Facebook and LinkedIn share the load for B2C and B2B marketers

With global marketing trends feeding more and more blog posts, social media campaigns and videos into existing search engines, and with Facebook now surpassing Google in the amount of traffic driven to websites, new data from BuzzSumo and Hubspot research indicates that the choice of social channel, the headlines and post length can maximize shares on social media.

The report suggests that as B2B procurement becomes lengthier and more complex, it also requires longer content and more rational, benefits-based-content, while B2C is more emotional and entertaining.

The report reviewed up to 124, 876 B2B articles and 49,952 B2C customer sites to explore the nature of content, and found that although B2C content achieved higher total shares on the more consumer oriented Facebook, there was also a skewed distribution of shares for both B2B and B2C content. In other words, content in fact received relatively few shares.

The report notes that out of a sample of 175,000 posts, B2C posts were shared on Facebook 114 on average, while B2B posts were shared 68.5 times on average. Content length did not differ markedly between B2B and B2C posts and averaged between 550 to 605 words. Although 75 per cent of the shares of a B2C post came from Facebook, Pinterest shares of a B2C post was 4.97 compared to just 0.83 for B2B posts. It is increasingly difficult to dispute the fact that B2B content performs best on LinkedIn with average posts receiving 25.7 LinkedIn shares compared to just 9.8 for B2C posts.

Blogs were shared on Facebook for both B2B and B2C content, but the comparison is 85.58 shares for B2C compared to 26.1 shares for B2B content. However, B2B marketers should continue growing their presence on Facebook with blogs and content. The report indicated that Facebook had "tied the knot" and in a graph it intersects and then surpasses Google in traffic driven to news sites. Another graph indicates that Facebook now drives a quarter of traffic to all websites. As the report indicates, it is unwise to ignore a social network that is driving between 25 per cent and 30 per cent of traffic to websites.

Although Pinterest is not really favorable for B2B marketers, the report illustrates that certain, straightforward infographics can be very effective on Pinterest. One infographic was a yearly homeowner's maintenance checklist by AmeriFirst Home Mortgage. The simple image received 41,000 shares on Pinterest.

The report also illustrated the effectiveness of eBooks on Linkedin. One particular B2B eBook post received 3,000 LinkedIn shares. Additionally, posts that illustrate how people can learn from mistakes or identify habits that will make them successful at work or provide work related advice are shared the most on LinkedIn. In fact, the top posts for B2B marketers on LinkedIn were stories about ‘habits’, followed by the ‘Boss, mistakes, employees, leaders, jobs, years and performance. Some of the titles included "12 Habits of Exceptional Leaders"(25,700 shares) or "Top 10 Habits of Likeable Leaders" (22,900 shares), 15 Habits of Mentally Tough People (19,600 shares) or "6 Unusual Habits of Exceptionally Creative People"(10,800 shares.)

Twitter did show a difference between B2B and B2C content with business content performing slightly better by a comparison of 2.4 to 2.

When looking at what content did extremely well, the report noted that topics like health with titles like "Drinking three glasses of champagne could help prevent dementia and Alzheimer's disease received over 957,000 likes and shares on Facebook. The report than studied word phrases that topped the charts on Facebook and the three most popular were "X signs you're", X pictures that" and "make you laugh." The most shared three words on Twitter were "the science of", "the case for" and "you can now" It is clear from the study that quiz, entertaining and image content does best on Facebook. LinkedIn B2B readers did not respond to the quips but primarily shared the following types of stories on Linkedin like "signs you're going to be successful” in the title and these received an estimated 6,500 shares.

Quizzes are actually popular in both B2C and B2B content with one of the most shared B2B quiz question on LinkedIn being "Can you guess the brand behind these clever product descriptions?"

The study concluded that B2B content may be more widely read on LinkedIn but the idea of using more than one playbook is important. It also encourages B2B writers to write outside of the normal playbook and try to get away from the same titles each week on LinkedIn like "10 Habits of Leaders" and go for something a little fresher. Also, it is possible to test your posts, share them on different networks at different times of the day, and create an editorial calendar based on those results.

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