For many B2B organizations, creating engaging, inspiring social media posts is a challenge. The brands with the most comments, the most shares, the highest-profile celebrity cameos – the most buzz – occupy the B2C space. Their peculiar consumer appeals might not translate easily to your brand’s social voice.
One thing is universally true: certain strains of content are better at attracting the right kind of followers. Quality photos, videos, and infographics can engage your target audience. When these are accompanied by well-written text, your followers are more likely to act in response to your content.
If you had to choose only one kind of social media post for your organization’s channels in 2022, make it real photos of real people. These comprised the highest-performing social media posts among the B2B brands we surveyed in 2021. Here were the top four, along with what they teach us about how to create a high-performing B2B social media post.
1. Real Photos of Real People
A team of researchers at Georgia Tech once studied user engagement with 1.1 million Instagram photos. The results were clear: images with real human faces get more likes. The team stopped short of concluding why, but one hypothesis was our own neurological hard-wiring:
Even as babies, people love to look at faces. Faces are powerful channels of non-verbal communication. We constantly monitor them for a variety of contexts, including attractiveness, emotions and identity.
Among the B2B brands we surveyed, engagement was highest when the post featured a human face. Some of the best performing posts showcased team meetings and gatherings, employees at trade show booths, and employees who received an award. It’s nothing fancy – just an old-fashioned brain hack that every organization can tap into.
2. Video + Animation
Video and animated content is dominating social media, and not just on TikTok. The B2B firms we surveyed saw huge success in 2021 with the videos they posted to LinkedIn, earning an average of three times the engagement of their text posts.
B2B organizations are also looking for ways to incorporate short-form video on Instagram using Reels and Stories. Having a trained videographer on staff helps, but any well-trained smartphone user can get started in the video/animation space. Among the best-performing posts in our survey were animated GIFs, video slideshows of still photos, and longform videos. Longform videos ― which last one minute or longer ― offer richer storytelling, interviews, and testimonials that allow B2B organizations to educate and inform decision-makers in the moment without having them leave the social platform they are on.
The best thing about infographics is that you, or someone in your organization, is probably great at producing them already. A well-constructed infographic can translate smoothly from your internal PowerPoint presentations to your public-facing social media feed.
Infographics are a great way for B2B organizations to present a lot of information in an easily digestible, helpful, and visually appealing way. They are perfect for social media because they are not only engaging but also shareable. Some of the best among the organizations we surveyed featured basic statistics and facts and ― for organizations operating in the healthcare space ― risk factors and symptoms for specific health conditions.
4. Industry News
While the first three content types rely heavily on your own organization, this kind focuses on your industry as a whole. Followers like to know that you are in touch with the latest news, developments, and innovations in your field. Your followers also want to be informed on relevant industry news. In this way, any organization can use its social media channels to become a news source for an industry its followers care about.
The news topics your followers are interested in have a universal quality: new federal and state laws, new clinical research, and new partnerships and acquisitions that have an industry-wide effect. There’s no need to editorialize. If your social media channel is breaking the news of the day to its followers, a just-the-facts approach is effective.