When thinking about social media marketing for businesses, most assume it’s only for B2C businesses. This is a myth! In reality, 87% of B2B businesses use social media to meet their business goals. With a smaller customer base and a bigger budget, B2B businesses comparatively have more to benefit from social media marketing. But today, there are numerous organizations that are still skeptical of the benefits of social media for their business. In order to get the best out of social media marketing, businesses should make it useful and run campaigns effectively. For this, businesses first need to understand the difference between B2B and B2C social media marketing. You may think that the same social media tactics and techniques for one business can work just as well for another. This isn’t true because both B2B and B2C social media marketing aren’t same.

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The way you market and advertise on social media channels and many other factors differ for these two types of businesses. If you aren’t sure about the distinction between the social media efforts of both, you have landed at the right place. We have listed down the major significant differences between B2B and B2C social media marketing.

Goals

The idea of using social media for meeting business goals is spreading like a wildfire. A new report from the Content Marketing Institute shows that a lot of businesses have increasingly recognized social media as an essential platform for meeting their business goals. Every business has a separate set of goals and expectations from their social media marketing efforts. In most cases, the goals of B2B and B2C business that they expect from social media marketing slightly differ. This also depends on the type of business they run.

B2B

Some of the most important goals for B2B business social media marketing include:

Create a thought leadership brand identity: Businesses involved in group discussions on social media channels and provide chat feature where they can share their expert knowledge and position themselves as thought leaders and credible source of information. They also share blogs published on their website, comprehensive guides, ebooks, and white papers that share information about their business and industry insights.

Create brand awareness: They identify the trending topics and what kind of information their target businesses are looking for. Accordingly, B2B businesses target sponsored advertisements, posts, and tweets based on keywords or on interests and business niche.

Lead generation: The ultimate goal of B2B businesses is making contacts for sales or lead generation. Conversing with professionals who have shown interest in their social media posts and ads is the best way they close deals and generate leads.

B2C

The B2C companies communicate to a larger set of prospects, and hence, their goals may also differ. Most B2C social media marketing strategies have mixed goals with lead generation, sales, brand awareness, engagement, information broadcast, etc.

Build brand awareness: To create brand awareness, businesses must share social content that’s helpful, shareable, engaging, and uniquely styled for their posts and advertisements.

Promote community engagement: Once businesses have followers, they publish more engaging content such as contests, questions, surveys, offers, etc. Such posts have more engagement than simple textual content.

Lead generation: Lead generation is a goal most B2C businesses have. They add their contact details on all the social media profiles so that people can reach out to them. They also have chat features to provide instant assistance and response. Several businesses also use options such as a discount, email signup, special offer, etc. for instant promotion and sales.

Special, compelling content with strong call-to-action is shared.

Type of Content

Content today isn’t only restricted to plain, textual posts and advertisements on social media channels. It is also blogs, whitepapers, images, infographics, videos, GIFs, audios, webinars, slides, etc. Any informative and useful material businesses provide to their audiences falls into the content strategy in social media marketing. Based on the goals, the type and length of the content posted on social media platforms also differ considerably for B2B and B2C businesses.

B2B

B2B buyers like to see content that combines information, data, and analysis such as ebooks and whitepapers. B2B businesses publish content that tends to be longer and take more of the reader’s time because they are more information-oriented. These B2B social media marketers have a vast variety of options to choose from when it comes to content marketing on social channels.

In the above image, Heavy Duty Direct which deals in buying and selling heavy equipment, trucks and attachment parts has shared a tire buying guide. Sharing valuable information is key to social media marketing for B2B.

Webinars, whitepapers, infographics, online presentations, case studies, one-pagers are some crucial types of content that B2B business use for positioning themselves as industry-thought leaders. They can post images, videos, product or service information, and other educative content for brand awareness. Businesses can make use of the chat features available on almost all channels for engaging with their audiences and generating leads.

B2C

B2C buyers generally see social media posts and advertisements and tend to share them or take some action. The end customers often have a small attention span, and hence, the social media content should be short, precise and appealing. Longer and in-depth content doesn’t work well for B2C social media efforts. Also, a little fun and humor are somethings that B2C audiences prefer, which is why most B2C social media strategies adopt a casual way of marketing. Blogs, images, videos, infographics, GIFs, audios are some crucial types of content that B2C business use for their brand awareness, being a credible source of information and engaging with people. As mentioned earlier, they use surveys, contests, contests, etc. for engagement and lead generation.

In the above image, Barbell Addicts which provides health essentials and workout supplements, has a fun social media post that appeals to their audience. The brand also posts blends of image and textual content on a regular basis that not only creates brand awareness but also has a website link that compels immediate sales.

