If you run a B2B company (i.e., a business that sells to other businesses), have you ever wanted to benchmark your company’s social media efforts? See how you’re doing compared to others?
TrackMaven recently conducted a study  of B2B brands and their social media activity. The study found that LinkedIn just kills it when it comes to the average number of social media followers among B2B businesses.
B2B companies had an impressive 109,000 LinkedIn followers on average.
Other social networks didn’t even come close when it came to the average number of social media followers. Facebook came in second with 34,000. Next, after Facebook, was Twitter with a “mere” 18,000 average followers. Instagram and Pinterest brought up the rear.
LinkedIn’s huge lead cuts across nearly all industries according to the study. One notable exception is the computer hardware industry, where it seems Facebook is the social media platform most popular with followers.
To some observers, LinkedIn’s near-universal B2B dominance may not be all that surprising. After all, LinkedIn is a social networking platform for business professionals. It stands to reason that if you’re selling products or services to other businesses, you go where the buyers are.
What may be surprising is that LinkedIn outpaces other social networks by such a huge margin.
Another surprising factor may be that Facebook, with its consumer focus, came in second. But Facebook’s second place finish may be more a factor of its size rather than its audience makeup. With Facebook having over a billion monthly active users, lots of business buyers are bound to be among those billion-plus users.
The TrackMaven study looked at larger companies, not small businesses. The data covered 316 large B2B brands for the calendar year 2015, encompassing over 100 million social interactions.
Still, there are a few takeaways for small businesses:
- If you’re in B2B, you need to be active on LinkedIn. If you’re not, your competitors probably are. That can put you at a disadvantage. And you could be missing out on an opportunity. One best practice is to focus your efforts on just a few social media platforms to get the biggest impact. For most B2B businesses, that means LinkedIn should be at or near the top of your list.
- Don’t be content with benchmarking against large brands. Conduct your own competitive survey to discover the average number of social media followers in your industry among businesses of your size. It’s not hard and the data is publicly available. Just list your top competitors, find their social media profiles, and tally up their followers on each platform. Calculate the averages. Then see how your business compares. That can give you clues about where you should be placing more — or less — of your attention, especially if you are dissatisfied with your current social media results. The reason may be that you’re looking for love in all the wrong places.
What do you make of this data? Which is your best performing platform in terms of number of followers?