As you continue to read about social media strategies online, much of the information for social strategies is focused on business-to-consumer (B2C). But there are huge differences between B2C and Business-to-Business (B2B) strategies. Let’s discuss some of them:
- Decision-Maker – while a B2C purchase decision can have short cycles and be dependent upon the buyer or a couple making the purchase, business decisions often have multiple levels of approval and longer buying cycles.
- Results – when a consumer makes a bad purchase decision, the penalties are quite different from a business. A business person could lose the trust of their management, may even lose their job, and may lose revenue or profits if the product or service doesn’t perform per expectations.
- Volume – while profit margins may be similar, the volume necessary to meet sales goals typically differs greatly. B2B buyers often work on a smaller, much highly targeted group of prospects.
- Talent – short buying cycles and high volumes require intense marketing and advertising efforts. B2B requires great marketing and advertising, but even more so requires an incredible sales team to consult the seller and assist them. And not just with the sale, but helping them with their overall business efforts. Sales people who are trusted advisors and an asset to their industry are the most successful.
This article from Sprout Social details a majority of the tactics necessary to incorporate a successful B2B social media strategy.
For some reason, a lot of B2B companies have either struggled to grasp social media marketing or flat out ignored it. Despite the success that B2C companies have seen with social media, B2B companies are still relying on traditional tactics like cold calling and attending business networking breakfasts. Those tactics are still effective, but they shouldn’t be used in place of social media. Instead, you should be integrating social media into your strategy for even better results. Dominique Jackson, Sprout Social
How Should Your B2B Social Media Strategy Differ?
- Goals – the goals of a B2B social media strategy focus on voice, traffic, leads and conversions. A consumer strategy will often focus on branding, audience growth and sentiment. In other words… targeting versus volume.
- Strategy – content, promotion, and analytics are the focus of a B2B social media strategy. A consumer strategy may focus on brand loyalty, customer service and building a community.
- Content – B2B content is developed to educate and influence the audience of the company to build trust with prospects. A consumer strategy is used to build the brand’s identity and grow their online community.
Today's digitally empowered customers create a challenge for organizations to sell, market and service them effectively. Expectations are higher than ever before, and customers openly share both positive and negative experiences with just a few clicks on review websites, app ratings and social media.