Are B2B and TikTok perhaps more compatible than marketers expected?

By our News Team | 2023

By excluding innovative platforms and the content that circulates on them, B2B marketers could be missing out on opportunities.

Could TikTok perhaps be more compatible with the needs of B2B marketers than originally thought? According to Meltwater, the social data and consumer insights company, this could indeed be the case.


While a B2B buyer may not scroll on TikTok during their working day, they could very well be doing it after hours, suggests Katherine McInnes, Meltwater’s head of marketing for Africa.

For these consumers and the informal retailers who serve them, their game-changer could be the rapid proliferation of business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce apps and platforms.

Business-to-Business Marketing

Photo by Cottonbro Studio from Pexels

She believes the lines in marketing have blurred ever since TikTok came into the picture. Its rise has created a shift in the way marketing is perceived, challenging preconceived notions about the role of platforms and their suitability for different marketing strategies. 


“One thing is clearer than ever: We need to stop equating LinkedIn with B2B influencer marketing. And, really, marketing in general,” McInnes says.


“Strategies, channels and messages will always need to look different to some extent because of the fundamental differences in the customer journey. Still, this shouldn’t limit out-of-the-box thinking or sustain outdated beliefs regarding marketing and social media channels.


“In fact, LinkedIn is not the only social media platform suitable for business-to-business and TikTok is not ‘just for young people’.”


More boomers are taking to TikTok


She adds that the usage of TikTok among boomers experienced a 164% growth between May 2022 and January 2023.


“With its clear focus on professional networking, it’s no wonder that LinkedIn has become the go-to platform for B2B.


“It also works well for influencer marketing, with ambassadors … working to generate interest in conferences and webinars, or drive sales of products and services. These, unlike B2C influencers who mainly need to convince emotionally driven consumers, are expected to create trust among customers through rational thought-leadership messages.”


According to McInnes, studies show that marketers have reasons to incorporate more emotionally driven messages in their B2B strategies. After all, even if the majority wouldn’t admit it, B2B buyers are, to some extent, also making emotionally driven decisions.


“By excluding innovative platforms and the content that circulates on them, B2B marketers are missing out. While not every context will be suitable for every business, not daring to explore may do more harm than good,” she says.


“In the end, both B2B and B2C seek inspiration, entertainment and, most importantly, authenticity on social media. And that’s where TikTok has a lot to offer.”

Dr Kin Kariisa

Group CEO - Next Media

Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

  • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
  • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
  • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
  • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
  • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
  • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.