The Art of Social Selling. The Difference Between B2B and B2C Social Media.

Anna Smith: Social Media Blog

Social media is fast becoming the most important marketing tool when it comes to connecting with customers and influencing the buying process. But did you know there is no “one-size-fits-all” process when it comes to creating your social media strategy?

Think about it.

Every business is unique, even if they offer similar products and services, they each bring their own set of values, capabilities, and unique selling points to the table (well they should). So why ‘copy and paste’ social media strategies?

What works for some companies, will not always work for you. Fundamentally, your social media strategy should look deeply at the ‘type’ of business you are and the customers you attract. Are you: Business to Business (B2B) or Business to Consumer (B2C)? How you behave and communicate on social media will be very different for B2B versus B2C organisations.

To help you maximise your success on social media, let us tell you about some of the key differences:

 

  1. Goals.

First things first, B2B and B2C social media goals should differ.

B2C Businesses should use social media to increase sales, and website traffic. Whereas B2B businesses should focus their social media efforts on brand development and lead generation, emphasis on building trust and forming relationships over time. This is a slower and much more concentrated process than that of B2C social media, who need to focus more on creating a community for their customers by sharing creativity and passion, as well as encouraging direct conversation around products and services using viral content.

 

  1. Content.

Creating meaningful content is key.

The major difference between B2B and B2C marketing is who you are selling to. Selling to another business is incredibly different to selling to consumers - which means you will approach your goals with completely different language and formats of content.

B2B social media content is much more formal, direct and informative than that of B2C. B2C use relatable, personable, and more ‘on trend’ content (we are talking gifs, memes, reels, viral content etc.). Both, however, aim to spark conversations with their audiences to engage, entertain, and educate.

Despite a more ‘corporate’ approach to social media, many B2B companies are beginning to humanise their brand through ‘softer’ and more ‘personable’ content as they realise that at the end of the day they are just selling to another human and people by from people. Lighter content with a friendly and open tone is an extremely beneficial social selling tool for both B2B and B2C brands as it builds trust, opens the lines of communication, and gives a more approachable impression and brand identity.

B2C brands traditionally use more visual content, whereas B2B use informative ‘stats and facts’ to convey their messaging. However, what both ‘types’ of content have in common is their ‘shareability’ as both aim to reach wider audiences and attract new followers. This is done by creating engaging content around ‘trending topics’ in your industry that will help spark up conversation with your audience.

 

  1. Platform.

Lastly, use the right platforms to engage with your customers.

It’s all fine and well creating engaging content, but are you hitting the right audience?

From Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to LinkedIn, TikTok, and YouTube – the choice of social media platforms is long!   You need to choose the best platforms for your business.  The tools that will connect you with your customer.  Focus on performing well on one or two key platforms, rather having a presence on all social media channels but not truly engaging with your target market.

You need to ‘think like the customer’ and understand what each platform offers them. For example, from a B2B perspective, although your prospect may be on Instagram, is that really where they are going looking for the latest ‘Health & Safety’ updates?   Probably not. They are more likely to be searching on LinkedIn for that. Likewise, is a B2C prospect going to be looking on LinkedIn for the latest fashion trends? Unlikely. Instagram would be the hot spot for that.

B2B organisations are often ‘shy’ on social media, as they do not see their worth. However, 75% of B2B buyers said social media influenced their buying decision and 84% of decision makers said they used social media to conduct research – so it is time you jumped on the social selling bandwagon if you have not already done so.

As expected, LinkedIn is the most popular platform for B2B marketing, it is the “world's largest professional network” after all. Surprisingly, YouTube is on the rise and is becoming more and more important for B2B markets, with 77% of marketers saying they are going to grow their video content by showcasing industry knowledge and expertise with “how to” videos. If you are not a fan of YouTube, these types of videos can easily be translated and ‘snipped down’ to use on LinkedIn.

From a B2C perspective, these businesses tend to use a wider variety of social media platforms due to the ‘fast-paced’ and casual nature of their content. They utilise more creative platforms like Instagram and TikTok to show their personality and create conversation with customers.

However, casual platforms like Instagram and Facebook are not exclusive to B2C brands. B2B brands can use them to show off company culture and present a more human to their services instead of a sell, sell, sell!

By following these three key steps you can begin to build your social media strategy.  By following best practice, thinking like the customer and getting creative, you could be on the road to mastering the art of social selling!

 

If you would like to discuss your social media strategy, we’d love to hear from you!  Get in touch today.

Infographic: B2B and B2C social media

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