Social Media Marketing: B2B vs. B2C
With over 2 billion active social media accounts, businesses today know that social media offers a lot of traffic potential. Creating and implementing the right strategy can help a business increase traffic to their website and landing pages in order to increase leads, all while improving brand recognition.
Social media is not only for B2C businesses – it can be just as beneficial for B2B activities if the right strategy is implemented. While the overall techniques in obtaining new followers, website visitors and leads remains the same for both B2C and B2B, there are a number of differences in how you carry out your social media activities.
1. Type of Content
Managing a social media profile involves sharing a lot of curated content that appeals to your audience, but it also requires that you share your own links and articles once in a while. In B2C activities, you will most likely share promotional content to landing pages, and interesting articles from your blog.
When it comes to B2B, there are a lot more forms of content that you can share, including white papers, webinars, podcasts, case studies, and reports in the form of infographics.
2. Approach and Voice
A B2C company can allow itself to be more laid back and easy going in the voice it uses, both in social media posts and blog posts. B2B, however, requires a more serious approach with a lot more effort put into proofreading and editing to make sure that there are no errors and that the writing style is in line with the professional image that the company wants to portray.
Every social media network has a slightly different audience and a very different mindset. Twitter is fast-paced and is used often by both B2B and B2C, whereas Facebook is used mostly for B2C purposes because of the limited B2B features it offers (though Facebook is currently attempting to improve that). Instagram and Pinterest are both used primarily by B2C companies and don’t currently offer B2B companies much value.
LinkedIn is perfect for B2B because it was created for that purpose, meaning the users on the network are in a mindset that is more accepting of business promotions. LinkedIn also has a number of paid promotion features (i.e. ads) that are very convenient for B2B companies since they can be segmented by company type (or even company name), job title/function, location and more.
Twitter is also being tried out by many B2B companies these days because of a targeting feature which allows you to show your ad to users who are similar to a competitor’s followers. So while that is not as accurately targeted as LinkedIn, it is still worth a test run.
4. Goals and Metrics
The overall goal for all businesses typically remains the same: increase revenues. In order to carry out an effective strategy, on all marketing channels, that goal is broken down into sub-goals, like increase traffic, brand name mentions, engagement, reach, etc.
B2C companies usually focus more on community management and growth. That means increasing engagement, awareness, and reach, and creating content with the purpose of getting it to go viral on social media. B2B marketers focus more on creating content and posts that will increase traffic to a website or landing page so that they can capture leads. So while B2C marketers will pay more attention to how many people liked and shared a post, B2B professionals will care more about how many clicked the link and how much of that traffic converted on the landing page.
Creating the right social media strategy is not an easy task and requires a lot of research, testing, and adjustments along the way. When done correctly, it can significantly increase brand awareness, help you reach a larger target audience, and drive leads and revenues.