What is the difference between B2C and B2B Social Media Marketing?
It may not appear obvious at first, but there is a big difference between business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) social media marketing. B2C social media marketing is the interaction between the business and end-user consumers, while B2B is the interaction between businesses. This means the target of your marketing communications is a dramatically different type of person, with different motivations, needs, buying process and likely, budget.
This differences in these two target markets might be broken down into three categories: content, channels, and the goals and marketing metrics.
When it comes to content B2C social media focuses heavily on visual content. Video is a great example of B2C social media marketing. B2C marketers should make sure everything they post is “sharable”, so that followers can easily share your content across all their social media channels. While for B2B marketers, they should focus on more professional types of content. B2B marketers have a vast variety of content they can leverage. Some options B2B marketers choose to use are white papers, eBooks, case studies, webinars, videos, and infographics.
B2C marketers tend to focus on specific social media channels. Facebook is considered the gold standard for B2C social media marketing because it was the first social media channel and is still a staple for any effective B2C social media strategy. B2C marketers also tend to focus on Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. B2C marketers have more social media platforms at their disposal than B2B marketers. For B2B marketers they should focus on perfecting three main social media platforms, which are LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.
Lastly, when it comes to the business’s goals and metrics B2C marketers and B2B marketers differ significantly on their goals. Due to the nature of B2C marketing, the goal of their social media marketing focuses mainly on engagement and awareness. The key metric for B2C social media marketing is how viral their content is. B2C marketers want their content to be seen and shared by as many people as possible.
For B2B marketers their number one goal should be lead generation. The best way for a B2B marketer to evaluate content performance is to examine web traffic. Web traffic is the best-known way to measure the real effectiveness of social media marketing for B2B marketing.
7 Reasons to Invest in B2B Social Marketing:
Build Brand Awareness: Social media is a highly effective place to promote a brand and its products directly to end users. According to the Sprout Social Index, “77% of consumers are more likely to buy from brands that they follow on social [media].
Engage in Conversation: Social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook are platforms where companies can receive direct feedback from customers. Businesses want to receive feedback from their customers so they know what they can change to make the whole customer experience better. Businesses also need to have the ability to respond quickly to negative feedback in order to preserve their brand image and social media allows businesses to do this. Other social media platforms, such as Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat serve as a place for free viral marketing
Conduct Product Research: Businesses can post images of product concepts or ideas and consumers will respond giving their feedback. Potential customers and loyal buyers can also fill out surveys that the business distributes via social media, which can help researchers understand people’s perception of a product. Conduct surveys via social media will also guarantee the business a wide variety of responses.
Test Marketing Concepts: Social media is the perfect place to test marketing campaigns because there is very little risk or investment. Businesses do not necessarily need to invest any capital in testing marketing concepts on social media. The only time they need to invest capital is if they create paid advertising campaigns to test marketing concepts on social media.
Build Community: The most beneficial part of B2B social media marketing is that you are building a community of loyal followers, customers, vendors, and sales channel partners. Businesses can do this by leveraging content marketing across all customer touch points.
Improve Customer Service: Social media allows a business to be available to customers because of their messaging and chat features that allow a company’s representative to answer customers quickly. It is important that when you are investing in B2B social media marketing that all your social media platforms include as many ways to contact your business as possible. The points of contact you want to have on your social media platforms include the physical address of the company, email address, and phone number. You also want to make sure that the messaging features on each social media platform are active and that your have a representative responding to these messaging features.
Facilitate Product Research: People who are younger tend to research products online before making a purchase. This is also true in a business-buying capacity. Potential buyers want to know the buzz around a product or service, and they are looking for recommendations from their peers and friends online. Businesses who neglect to have social media platforms that allow current customers to interact with potential customers are missing out on a huge potential market. Businesses should have social media accounts that allow for customer reviews and testimonials. Along with this it is the businesses job to respond to any negative feedback in a timely manner and reach out to a consumer who had a negative experience and try to fix the problem. If a business has too many negative reviews it is going to deter potential customers from buying a product.
Whether you are a B2C or B2B focused business, there are many benefits to accessing and engaging with the massive audiences circulating on social media. Not all of the benefits or strategies are sales-focused, as we have discussed, but can be based in consumer testing, market research, customer service and community development.
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