B2B vs. B2C Marketing: Where Does Social Media Fit?

 In Social media news, Social media tips

Something we notice with clients is that whilst they’re clued up on social media platforms and strategies, they often don’t get the difference between social media marketing for B2B and B2C firms. Understanding which works best for different business models is key – so let’s talk about it.

What is the purpose of B2B social media marketing?

First of all, let’s return to the purpose of each type of marketing. The purpose of marketing for B2B firms is lead generation. Sales and contracts take time to develop, and rarely is one person the decision maker. The decision-making process is often more rational, controlled and subject to scrutiny.

In the B2C world, customer’s decisions are driven by irrational, personal and cultural purchasing decisions. We know Coca-Cola is bad for us, yet it remains the UK’s most bought soft drink. The purpose of a social media campaign is to tap into feelings, motivations, and aspirations and stimulate individual buying – making people reach for their cash!

As a result of the differing purposes, different social media platforms are used. Unsurprisingly, LinkedIn is the weapon of choice for your savvy B2B marketer, generating  just over 80% of sales leads. Twitter and Facebook generate about 13 percent and 7 percent. Why? Because that’s what people expect – I don’t think many people would start a search for a new consultant on Instagram, not least because consulting is about as visually unstimulating as a service can be.

What is the purpose of B2C social media marketing?

Next, let’s switch to B2C and everything changes – Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram are the most popular and effective. The age of the target audience should be a consideration here with younger Facebookers switching over to Snapchat (others might begin steering clear of Facebook too – let’s see what happens with the Cambridge Analytica debacle!). These platforms are more effective because they allow a brand to convey simpler, aspirational messaging and utilise influencers to maximise returns.

The content strategy should differ too. B2B content should ideally be highly consistent, temporally coherent and totally on message. There should be a flow of the information. For instance, a whitepaper with a series of blogs, followed by a webinar – the audience need to sense the professionalism and thought that’s gone into it.

B2C requires no less planning – it’s just that the presentation can appear more spontaneous, interesting and eye-catching. Viral is the ultimate goal – so be surprising, take risks. Your audience should feel stimulated and challenged yet not bombarded. They should want to share the high-quality output with friends. The video is gathering momentum as the best way to achieve this – spend on this medium is going through the roof in 2018.

That was a quick blast through the basics of the differences between harnessing social media marketing for different business models. Elementary stuff, but it’s useful to refresh these things sometimes in the ever-shifting world of social media. As ever, if you’d like any further tips, please contact us here.

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