3 key differences between B2B and B2C social media

Alex Jeffs, founder of Form Two Lanes, explains three key differences between B2C and B2B social media strategies

A social media strategy for any business is important, but that doesn't mean every business social media strategy should be the same.

Depending on who is on the receiving end of your company's social media efforts, you may want to reconsider the kind of information you're sharing.

As you're a B2B business, your posts will probably look much different than a company that is B2C.

In fact, there are three main differences between B2B and B2C social media posts:

1. Drivers, influencers, and experts

Having a driver, influencer, or expert as part of your social media strategy can be beneficial for almost any business, but for B2B companies, an expert can be the difference between a successful strategy and an unsuccessful one.

When running a B2B social media campaign, you not only want to get your message out to the masses, but you also want to create an inbound marketing strategy.

When you have an expert or influencer working on your B2B social media strategy with you, they can push your company and services out to potential clients already in your space.

With an authoritative voice giving your business the stamp of approval, and the right experience and messaging on your website, you'll experience an increase in phone calls, emails, and new business.

2. Content length

The content you share and the length of each piece of content is another area that will differ depending on who your customer is.

When you're creating a social media strategy for a B2C company, you'll want to share content that appeals to your everyday customer. This includes lifestyle posts that fit into your target demographic, listicles or funny articles that are easily skimmed, and sharable posts that can start a conversation.

When you're creating these posts, you need to keep in mind the ability to go viral and how they can help spread awareness about your brand.

But for a B2B customer, posts need to be more serious and establish a level of expertise. In B2B articles and other pieces of content, you need to lay out the fundamental ideas behind a strategy, service, or other area of your industry to prove that you are a leader in that space.

While each piece of content should still give an energy and bit of personality to your brand, your end goal is to be perceived as an expert by whoever is reading.

The content should still be sharable and relatable, but with a professional tone in mind.

3. Buying cycle

When you're running a B2C company, your purchases are usually quick and rarely involve much commitment.

You are probably offering a product that can be purchased online, shipped to their doorstep, and the customer is happy.

This means that you can successfully get a sale from a customer after only one introduction. For B2C companies and their social media strategies, just one powerful and compelling post could be enough to boost sales.

Unfortunately for B2B companies, the buying cycle is much longer, so the social media strategy needs to be more in depth.

The services most B2B companies provide include fulfilling long term goals, which means to purchase a service the client is also buying a commitment.

That is why B2B companies need to use their social media strategy as a lead nurturing tool. With social media posts, you can continue to connect with individuals who are interested in what you are able to provide, but just might not be ready to make a purchase.

You are able to consistently deliver expert-level articles, information, and other forms of content to prove that you can help solve their problem, so when they're ready to purchase a service, you'll be the first company they come to.

When looking to create a social media strategy for your company, don't get trapped in believing it is a one-size-fits-all approach.

Think about the individual reading your tweets, posts, and articles and consider what information they want to see.

Do they want a humorous article they can share with friends and family? Or do they want a expert opinion on a change in your industry?

When you know your audience, you're on track to a more successful social media strategy.

For B2B customers, social media is all about establishing yourself as an expert, but for B2C customers, it's all about making a connection with as many members of your target market as possible.

Make sure you develop a strategy that is right for your customer base.