While B2C marketers may be considered the early adopters of social media marketing, B2B marketers have long since embraced this valuable platform. Social media marketing enables us to quickly and effectively communicate our value proposition to an increasingly large, captive online audience. It provides a proven way to expand relationships and establish trust—not too dissimilar from our B2C counterparts.
What naturally divides our distinct types of marketing is purpose—and approach. B2B marketers more often than not are using social media marketing for lead generation versus the traditional role of B2C social media marketing, which focuses on increasing brand recognition and reach. Although as B2B marketers we strive for that as well, it’s typically a secondary goal. B2C marketers have a vast audience and typically a much lower price point. As B2B marketers, we target specific groups—and usually have a much higher price point.
So what’s especially important for B2B social media marketers to keep in mind? We’ve outlined a few tips below.
1. Know your audience
While Chobani, Starbucks and Quiznos may be killing it on Instagram and Pinterest, trying to establish a social media following on those networks may not make the most sense for your B2B brand. The average consumer may visit a dozen social media platforms to be entertained—but it’s the job of a business buyer to seek out information about solutions that will solve his or her business challenge. Do your research to learn about the social networks your audience actively engages in so you know where to exert your efforts.
2. Curate your content
While our B2C marketing counterparts may use cool videos, commercials, radio spots and other tactics to create buzz about their products, we have our bag of tricks too. White papers, solution briefs, webinars and data sheets may not be especially sexy, but when strategically developed, they can be equally as powerful.
With that said, it’s important to note that savvy B2B social media marketers focus their content development efforts on creating strategic—and attention-grabbing—material. They focus on concise content that speaks to their audience’s business need versus being imprisoned by an editorial calendar dedicated to churning out lackluster content in troves.
3. Listen to your market
Social media marketing should not be viewed as a monologue. The beauty of social media is that it not only gives you a chance to convey your message, it also gives you the opportunity to listen to what the market is telling you.
While our audience members may not be demonstrating their strong preference for Under Armor versus Nike on their social networks, they very well could be discussing software preferences in a LinkedIn group.
To that end, savvy B2B social media marketers engage in social listening. Following is a checklist of the audiences you should follow, and like, on social media platforms:
Industry analysts/thought leaders
Reporters/news outlets/industry publications
Customers (current and past)
Employees (current and past)
At the end of the day, both B2B and B2C social media marketers are, well, marketers. It boils down to purpose and approach. In order to be a savvy B2B social media marketer, it’s important to ask yourself what purpose you are serving and if you are using the best approach—be it choice of content, platform or audience.