In today’s technological and social media-driven world, businesses of all kinds establish a social media presence in order to connect with possible customers and establish a brand presence within the vastness of the internet. However, the strategy that goes behind developing these internet personalities can differ.
One of the biggest factors impacting strategy is business-to-business company versus business-to-consumer company. Not only will these strategies utilize different social networks to communicate messages, but they will use different kinds of messaging, tones, attitudes and tactics to attract users.
In general, business-to-consumer companies are smart to develop a presence on all of the major social media networks, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, etc. Usage on these will depend on the company’s focus; however, touching some, if not all, of the major accounts is very beneficial. Traditionally, business-to-consumer audiences—the general consumer—live on these networks. So, spending time developing those accounts is going to reap great benefits for the company, as it will establish credibility and trust, not to mention visibility.
B2B companies may be on different kinds of social media networks, but they are on social media just the same. The type of accounts they are on really depends on the business, and they typically have fewer social profiles than those of business-to-consumer companies. This is, in part, a result of B2B audiences not being as involved in social media as their counterparts.
Most B2B firms need to develop at least a Facebook strategy and/or profile because Facebook pages help establish credibility. If a business doesn’t have a Facebook page, the consumer will be asking why. It can also establish trust with consumers. However, a logistics company may not have a strong Instagram or Snapchat profile because those networks don’t necessarily hold the target customer—or at least not enough to invest the time and energy needed to develop a strategy for those sites.
A logistics company may see more results with a profile on Quora, where it can answer questions about its industry and establish itself as an expert and thought leader. LinkedIn is another excellent social media site for B2B companies, as it can be a source of lead generation. It offers businesses the opportunity to tout their professional accomplishments—not only establishing credibility, but also making them stand out in their field.
When it comes to messaging, a lot depends on the specific product or service; however, it’s going to be understood that a business-to-consumer profile will generally tend to have a lighthearted tone with easy messaging because the company is talking to the general consumer, not a strict business.
A B2B messaging strategy could be a little more complex. These brands are talking with other brands that understand the product or service and may be looking for more thought leadership in the industry. Having a thought leadership element or tactic plugged into the social strategy is a great way for B2B companies to establish their credibility and boost their trust with possible customers.
Regardless of the differences in social strategy between B2B and business-to-consumer companies, an established social media presence is critical just the same.
Photo by Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Bernard Perrine is Co-founder and CEO of SocialCentiv, an intent-based Twitter marketing firm.