B2B marketing versus B2C

Social media columnist
Social media columnist
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Social media is an important component in marketing for all types of businesses. It doesn’t matter if a business’s customers are individuals or businesses, social media works very well for marketing to both groups.

But, there are some differences in approach, and it’s important to understand the difference between business to business (B2B) marketing versus business to consumer (B2C) marketing.

Business2Business (B2B)

The way social media is used to interact with B2B entities is by forming associations and groups for them to interact with each other and the product creator. So you might find like-minded professionals getting together in a group on LinkedIn. Another example of a very active Facebook Group is Suffolk Business Stars, now with more than 4,750 members.

Typically the group is created by a business that sells something to the business people who join. For instance, QuickBooks or Xero might form a group for accountants. They’ll provide the opportunity for professional collaboration, participation in studies, educational content and more to the group in hopes that the members will keep buying their product.

Suffolk Business Stars was formed as networking group providing an opportunity for Suffolk business people to mix, mingle, post news and ask questions.

Business2Consumer (B2C)

In the case of business to consumer marketing, social media is used to broadcast information to the consumer about the product or brand, or even provide customer service to the consumer via social media in the form of user groups. The brand might also form communities based on a particular lifestyle and not be directly marketing to the group.

In both cases, engagement through social media is very useful. It can take the form of professional collaboration, shop talk, and also as a way to disseminate information. It doesn’t really matter if it’s B2B or B2C; the idea is the same, only the content differs in terms of the audience. Business owners may understand the jargon, while the individual may need to be educated more about the brand and products.

The purpose of each is very different. In the case of B2C, the purpose of using social media is to either help the business disseminate information to the customer, expand brand awareness to the consumer, or to provide a platform for customers to interact with each other and representatives of your brand. In the case of B2B, the purpose is usually to build the company’s database so that it can develop long-term working relationships and also to establish the business’ expertise.

In both cases the idea is to produce content that informs, educates and increases engagement. Because, when you think about it, even in the case of a B2B situation social media users are still also consumers - they just happen to be slightly more knowledgeable consumers, so the content is going to be a little different. It’s all about knowing your audience and the purpose of using social media.

If you know the audience and you know the purpose, social media will be very effective. If you have no idea what your goals are and what you want to accomplish, you won’t be successful - and even if you were, you won’t know necessarily know why.

BREAKING NEWS

Lots of changes on Facebook in the past two weeks with new features and a real focus on its mobile app and Live video.

Facebook: Facebook Live Rolls Out for Groups, Events, and More: Facebook announced several new features for Facebook Live that will “give you more ways to discover, share and interact with live video and more ways to personalise your live broadcasts.”

Facebook Messenger Launches Scannable Codes Similar to Snapchat, and more: Facebook added new ways for people to “find and get in touch with the businesses they care about” on Messenger with Messenger Codes, Usernames, Messenger Links, and Messenger Greetings.

Facebook Adds More Ways to Discover Live Video in Search: Facebook’s updates to search make it “easier to discover Live video in topics that are Trending on Facebook.” Facebook is also building “a dedicated search experience for the new Live video destination that’s coming to Facebook’s mobile app.”

Facebook Announces New Metrics for Live Video: Facebook announced “two new video metrics: total live viewers during a broadcast, and a new chart showing the number of concurrent live viewers over time during a broadcast.”

Twitter: Twitter Introduces Direct Message Button: “With this new feature, it’s simple to share a Tweet via Direct Message and spark a private conversation.”

Twitter Updates Conversion Lift Reports: Twitter introduced updates to its conversion lift reports “to help performance advertisers better understand the full impact of their Twitter Ads campaigns.” These updates include optimised spend using daily updated results, cross-device insights, and direct access to reports through Twitter Ads dashboard.

Twitter Simplifies Website Conversion Tracking and Remarketing: Twitter introduced the universal website tag, “a new tool that makes it easier for advertisers to track website conversions and manage tailored audience campaigns.”

Pinterest: Pinterest Opens Promoted Pins to the UK: Pinterest will “start selling advertising in the UK, marking the first effort to make money from its more than 45 million users who reside outside the U.S.”

Pinterest Introduces How-to Pins: “The next time you find an interesting project or idea on Pinterest, you’ll see a snapshot of the steps right below the Pin image. You can also click or tap on any of the steps to get the full instructions and a list of supplies – without ever leaving Pinterest.”

Instagram: Instagram Gradually Rolls Out Longer Videos: Instagram is gradually rolling out “the flexibility to tell your story in up to 60 seconds of video.” This new feature “will be available for everyone in the coming months.” Instagram is also “bringing back the ability to make videos out of multiple clips from your camera roll” for iOS users.