B2B vs. B2C Social Media Marketing: What’s the Difference? [With Template]
We’ve talked a fair bit about the importance of social media and why it matters in marketing on our blog lately. And if those other articles make anything clear, it’s that social media has no cross-industry approach that gets results for everyone. What works for one business won’t work for another – and vice versa.
So, when it comes to B2B and B2C businesses and their social media marketing, things are going to be different. How different? That’s exactly what we’re uncovering below. Keep reading to find out more.
B2B social media marketing
If you’re B2B (business-to-business), then you might think the deck is stacked against you social media-wise. You’re probably pretty niche – and that doesn’t always make for exciting content on your channels.
But there are loads of B2B businesses that’ve got their social presence down to a tee. Just look at the likes of IBM, Google and Adobe.
And even if you don’t have the big-name recognition of those kinds of businesses, stocking up your social media strategy with the following can still make an impact.
Of course, a B2B business sells products and services to other businesses. As such, it’s things like building brand awareness, driving traffic to landing pages, and generating leads that tend to form the basis of a B2B’s social goals.
To do this, B2B businesses can show off expert knowledge and interact with current industry topics to illustrate authority within their sector – so that other businesses can add to their skill set.
As we’ve said, B2B businesses target other businesses. That’s a lot of decision-makers and stakeholders they’ll need to get through to.
Your marketing activity across your social media will be further influenced by things like:
- Business size, including number of employees, yearly revenue and department sizes
- Locations, including continents, countries and cities
- The niche your products are suited to
- The ways they behave
- The values they live by
All of this means there’s a longer journey to conversion compared to B2C, and a B2B’s social activity will reflect that.
B2B products and services tend to be a bit more complex than B2C products – they aren’t just popping into a shop or making a purchase from an eCommerce site.
With a B2B product, a business will generally buy in bulk or sign up for a contract, with ongoing customer service part of what’s being offered, too. A B2B business’s content on social media will sell the benefits and solutions it can bring to its audience, rather than the product features themselves – something that’s usually more associated with B2C.
Tone of Voice
Given the drier nature of B2B businesses and their products, there’s a tendency to view their tone of voice as bland and boring. And sure, you may well need to be more formal and professional in your tone, but that doesn’t mean it has to be dull.
You’ll still want to be personable too. You’re human after all. Look to your values to see which characteristics of the business you can make your personality. A brand like Mailchimp, very much a B2B business, is still chockful of quirky personality. So, there’s a surprising amount of leeway you can have with your tone – but be sure to keep your audience in mind. Ultimately, it’s who they are which will dictate the way you speak to them.
Generally, B2B businesses will opt for LinkedIn, X and Facebook as their chosen channels. Better suited to sharing business-related content, it makes a lot more sense for, let’s say, a B2B consulting firm to focus their social activity on a channel like LinkedIn.
On a channel like this, they’ll be able to connect with executives, and increase brand awareness by sharing their knowledge through insightful articles.
B2C social media marketing
B2C businesses, on the other hand, are often motivated more by getting individual customers to make quick purchases. Social media is ideal for these kinds of transactions, which definitely puts B2Cs at more of an advantage in comparison.
That also means the ingredients of a successful social recipe differ too. Here’s a serving suggestion you might want to try…
Driving sales would be high up on a list of any B2C’s objectives – their audiences are usually in buy mode; they know what they’re looking for and they’re ready to part with their cash.
But B2C social media marketing is also a great way to boost brand visibility, foster more loyal customers and create a community of users who are constantly talking you up to others.
From a B2C perspective, social media is better suited to achieving these kinds of goals.
A big difference between a B2B and a B2C audience is that the latter is more driven by emotions. They want to have their emotional strings pulled, and the more you can grip those, the stronger the connection you can make with them.
Be sure to research your users. Carrying this out lets you uncover the things they like and dislike, creating customer personas you can segment and then target in different ways, across the channels they flock to.
The products of B2C businesses tend to be more tactile and tangible compared to a B2B’s. Think things like clothing, gizmos and gadgets for the home, and food & drink.
It’s easier to put these highly visual products front and centre across your social channels to create impactful, attractive assets the audience will love. It’s even easier to make use of sales and limited-time offers that users won’t be able to resist.
Tone of Voice
B2C brands are well suited to a casual, conversational tone – perfect for creating that genuine and relatable voice that customers will be looking for. By keeping things informal, you can make better use of humour and wordplay too, both of which will let you strengthen connections further.
It’s unlikely that a fashion brand will have customers making a beeline to find them on LinkedIn. More visual channels such as Instagram and TikTok, on the other hand, are a great way to create social content that speaks to a B2C audience. With that said, it’s here your audience research will come in handy. When you know which channels your intended audience prefers to use, you should aim to leverage these channels as much as possible.
Download our Social Media Strategy Template
Whether you’re B2B or B2C, we hope you’ve found everything we’ve talked about here helpful.
If you’re feeling inspired to make a start on your own social strategy, then be sure to download our free template before you do.
Enter your details below, and we’ll send you a framework you can fill in with goals, channel activity, audience info and everything else to give your social presence some added power.
Don’t have the time to get your brand buzzing on social? Our team of social media experts, designers and writers will get to work crafting a strategy that gets users clicking and converting. See how we do that here or give us a call on 0345 459 0558.