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Senior executives use Facebook more than LinkedIn when seeking thought leadership, report suggests


By Laurie Fullerton, Freelance Writer

November 14, 2016 | 2 min read

A new study reveals Facebook is the go-to platform for industry leaders seeking business advice, outstripping LinkedIn. The revelation forms part of a new report from Grist, a leading business-to-business content marketing agency, which examines what C-suite executives from FTSE 350 companies look for in corporate thought leadership. Facebook was cited as the social network where senior executives were most likely to engage with business content (79 per cent), compared with Twitter (73 per cent) and LinkedIn (68 per cent).

Senior executives use Facebook more than LinkedIn when seeking thought leadership, report suggests

“Facebook matters in business-to-business communications," commented Andrew Rogerson, founder and marketing director of Grist. "The marketing department, content teams and agencies need to deal with the consequences of this and devise a compelling editorial plan that includes a wide range of channels and different perspectives.”

The Value of B2B Thought Leadership Survey, conducted in partnership with independent market research agency Coleman Parkes Research, presents findings from more than 200 interviews conducted at FTSE 350 organizations. Senior roles surveyed include: CEO, senior legal, finance, risk, marketing and sales, human resources and tech.

The Grist report also suggests that senior executives are passing over thought leadership pieces in favor of short and to the point articles, with 63% finding some thought leadership pieces to be 'too generic.' Additionally, 66% of senior leaders seek out thought leadership that helps them stay ahead of emerging trends or helps them make better, more informed decisions (60%). Further, the survey suggests the thoughts of clients (57%) matter more than any other voices or sources as well.

Further, as senior leaders rely on multiple sources, the survey notes they tend to seek out thought leadership material through professional services/advisory firms (44%), industry events (43%) and online search (40%). The study also found that on an average Monday, senior executives are two thirds more likely to seek out thought leadership pieces between 12 noon and 2pm.

This research is good news for Facebook's latest effort to take advantage of the corporate and work space with their recent launch of their Workplace by Facebook product, intended to make dent in incumbents like LinkedIn and popular challengers including Slack.

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