You may be asking: Is social media marketing better for B2B or B2C businesses? Although there are ways to use both on social media, a social media presence is especially important for B2B businesses. This article will tell you the differences between B2B and B2C businesses, benefits to using social media marketing, and how to go about using social media to the fullest for your business.
What is B2C and B2B?
B2C stands for business-to-consumer, while B2B stands for business-to-business. B2B businesses sell goods and services straight to businesses, while B2C businesses sell goods and services straight to the consumer. If a company sells directly to consumers, it’s a B2C company. One example of a B2B company is when one business is providing raw materials to the other company that will eventually produce the output; in other words, there’s more than one business in the making of the product.
B2C and B2B Social Media Differences
When it comes to both social media marketing, B2C and B2B businesses’ main differences are their content, channels, and goals.
- Content: B2C businesses should focus mainly on their visual (such as video), while B2B businesses should focus on their “professional” types of content (such as Webinars, ebooks, and infographics, to name a few).
- Channels: B2C businesses should use social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. B2B businesses should focus on social media channels such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.
- Goals: B2C businesses’ goals should focus mainly on community engagement and awareness, while B2B businesses should focus primarily on lead generation (identifying and cultivating potential customers).
B2C Social Media Concepts
There are several concepts to keep in mind if you’re a B2C starting to use social media for marketing purposes, of which are:
- Focus on the customer, not the company. This helps show that your business cares about your customers.
- Think about your content type. If you’re using a social media platform that is all about photos and videos, then focus on that type of content.
- Make your posts shareable.
B2B/B2C Presence on Social Media
There are many social media platforms to choose from. Some are forgotten more than others.
- And more!
LinkedIn is a platform that helps small businesses and B2B businesses the most when it comes to their marketing needs. There are several ways to use LinkedIn for marketing. B2B businesses are interested in their audience, which is something LinkedIn is known for: the world of business.
Even though social media is mainly used for B2B businesses, B2C businesses can still use LinkedIn to their advantage. One of the advantages to LinkedIn is the demographics, including age. Only a small percentage (27%) come from the age range of 26-35 years old.
LinkedIn is already used by 97% of B2B marketers, plus the already estimated 121 million users who are using the social media platform everyday. If you’re a B2B and are interested in marketing on LinkedIn, SEO Design Chicago can help you get started.
How should you be using Facebook for marketing? When it comes to Facebook marketing time for B2B and B2C, there are times during the day which your marketing will be most efficient. Whether you’re part of B2C or B2B, one of the most effective posting times on Facebook is between the hours of 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.
When using Facebook for business marketing purposes, make sure you keep your target audience in mind so you can relate to them.
What Do I Post on Social Media for my Business?
When using various social media platforms for your business, whether for a B2B or a B2C business, it’s wise to have some sort of plan. Here are some tips to keep your social media plan organized:
- Use a calendar: By using a social media calendar, your business is able to plan ahead, and your followers will know what to expect on various days, times, etc.
- Share your company blog posts: One method to do this is adding links through social media posts.
- Conduct AMAs (or “Ask Me Anything”): When you post AMAs, it gives your audiences the opportunity to get to know you–through giving them answers as well as seeing what they’re interested in.
- Showcase your company’s culture: You can show your audience your company’s community service, celebrate your employees, show your employees’ accomplishments, etc.
Show more than words: Remember to post graphics, videos, polls, etc. to get your audience interested and to help them learn more about the company. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words.
B2B Social Media Strategy
In addition to what should be included in social media posts, as mentioned above, there are several strategies that can be used to make the best of your company’s social media marketing. Here are eight B2B social media strategies:
- Set SMART goals: Having SMART goals in mind can help you become more successful.
- Keep an eye of potential competitors: The larger your company is, the more important keeping taps on your competitors is. It’s more than copying them. Maybe they aren’t using a possible marketing strategy–that’s when it’s your turn to use it before them.
- Share original content: Spend time creating original content for your business. Your audience can tell if your content is original or not.
- Have a distinguished brand voice: As you begin posting, blogging, etc., make sure your brand voice stays consistent. Is it serious? Is it funny? Or is it laid back? You don’t want to confuse your customers by having a serious tone one second, then telling a lot of jokes the next.
- Offer support: Make sure your customers can rely on you when they are having problems–you don’t want to make them frustrated.
- Maintain consistency: Once you’ve created a rhythm with your posting, establish consistency.
- Experiment with content and posting time: If you want your business to stand out, experiment with how you use social media: ask questions, use statistics, use links, and use emojis. Experiment with how often or how few you post, and use hashtags. If several of these work, keep them.
- Engage in conversation: The main purpose of social media is to connect with other people. Using social media as a way to connect with your audience should be a critical point for using social media platforms as a way to market.
B2B Marketing Benefits
The use of social media is increasing, as well as the number of social media platforms. It only makes sense for B2B businesses to use social media as a way to market. There are several benefits for using social marketing for B2B businesses. Here are eight benefits:
- Cost-effective content promotion: You can use social media platforms in a way that is easy and free of charge. One way to do this is by using organic posts (a post that is unpaid). For those who don’t mind paying a small fee for promotions, it’s still inexpensive on social media platforms. The charge varies by platform, but it can be as little as $1 per day on some of the platforms, such as Facebook.
- Driving referral traffic: B2B social media marketing can be useful when it comes to referral traffic. As you use social media, people will click on the links you provide. This accounts for a significant portion of your website visits. As you and customers share your company’s links, you increase your presence on search engines.
- Expanding your brand reach: Because so much of the global population uses social media regularly, simply having a presence on social media is crucial. One way you can expand your brand reach is using hashtags. However, a word of caution: make sure you don’t overuse hashtags.
- Building connections with your customers: Part of marketing is creating connections and interacting with your customers. B2B businesses have a more emotional connection with their customers. Buyers are more interested in buying something from a company when the customer sees something of value. This is especially important for more expensive purchases. Customers need a level of trust with the business before making a big purchase. This is when having the right kind of social media marketing strategy is critical.
- Understanding your audience through social listening: You can use social media as a way to social listen, thereby creating a way to listen and understand your customers.
- Providing better customer support: When your B2B business gives an exceptional customer support experience, it helps improve your overall experience with your brand. When customers have a positive experience with your brand, they are more likely to endorse your brand.
- Retargeting a highly relevant audience: Using social media for B2B businesses can be a way to get visitors back to your site, and to make sure they stay interested, with the help of retargeting ads.
- Humanizing your brand: Your audience wants to know the people behind the company. When you put a human face behind your company, the audience can feel more connected. According to a Spout Social study, 72% of people feel more connected to a brand when the employees use social media to share information.