, far surpassing other platforms. Looking ahead, 65% of B2B marketers plan to increase their use of LinkedIn in the coming year, while only 5% plan to decrease their usage.
Takeaway: B2B marketers need to recognise the importance of LinkedIn and develop strategies to excel on the platform. Mastering LinkedIn marketing will be a key differentiator in standing out among competitors.
As social media continues to shape the digital landscape, B2B marketers must stay ahead of the trends to succeed in an increasingly competitive market. The convergence of data-driven decision-making, AI, and the prominence of LinkedIn will define the future of B2B social media marketing. By embracing these trends, marketers can unleash the full potential of social media and pave the way for their company’s future success.