Correct Tone

Along with the type and length of the content of the social media posts and advertisements, the tone and language also matter for social media marketing. The target audience may or may not respond in the best way to certain voices and approaches. For instances, a B2B trucking company won’t use a casual tone and language to connect with truck dealers and businesses looking for trucks and heavy equipment. If they do, their target audiences might not like, and this may affect the social media marketing outcomes of the trucking company. Hence, using the right tone and language is crucial to connect with the right audiences. Like other elements, even the tone that has to be used differ for B2B and B2C social media marketing.

B2B

One thing that many businesses overlook while running their social media campaigns is their tone and language. They tend to overdo the social sharing and forget that they are supposed to be “serious” on the social media channels. The content for B2B strategies should be shareable and relatable, but with a professional and authoritative tone in mind.

B2C

B2C companies mostly use a casual and fun tone and language to connect with their customers. However, the tone varies from industry to industry. Thus, a B2C social media tone, language, and voice can be hip, communal, playful, educational, sophisticated, fun, irreverent, inspirational, helpful or anything that best suits the business niche.

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Social Media Platforms

Today, there is a fast proliferation of social media channels. Different businesses have the option to choose from a long list of platforms and can largely benefit from them. There are some channels and platforms that are ideal for either of B2B or B2C companies. Using other channels for their social media marketing is possible and doable. However, it might result in less outcome and results for their social media marketing.

B2B

B2B businesses have the aim of developing professional relationships and lead generation. For this, they use social media channels that have the highest number of professionals on them. However, B2B businesses should be careful while promoting themselves on these sites, since businesses tend to overdo it sometimes. Some platforms that meet professional needs include Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, etc.

B2C

As most B2C businesses focus on brand awareness and promoting direct sales, they use comparatively simple and casual platforms. B2C businesses need to interact directly with their consumers. Hence, their choice of social media sites includes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Pinterest, etc.

Let us look at how each of these platforms works for B2B and B2C social media marketing.

Facebook

Who can use it

Facebook is meant for both, B2B and B2C businesses, but it is essential and effective for B2C companies. This platform can be used lead generation, brand awareness, developing connections and engaging with them.

How B2B businesses can use it

B2B businesses can use Facebook’s page and group and engage with their followers. They can represent their company’s brand and image without spending a lot of money by posting in 1-2 days. These businesses can share useful content such as blogs, interviews, industry insights, case studies, infographics, etc. on Facebook and stay connected with their followers.

How B2C businesses can use it

Talking about B2C businesses, they must focus more on Facebook and invest more time in it. They shout post at least once a day to keep the followers engaged. Facebook can be used to run fun campaigns and contests or simply share images, memes, videos, blogs, and other types of content.

LinkedIn

Who can use it

LinkedIn is the largest network of professionals on a single social media platform, and hence, B2B can benefit from it the most.

How B2B businesses can use it

LinkedIn has professional groups and pages where B2B businesses people can be a part of and build professional connections. Apart from that, businesses can post valuable content such as videos, blogs, interviews, infographics, etc. on their business profiles.

How B2C businesses can use it

B2C businesses can simply post their blogs, infographics, videos, and other content on LinkedIn for added social media activity.

Twitter

Who can use it

Twitter is useful for interacting and engaging for both, B2B and B2C businesses.

How businesses can use it

Engagement is the biggest benefit of Twitter, and that is what businesses should focus on while tweeting. B2B companies should also share content that informs and educates their audience, whereas B2C businesses should be posting content that is entertaining and easy to engage for the audiences.

Instagram

Who can use it

Instagram is ideally a great channel for B2C companies to meet multiple goals at a time. But B2B companies can also use it to demonstrate their company culture or some specific products they offer.

How businesses can use it

 Instagram can be a great channel to show off company culture and brand values for both, B2B and B2C businesses. This channel allows businesses to bring their audiences to their world with the means of pictures and videos. There are a number of updates that most B2C and some B2B can put up on their Instagram profiles. Some of these include the events organized in office, events attended, celebrations, demonstrations, and many more.

YouTube

Who can use it

B2B and B2C companies both use YouTube to enhance their social media marketing.

How B2B businesses can use it

YouTube can be a great place for B2B companies to educate and inform their audiences. They can upload tutorials and how-to videos, expert interviews, company insights, and other useful content in video and audio form. If they have any kind of video on their official website, they can double the exposure by uploading on YouTube.

How B2C businesses can use it

YouTube can be an exceptional tool to market their products and services. One added benefit for both the businesses is that they can improve their social media marketing by placing consumer ads on their YouTube page. They can also feature their celebrity demonstrations, tutorials, upcoming offers or event updates.

For B2C businesses, Building a successful B2B or B2C social media marketing strategy isn’t rocket science, but it does take a lot of work, research and effort. If you are looking for professional assistance to create your social media marketing strategy, you can talk to some of the best digital marketers and get started. The experts will understand the type of your business, B2B or B2C, identify your business goals and expectations, and help you design an effective social marketing strategy.

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